Underground Spotlight: Dreb by Elijah Powell

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No matter what you rap about, all I ask is that you can actually rap. You wanna talk about politics? Fine. You wanna make love ballads? Cool. You wanna talk about the horrors of the ghetto? Do it. Just make sure you can properly execute lyricism on full songs that sound distinct from each other that each touch upon the various components of whatever subject matter you choose to rap about. That is the key to a good rap project.

 

Dreb, one-half of the rap group OTO (Out of The Ordinary), is an emcee hailing from Englewood, New Jersey. The duo’s latest release, Dead Weight 2, is a mixtape project that exploits well known beats and combines them with lyricism that brings the beats new life. It’s also amazing that they go harder on the beats than the actual artists who originally used the beats for their copyrighted songs. It shows skill when you take someone else’s work and do it better. DW2 is an example of that skill on all eight songs.

 

If you’ve ever heard Troy Ave’s All About The Money track, produced by Roofeeo, you’d probably agree that its a lyrically underwhelming song that had potential to be a smash hit record. OTO took the beat and saved the day: “Before these people even utter out a word, I’m bound to press em’/ Run down, put this forty to work like a Drake session/ My recreation, my territory no playground/ Like a lullaby, my forty be singing until he lay down”. Dreb connects Drake’s producer, Noah Forty Shebib, to his glock forty firearm, and connects the action of firing it to “singing” until his enemy dies, or lays down. If you want to talk about murder, thats the way to do it.

 

In an interview  with Dreb I listened to what the young emcee had to say:

 

What is your age?

 

I’m 19.

 

What inspires you to make music?

 

What inspires me to make music was the feeling of helping people get through things…So many people deal with different things everyday and I figured why not help the next person’s day become better? No matter what genre.

 

How long did it take to complete the mixtape?

 

It took us about 2 months to create Dead Weight 2. We had this idea of bringing back that raw lyricism that the game is kind of lacking right now and snap on every single [track].

 

How was the creative process for you?

 

The creative process was actually rough because at one point so much was going on that we lost focus but we bounced back strong and were able to come together and complete the tape.

 

What do you see for your future as a musician?

 

My future will consist of constant dedication and love of the game…Don’t get me wrong, yeah the money, cars, and clothes are great things that come along with it, but there’s nothing like having passion for the game. I want to be known as not only one of the greatest artists to ever touch the mic but I want to be remembered as the most impactful.

 

In a way the mixtape is a musical embodiment of classic gangster films: well written and to the point. Its been a long time since I’ve been drawn into such a well crafted explicit release. I give it a 6.9 out of ten. It’s not for everybody, but if you appreciate raw lyricism with no filter, you’ll enjoy OTO’s Dead Weight.

 

You can download or stream the mixtape for free here.

 

Peace.