Tickets to the Dope Show is a project that can best be described or defined as the ideas that its title and indeed the band name conjure up. This project is incredibly impressive for so many reasons, impeccable lyricism being a pretty big part of that, but at its core – this is music you can turn up loud and lose yourself within for a while. Here’s a break down of what to look forward to.
Higher Than High (Feat Lyrik) is a track with a dreamlike, almost underwater-style soundscape and a quickly infectious hook melody. On top of this, or rather – driving the sentiment right through it all – is the leading rap vocal. This voice has an unquestionable sense of character about it, the delivery follows a specific flow that feels partly spoken word and partly classic hip hop. There’s confidence and swagger to the verses and in a way this contrasts quite distinctly with the delicacy and peacefulness of the ambiance. The lyrics have a similar effect, though there’s so much pride and positivity in terms of self-empowerment within them. Without a doubt, all of this combined results in a track that you’ll easily recognizable after just a single listen.
Zimbabwe feels like an actual carnival from the offset. The beat is brilliantly creative, and the colour and sense of fun that emerges in the vocals – as well as in the musicality – underlines a real layer of optimism and a passion for expression and music. That now familiar leading voice follows a quicker pace here, flawless and clever with those lyrics – wordplay and descriptive story-telling intertwine throughout. The details are brilliant and always in keeping with this underlying theme of travel and escapism. A definite early highlight.
The project’s title track is one that presents an immediate sense of weight and drama. The production, along with the single-toned and slightly dark delivery creates an industrial, alternative mood that feels reminiscent of the artistically free Tyler, the Creator. The beat is superb, tripped up and raw, slightly unsettling but easy to vibe to even so. As far as eclecticism goes, this project speaks volumes and represents the various themes of both the supposed dope show and indeed the carnival way of life. The lyrics on this track are insane, intelligent and out there, in need of way more than a single listen to truly appreciate the clever intricacies and observations.
Margo Santana takes you a little further South and creates a totally vintage, cinematic journey – within which Darc Angel’s vocals pour through at perhaps the most impressive level yet. The verses captivate intensely, and the music feels classic, cool – as if it’s all part of a short film. Another highlight and a must for the long-term playlist. You get about as close to lyrical genius as possible with this track; well worth exploring.
Keeping the cinematic elements alive and well, Hector follows with familiarity and relevant tension. The beat fits the mood beautifully, another supreme and professionally crafted backdrop, structurally unique and interesting at every step. The lyricism is delivered in a mellow, care-free kind of way – a different side to the leading character emerges performance wise. The story as always holds tight to your attention. This album is, by all accounts, a journey through the various scenes or pages of some epic tale, the likes of which occasionally lean a little too close to home – merging realness and fiction in the perfect way.
Darc Angel’s voice and consciously sharp displays of language make for a character that feels safe to turn to when music is the only way. His approach has a sense of leadership about it, the confidence and ability combined that gets listeners trusting in the quality and the moment – escaping from their own issues almost completely for a while. Urban Litty seals the deal in that respect, this retro-electronica soundscape is backed up by a compelling string of lyrics and a notably rhythmic delivery. The beat is thick and nostalgic and drives the movement of the track really well. The musical pause and the fast-paced speech that follows leave your mind working overtime to take it all in. A brilliant bit of artistry.
Adding a final flicker of individuality and variety, Ate Good is a blissfully delicate, jazz-cafe-like piece of music, with a gentle rap flow and somehow even more of those forever interesting ideas and examples of wordplay and theatre combined. The hook provides a welcomed break from the relentless outpouring of lyrics, as well as lighting up the darker corners with something a little more fun or laid back. Musically this grows to be an immersive and immense track that again rightfully wins its place in the long-term playlist. Hip hop and eclectic music fans alike should be extremely grateful for whatever brought this team of creatives together. Get your Tickets To The Dope Show on July 27th.
Lockness Carnival features Darc Angel as Emcee and Usul Strange as producer. Check out the album via Deezer, Tidal or iTunes. Find & follow the label Solar Panel Music on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Visit their Website for more information.