While a great deal of talented artists have yet to put out a complete collection of new material (as opposed to peacemeal mixtapes largely recycling popular beats), d.p. puts them to shame with "fortyeighthours.," named for the amount of time it took to write, produce and record the 11-track album with the purpose of calling attention to his official debut later this year. Now, a boast like that from an artist is just asking for the product to be called unpolished or rushed. Well, it's not.
d.p. resides in Gainesville, Florida, a hip hop scene I'm only familiar with via (the incredibly dope) CYNE, but has a sound that can't really be classified as "southern" or "Floridian." His self-produced beats are often driven by piano loops and quiet drum patterns, extremely simple and yet perfectly functional. Perhaps the most impressive quality d.p. displays is his uncanny ability to write and sing affecting, catchy hooks. There are thousands of American rappers who can spit a hot sixteen, but so few who can write a chorus worth hearing. And these hooks really shouldn't work; d.p.'s not an especially good singer, but he never attempts any notes he can't safely hit and never forces too much information into the lines. Keep it simple, stupid—if you can't foresee fans chanting it at a concert, your hook probably sucks. d.p. knows this and lives by it.
Now how the fuck's the kid's actual rapping? Well, as smooth and simple as his hooks. While not an especially exceptional lyricist, d.p. can flow rather effortlessly and is reasonably successful at getting across his message (which is for the most part that he loves smoking/drinking/fucking, but put much more poetically). Basically he's your average white-collar MC speaking on easily relatable subjects. I should also mention that he sounds a LOT like Joe Budden when he's rapping, though he's not nearly as lyrically complex or angry at the world.
As you might expect but not really consider, the album is remarkably cohesive, both something of a blessing and a curse. It's great to hear a hip hop album that actually maintains its sonic and lyrical themes throughout, but the songs on "fortyeighthours." are at times too similar to each other, to the point where it's difficult to distinguish one piano loop from the next. A gentle criticism for an album that took only two days to finish.
If forced to point out particular standout tracks, just about the entire first half is very good, as the production has yet to seem too repetitive. Opening track "The Mirror" has one of the best hooks, while "Lettin It Go" features what is probably d.p.'s best rapping performance, ending his reminiscent verse, "Like the first time we touched, I'm always chasin' for that // I take it straight, don't need no chaser for that!" The last joint, "Hope I Wake Up Tomorrow" is something of a quietly beautiful swan song, with d.p. musing on his life and hopes for the future over a beat that is hardly more than some drums and a few guitar strums.
Needless to say, if d.p. can put together something as solid as this in 48 hours, it will be interesting to see what he can put together in several months for his official debut.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: May 26, 2009