New Video By DMF Musa “I Feel”

“You must be bored with your man — I’m exciting.” So says DMF Musa to a woman who has taken an interest in him and whose affections he’s considering reciprocating. She’s not his girl. She might be unattainable. Nevertheless, he can’t stop himself from making a play. Given his swagger, skill, and unerring way with words, it seems likely that the St. Louis rapper will walk away from the interaction with the girl on his arm.

Yet the perils and mysterious dynamics of infidelity are never far from his mind. DMF Musa packs a tremendous amount of storytelling substance into “I Feel,” his latest single. The wounded pride of the jilted boyfriend, the game-playing of the two-timer, the powerfully mixed emotions of the secret love: it’s all there. For anybody who has ever been strung along, subjected to a hot-and-cold relationship, or misled by a pretty face, here’s one for you.

Don’t get us wrong, though: “I Feel” is no idle complaint or aimless lament. DMF Musa sounds tough, even when he’s crooning come-ons. His wordplay is incisive, his rhymes are ruthlessly economical and straight to the point, and his flow is syrupy and sonorous in the long tradition of his city. St. Louis hip-hop has long split the difference between street grittiness and pop appeal, and no rapper has walked that tightrope with any more grace than DMF Musa does here. He’s matched his storytelling to a sultry, synthesizer-spiked beat and added just enough processing and coloring to his voice to amplify his emotion and drive his points home emphatically. Add “I Feel” to the long list of dazzling, genre-defying St. Louis hip-hop singles, and call DMF Musa a guardian of his city’s distinctive style.

He’s also a magnetic screen presence. In Real Woosie’s clip for “I Feel,” DMF Musa conveys all the moods and feelings present in the song’s subtly nuanced lyrics — he’s aroused, irritated, outraged, intrigued, and, ultimately, triumphant. Nevertheless, he doesn’t lose his cool. He’s able to convey a great deal with a simple gesture: a raise of the eyebrows, a jerk of the head, a look askance at a young woman who is treating him like a plaything, a challenging stare directed to the vicinity of her unknowing boyfriend. The action unfolds in a clothing store with a secret love chamber in the back, but really, the drama is going on in DMF Musa’s mind. Is the excitement of an illicit relationship worth the trouble? Does anybody involved have the willpower to resist it?

Follow DMF Musa: