I figure we’ll do more of these music reviews…
The last review you read here was of Chicago’s own Vic Spencer and his latest release, “Vic Greenthumbs”. Tonight, I’ll attempt to give you the rundown on Chicago rapper/producer brandUn DeShay’s debut album, “All Day DeShay: AM”.
No hypebeast, but Mr. DeShay is that dude. A witty lyricist and excellent producer, I’ve been rocking with this kid since I first downloaded “Volume: Two! For The Show”. His sound is truly unique and anyone who raps, “I’m done with the Cleveland Steamers/Had to get that shit up off my chest” will get two thumbs up from me. He has sampled Bloc Party, Mark Ronson and Bird And The Bee, and has killed each track.
“All Day DeShay: AM” was released on September 30, 2011, to much fanfare. DeShay has a fairly sizable Twitter following, and I’m sure it has only grown since his latest release. DeShay stated some time ago that he was done rapping, but I’m glad he had a change of heart.
The album’s first track, “Shay Loves To Ball” is reminiscent of a feel-good summer song, with what I think are Marvin Gaye vocals in the background. Or some old-school crooner. The sax in the background makes the song, along with said vocals. “World Famous” sounds like more of his older music, including the Pokemon reference. Alas, this is DeShay’s style; the “weirdness”, I suppose. Chicago MC Rockie Fresh and DeShay stunt on “They Notice” and two tracks later, DeShay spits to a womanfriend on “Ur Fresh”. Allen Ritter’s vocals on “VirGo Away For Awhile” perfectly complement DeShay’s flow, while DeShay once again spits to his dream girl.
“Canopy” is by far my favorite and in my opinion, best track on the entire album. I’m an unabashed atheist and the first line, “I had to ask God, why do he be testin’ me daily…” punched me in the mouth. Squarely. “Ain’t nobody made me feel the way this beat did”, DeShay rapped in the first verse. Trust this young MC; the beat will do something to you, too. I won’t lie; I’ve played this song over 50 times since downloading the album. DeShay wonderfully articulates his love for his music, and again, a woman: “We’re so far from Ken and Barbie, but you know that we’re perfect”. I’ve talked to seven of my friends who happen to be brandUn DeShay fans and the consensus is that this song is absolute greatness.
Young Toronto raptor Raz Fresco introduces his first-time listeners to his flow on “Why Bother”, while the saxophone and DeShay’s passionate flow make yet another return. Kids These Days member Vic Mensa, fresh off a summer performance at Lollapalooza, lends his bars to “FTW!” and arguably the best punchline on the entire album: “And baby tell me that I don’t be speakin’, so it seem/That I be thinking that I don’t know her like Joakim”. This is definitely a track that would’ve gotten some shindig love during the summer. The same goes for “1Up”. I wasn’t fond of the direction the album took on “Letter to God”, but you can’t dispute the sincerity of the lyrics. DeShay goes back to ironing shit out with a lover, this time a digital one, on “Take It Back”. We get a short instrumental on “LATER! *OVA*” and the finale, “Canopy Pt. II”, which is actually a bonus track. It’s not quite the first version, but DeShay doesn’t deviate from his formula; expressing his love for his music. And girl. Well, both, really.
I was extremely excited to find out about this release and even more excited to actually have it in my possession. It wasn’t Vol. 1 or Vol. 2. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t “Beats from brandUn DeShay”…which was just a mixtape full of 1:34 instrumentals. However, this debut was most definitely a solid one. I could’ve done without the pining for his dream girl, but again, this is DeShay’s style. I hear the desire for greatness in each and every bar. Maybe this wasn’t an A+ performance, but it was certainly an A+ effort, and I can’t wait to hear what the rapper/producer extraordinaire comes up with for his next project.