Driving with a clear sense of drama, creative sound-play and a classically engaging rap style, Deja Lu pays tribute to the legends of yesteryear whilst offering a playlist of hard-hitting originals designed to reignite the initial passion of the hip hop genre.
From stop-start scratch-work to cinematic reverb and rhythms, Slipping kicks in as the first full-length track and introduces the vocal tone and uniquely detailed story-telling of Deja Lu with style and subtle swagger.
The beat is refreshing, somewhat vintage and minimalist but ultimately uninhibited for its sense of freedom. And this continues throughout, Deja Lu making fine use of immersive, likeable soundscapes – Myself(s) a strong example; soulful melodies and defiantly unpredictable, compelling story-lines.
Growing Pain recaptures any wandering minds with a gripping and poignant story that holds attention for its painful imagery and depth of concept. This thoughtful and unexpected air of intention stands tall throughout the album, and the retro production style allows it to feel authentically timeless and intriguing.
Bleed To Exceed is another striking example that touches on contemporary issues in a personal yet poetic, all encompassing fashion.
Featuring a plethora of different flows, and an unstoppable creative backbone in terms of each soundscape, Lucid Dream makes for a consistently easy alternative to much of the current hip hop landscape. Not a bar is wasted, no overproduction or auto-tune in sight, just classic musicality and hard-hitting verses that provoke a deeper level of thought.
Other highlights include Lose To Find for its colour and sense of possibility, The Art Of Jaw for its Beastie Boys-esque rhythm, organic set-up and vintage finish, and We for its mellow, soulful outpouring and a well-placed feature for dynamic.
Thank You also lifts the mood well at the penultimate moment, right before Nike finishes things up with self-empowerment and a bold juxtaposition between ambient sound design and infectiously gritty, passionate vocals.
A strong album, simply put – worth far more than a single listen to catch every concept and mood.