Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Demrick "Heads Up" Album Review
It was just luck that I stumbled across Demrick's "Heads Up" album on datpiff.com. I think it was the "Official" badge that made me check it out (just a tip for artists trying to draw attention on datpiff), but I will say the artwork was a total non-factor. I would have normally skipped right past anything with a cover so plain. With all that said - this a must have for DJs and for fans of Hip-Hop.
There's a total of 17 tracks and thankfully there is no DJ screaming all over the music - this allows me to immediately run any track right into my mixes. "Caken Up (De Gottem)" leads "Heads Up" off with immediate heat, or 'lava flow' as Demrick boasts. The production is catchy as hell with that constant "De Got 'Em" looped up, but the real highlight is Young De's delivery and unique style. I was excited about the album as soon as I heard the first track. "Money and Weed" follows with a introduction reminiscent of Public Enemy's "The brutha don't swear he's nice...he KNOWS he's nice". Once again the production is dope and Demrick's flow and entire vibe are smooth. Brevi's a real nice feature on the record too with her layered vocals blessing the hooks. "Money and Weed" is definitely one of my favorite picks from "Heads Up". "Go Big" has that old boom-bap snare which I'm not a fan of unless it is engineered to absolutely slap. Demrick amps up his delivery within the verses with more aggression and attitude, but coupled with his singing in the beginning and Brevi's vocals it creates a a real fly flava.
The snyth in "Liar Liar" turned me off in the beginning, but it tones down once the record gets going - just not enough. The song just seems really noisy. Brevi visits this one with a verse of rhyme, but I definitely think she is worlds better singing on hooks. The "Guilty" interlude is cool, but if you know me you know I'm not a fan of intros, interludes, and outros. Write it out and let it be a complete song. As soon as "You're the One" drops in I had to stop it and pull out my Bootsy Collins "Munchies for Your Love" record to see if that was the guitar sample used - still not absolutely positive, but pretty damn sure. Regardless, "You're the One" is another favorite pick of mine from the album. Brevi once again joins Young De for another feature and she blazes this one. Her and Demrick make a great vocal combination. "In The Clouds" has a hint of The Weeknd vibe, but hits with some really crisp engineering and I think Demrick delivers more soul that The Weeknd. "In The Clouds" is a nice record, but not something you will ever hear in the clubs on out on the streets. The mellow tone of the song might be good for radio and is definitely good for kickin' around the house. "Burnout" fits the same vibe, but I think "In The Clouds" is the better of the two.
"This World" has crossover appeal in large doses. I like the breakbeat sample looped underneath it all, but not enough to make it a top pick for me. "Make It Happen" is HEAVILY breakbeat driven, but I wish Demrick would have brought a real DJ in the lab to lay down actual cuts rather than simulated cuts. The tracklisting says Xzibit is featured, but I didn't hear him anywhere in the record. Either the tracklisting is in error or Xzibit has completely flipped his flow. I think "Can't Always Rain" will get Demrick some attention if it can get some spins. I really think it would be an excellent record for a movie score. "Fight For Mine" may have the same potential, but I didn't like it - probably my least favorite song with the production and the crossover pop sound on the hooks. If I ever get my hands on the acapella though...I would chop Demrick's verses over different production and chop out the hooks. His lyrical assault is dope.
After that you get into five bonus tracks. I didn't like "Man on the Moon", but I liked "Back Again" once the beat drops in. I'm pretty sure Xzibit is actually on the "Back Again" record. If not, then I need to know who is on that last verse. "Runway Walk" again sounds like Xzibit with Demrick and Brevi tag-teaming the record. "What It Is" AGAIN sounds like Xzibit with Demrick. I don't know anything about Demrick, but I'm guessing he is somehow affiliated with Xzibit with all the appearances on the bonus records.
If you're not familiar with Demrick I would definitely recommend you listen to "Heads Up", and get connected with him on twitter @IamDEMRICK. The project definitely caught my attention and had me twisting him in my mixes. I may be hella late on Demrick, but I'm on board now.