I have to confess that everything I know about hip-hop comes from watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and being subjected to the same TLC tape over and over when I shared a room with my sister as a kid. Even so, Druovanni Defoe’s debut release The Maestro is accessible and easily absorbed as it explores the same introspective themes as many successful albums before it. Themes including reconciling youthful dreams with current reality, learning to move on and embracing the life you have. Along with this there are a few thinly veiled jibes at pop culture and politics.
Sprinkled with a few film and TV quotes to reflect the vibe of the tracks, The Maestro takes a dark tone from the outset with tracks Angel and Well It Iz giving a solid impression of who Druovanni is; a smart rhyming, smooth-flowing storyteller with no fake at all. Beats and effects are sparse and open allowing the rhyme to remain the focus of the track. For what I have managed to hear of modern hip-hop the production is on point.
Tracks that really pop are Come Widdit with its pure distillation of 90’s R’n’B and an ear-worm of a chorus and Dolla Sign Migraine, a more modern tune with megatons of vibe.
Fans of 90s and early 2000s hip-hop and R’n’B will appreciate the way it brings a well-loved musical era up to date and rappers will delight in the flow.