Friday, October 27, 2017

Music Review: Darko the Super "Don't Call The Brain Police!" (Already Dead Tapes)

First of all this is a digital only release because all money made from it goes to the ACLU and I couldn't be happier about that.   This is also Darko the Super's first release of 2017 and while there would be quite a few to follow, this was certainly a strong way to kick off the year.     I'd be interested in knowing if Already Dead has ever done a digital only album before (Aside from a compilation), but I suppose that is a piece of trivia for another time (Joshes interviewing each other podcast coming one day... Believe!)

As I've said about Darko before, the biggest thing a rapper needs in my opinion is a unique voice.    On some level, you can have someone help make you beats, you can have guest spots on your songs or even guest writers in a sense.   I even feel like at times I could recreate hip hop beats myself and put together rhymes, but that flow of trying to say the words a specific way- with a rhythm- is something which cannot be taught.

Unlike too many so-called rappers on the radio today, Darko the Super stands out on his own, his songs easy enough to pick out when everything I hear on the radio tends to sound like Drake and, no, that is not a good thing.   Though Darko never says on this album that he hates the radio (Though at least two strong rap albums from this year make that claim), there are still enough disses to other rappers, saying things like how he didn't get his name from a Wu Tang name generator.

Just as easily as Darko can poke fun at his contemporaries (Though are they even on his level?), he can pay homage to them by sampling lines or phrases of a sort (which he does for Gorillaz) and also he just seems to love the references to pop culture, saying he'll make you dance like Elaine Benes.   What my favorite reference on this album is though goes out to the S. Darko nod.   Why was "Donnie Darko" such a great movie but "S. Darko" was such shit?

In the title of this album, the "Brain Police" are a nod to Frank Zappa, which makes sense because you can even hear his influence on this music.    But I feel like now more than ever we need to be aware of the constant dumbing down of our society on a whole.   If you have something intelligent to say, it is often overlooked by something stupid.   I don't really watch television anymore, but it always felt like the shows with decent writing got overlooked by reality shows like "Survivor" and the Kardashians. 

Really, we should stop making stupid people famous, but at the same time, I've always said there has been this upside down feeling in the world of arts: the seemingly least talented artists somehow get the most attention.    Can we please go back to the time when music meant something?   Can we smash the radio and start over?   But yo, listen to this album and remember one thing if nothing else from it: Never dumb yourself down for anyone else, at any cost.   You're better than that (probably, I mean, I don't really know you)

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