Rap has meandered its way on a strange journey over the past few years. The genre once dominated by the sobering and hard-hitting likes of 2Pac, Biggie, and Eminem has become one filled to the brim with the constant rattling of cicada high-hats, and people who can’t seem to do much more than string random brags together in a rhythm that’s always triplets.
Enter Dpph. A true music-lover, there are no off-the-shelf beats to be found on this album; the entire masterpiece being produced by Dpph himself. With the whole collection clocking in at just over 24 minutes (with the longest song being Steamwrks, a deliciously dark 3:43 collaboration with Hertfordshire music stalwart, Ashley Fields), the album is a series of delightfully varied tracks, which clearly have a plethora of musical influences. One could say this is the wake-up call that rap needs; a poignant pill to remedy the braggadocious and downright repetitive sickness that plagues the genre at the moment.
It’s clear that Hrmnc.Pt1 is a modern artform being crafted by classic hands – despite Perturb Me (the undeniably brilliant lead single featuring the perpetually pleasant Minnie Birch) being a pleasure to listen to on its own, the album almost creates a cohesive narrative of its own, given the atmospheric opener, Nieman, and the sampled overlaid spoken word samples at points. That’s not to say that the baby’s thrown out with the bathwater, though – at its heart, the album contains solid lyrics from cover to cover, whether it’s the so-salty-you-can-feel-your-tastebuds-melt “Billie Eilish / Wearing lime ‘n’ shit / Got a million hits / and still slittin’ her wrists” from 2020bustinmoves, or “Poverty is monochrome / but luxury comes in many different flavours” from the aforementioned Steamwrks.
On the whole, Hrmnc.Pt 1 is quirky and well-considered enough to win the hearts and minds of people who aren’t traditional rap fans, while the bars contain gem after gem of introspection, reflection, and commentary on life today that will have appreciating Dpph’s penmanship.
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DISCLAIMER: Dpph contributes to TempoTempo for the Daily Dip segment of the site, but his material is reviewed independently in the same way as all other artists featured on the site.