Earlier this month, locals Dephyant, an emcee and freestyle connoisseur and producer Raw Threat shared with us their latest album, Dirty Pairadice through a digital release. After giving us a couple weeks to get acquainted, tomorrow (Friday) is the official release party for the album. Taking place at Bogies, the release party will feature performances from Dephyant & Raw Threat, Animal Cracker and Mic Lanny (Guilty by Association), Alpha Faktion, Mike Arson, Stillborn Identity & Baker, with DeeJay Tone on the decks. Hardcopies of Dirty Pairadice will be available as well.
I’ve been listening to the album for a couple weeks now, and while I also enjoyed Dephyant’s earlier EP with Critical Beatz, I feel Dirty Pairadice showcases a more refined collection of lyricism, with Dephyant trying his hand at different styles. Prior to this album, when I thought of Dephyant, I thought of spitfire rapping, intensity & passion for his craft and the curious ability to be able to kick a freestyle regardless of if others have gathered around or not. While the passion and these things have not disappeared, I feel it’s been refocused. This album is not a collection of flexing fast raps, it is a collection of curated songwriting, with the production created with challenging the rapper in mind.
I think Raw Threat showcased that he is a perfect match for Dephyant, and I can listen to this album with the production as the focus one listen and the vocals as the focus on the next. Neither overshadows the other and it is a successful collaborative effort. The beats can stand on their own if this was an instrumental but is only heightened and strengthened with Dephyant’s vocal approach and feature verses. Raw Threat produced music that fits the flow vocally and Dephyant adapted well to each specific beat. Each song has a different feel to it, with the same subtle signature touches on it. Kudos to Raw Threat on this one.
The album features my (biased) favorite rappers from the area, Giant Gorilla Dog Thing, Dood Computer, Mista Pigz, Emcee Graffiti, Gorilla Tao, Animal Cracker and Mic Lanny. The album was mixed by Scott Chambers & PJ Katz, mastered by PJ Katz, engineered by Animal Cracker & Scott Chambers, with album art courtesy of Golly Gee Visuals.
Overall, I was impressed by Dephyant on this album, as he showcased that not only has he been learning this whole time, he’s been tactfully gearing up for his turn, with eyes and hunger for the next project. His delivery and style will change and evolve a couple more times over until he finds and encompasses his trademark, all while elevating his song writing. Dephyant works with a lot of syllables and patterns, and it’s almost as if he approaches each song as a challenge met, raising the bar for himself and challenging what he knows what he is capable of to see what he can come up with next. I think that this album is a milestone for Dephyant in his career, and the next will be even more polished, (with some of that Dephyant honest grit, of course).
It’s also evident that he had some fun with this one and wasn’t in the booth solely to display that he can rap, and rap well. This album features well-written and well-composed songs that have heart behind them and it’s an enjoyable listen, especially as the 518 and beyond is getting to know Dephyant.
KAB picks: “Live From the Death Camp,” “Keep It Moving” and “Punchline, Filla, Filla”