2013 has ushered a strong focus for artists to put out content driven projects. The Kendrick Lamars and Chance the Rappers have focused in creating stories with their songs, reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop. Artists today have taken upon themselves to put out the same conceptual projects in an attempt to bring in the audience to focus on what they are speaking about. In this case, Dee Gunnz has achieved the same goal...or has he?
'December Black Illusion' begins with the record "Prince", an introduction giving a harmonious melody explaining the struggle between different topics such as racism, politics of hip-hop, and bar-to-bar lyricism. "Prince" sets the tone for the rest of the project with establishing the bar for introspective rap. Unfortunately for me, I do not see this as a positive especially I hear the production. The production sounds washed and not perfected, almost of a lower caliber which takes away from the message of the record (and consistently the whole project). The next few records are lackluster, with "Eddie King" featuring a very un-entertaining feature from "Monroe" with a stale beat and with "Meditate" having a boring rap subject and no energy. This was the first point that I turned off the project and tried to go back to see what was going on...unfortunately it seemed like I have not missed much. "Cocaine" is where the project picks up a little bit of energy, with a very moving orchestral string (FL Studio) melody and some soft drums. Dee Gunnz speaks about hurt and pain in the social context of society. I wish I could say more but there is nothing to truly speak about on the records.
Dee Gunnz has a lot of skills on the technical side of rapping. However, the records he's composed for this project simply do not make the cut for a fine-tuned listener. As a lover of hip-hop, I understand the different modes of connection with the listener but what Dee Gunnz is doing has not been crucial to that context. As a result, there is not much to say really about the rest of the project besides the fact that it sounds dull. Words of advice: Get better production. The FL studio beats can only take you so far. Push the envelope of the sounds you are looking for and don't settle for less. Verse wise...don't sound monotone. It's uninteresting and not substantial. Also get better cover art...for that first impression.
All this is meant to encourage growth...not to demean your hard work!!!