Listen, I’m in a hurry so I’m gonna have to make this short and sweet. You need D-Celli’s D.F.O.C.: Disregard Females. Obtain Currency in your music library. You need to be bumpin this shit in your car. You need to have it in rotation at the next party you throw this summer. D.F.O.C. is real rap music – no strings attached, no bullshit involved. Day Day P’s production is top notch throughout the entire mixtape, and D-Celli (of Rockville, CT) lays down verse after verse with some of the best flow you’ve never heard of.
I’ll be back for a full review later, but for now, download D.F.O.C. right HERE, and tell me what you think. Leave a comment in the comment box, and if you’re feeling the tape like I am, support local hip-hop and post the link on Facebook/Twitter and blast it everywhere you go.
My Early Favorite Tracks: Big Brother, Can’t Complain, Hey World
UPDATE (8/1): Alright, I’m back for more. I’ve had two days to listen through D.F.O.C., and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I went up to Patriots training camp in Foxboro yesterday (1 hr 40 min drive each way) so I had plenty of time to bump it in the car, then I came home and threw on my Beats to give it more of a focused sit-down listen last night.
My initial major reaction to D-Celli’s first official mixtape available for download is surprise at just how complete of a project it is. And that doesn’t mean my expectations were low, I just know that a mixtape can have 12 great tracks and still not live up to its potential because of something as simple as song sequence or sound juxtaposition. Seven of the 12 songs on D.F.O.C. had been released prior to the official release of the mixtape as a whole, but somehow each of the seven felt new and fresh to me upon my first listen through, like I hadn’t heard them before, and a lot of that has to do with the overall order and flow of the tape.
Stylistically speaking, the song variety is a huge strength of D.F.O.C. D-Celli opens the tape with “Feelin’ It,” a laid-back introduction of sorts over Jay-Z’s classic beat…a “Jay-Z joint but a D-C feel.” The wordplay in this previously released song is crazy. All three verses are chock full of killer lines and references like “Most rappers are actors, scripts written in stanzas, I’ll spit to go bananas so I gave ‘em monkey bars, America’s Got Talent but I’m dancin’ with the stars, steady lifted off chemical physics spittin’ somethin different..” and
“think that you a Black Star I turn Mos Defs into probablies..”
Next up is “Big Brother” – an early track where Day Day P’s production shines as bright as D-Celli’s rapping. The beat drops and cuts off at the beginning as D-Celli spits the opening lines, then continues and absolutely bangs for the entire 2:57. D-Celli shows off what he claims he’s got in this song – “a flow that moves traffic” – and this is another early track that gives us a bit of insight into the artist’s vision and purpose. I dare you to not be reciting the hook and bobbing your head by the second time you listen to this song – I don’t think it’s possible to resist.
“CT Heavyweights” featuring Day Day P dropped earlier this month, and it’s definitely the hardest-hitting track on D.F.O.C. The machine-like muffled chorus chanting “I’m a heavyweight, a Connecticut heavyweight” gives this song a unique air to it. The track is darker than all the rest, but it works, and both D-Cellis and Day Day P’s verses are on point.
“107.7 Freestyle” has gotta be one of the coolest songs on the mixtape. D-Celli was featured on 107.7 WFCS FM New Britain earlier this month where he spit this craaazy three minute freestyle. This is a song you gotta hear for yourself and understand the context. This is live on a mic in a radio station. Three minutes straight off the top and D-Celli had the emcees calling for one more, as you’ll hear at the end of the track. Absolute fire. If this doesn’t showcase true talent I don’t know what does. There are more than enough dudes walking around calling themselves rappers nowadays, but when you hear someone who can spit live and sound just as good as they do in a studio session product, you know they’re for real.
The sample and beat in “Can’t Complain” are off the chain. The track is too catchy, and Day Day P opens with why he “just can’t complain” – “Lord helped me up, put a smile on my face, could be dead or nothin, coulda caught a bullshit case…we only live one life no price just keep the party jumpin..” I love how the sample fades out in the hook just before D-Celli’s verse, where as usual he complements Day Day flawlessly and spits at a helter skelter pace with lines like “kill bosses iller than syphilis, word to Capone love life as your livin it, if I ain’t got cream no matter I’m gettin it, cause its mind over matter but my mind is on Saturn, I mean minds on rings and things money’s what matters…” Might be the catchiest track on D.F.O.C.
“Emotional” also features Day Day P, and the track is a prime example of D-Celli’s ability to mix it up and provide variety in song style and lyrical content. Day Day’s opening verse on this is outstanding, and his production is a thing of beauty. D-Celli gets more, well, emotional…or deep, on this track than any of the others preceding it, and as a result this is not only one of the more unique, but also one of the clear standout tracks to me. Plus, how can you hate on the track that features the mixtape title in the lyrics?
The next song, “My Blueprints Are Illmatic”, is the very first D-Celli track I ever heard, sometime last winter. I’m not one hundred percent, but I’m pretty sure this is the first song he recorded on the mixtape, but like I said earlier, it still works and feels fresh in context.
Then you’ve got “Hey World” – I’m gonna be 100 percent honest (not that I haven’t been the whole way) right now – this is one of the best songs I’ve heard all summer. Not one of the best D-Celli songs, one of the best songs….period. He and Day Day P dropped this track in early May, and I’m looking at my iTunes library right now and “Hey World” has over 40 plays, and that’s just counting the plays on my computer. Add in the number of times I’ve listened to this song on my iPod while working out (I can’t help but sing along while Day Day P says “my chest a little firm now, thanks to all the liftin”…even if that’s just false encouragement) or in the car, and I guarantee the total would be pushing 100. This is just a down-t0-earth, feel good track, and all three verses – from Day Day, D-Celli, and Brikz – are outstanding. This track is right up there with basically every song off Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 in terms of me listening to and thinking, man, people are missing out not hearing this.
“Austin Powers” and “I Need A Dollar” are the final two previously released tracks. The beat on “Austin Powers” is beyond smooth, and both Day Day and D-Celli’s verses are as clean as it gets. Before you try to draw any comparisons with “I Need A Dollar,” I’ll do it for you, D-Celli destroys Chris Webby. Like it’s not close. Take D-Celli’s bars and throw in Mac Miller’s verse on Webby’s “Dollar,” and you’ve got a bonafide hit rather than a catchy but largely forgettable track with shoes that couldn’t be filled by the most overrated white rapper in America. I know D-Celli, who’s got “more artistic talent than all of the Ninja Turtles,” is a Webby fan (haaaa..) so I’ll take it easy on him, but this version of “I Need A Dollar” is the only one you need to concern yourself with.
Brikz, who’s featured on “Hey World,” returns for another dope verse on “Feel Me.” This track has an eery sound to it, and the beat seems to fit both Brikz and D-Celli perfectly. This isn’t one of the more memorable songs for me, but nonetheless it’s solid and is by no means a throwaway.
D.F.O.C. comes to a close with “Cold As Ice,” where D-Celli voices over in the beginning that “I gave ya’ll a mixtape, but I wrote this shit for me.” I don’t think his delivery is better at any point than it is on this track, and the bass-heavy beat definitely helps adds to the song in a big way. D-Celli talks about his priorities and the concept of sacrifice in this song, and how something like love and dedication are some of those things that may have to get put on the back burner in order to stay focused on music-related goals. I think this track serves as a perfect sign-off as it closes out the project on a high note and sets the tone for the future, in a way.
Bottom Line: I’m extremely impressed with D.F.O.C. I don’t think it’s going to get old anytime soon, and I truly believe this is only the beginning, a mere stepping stone on the path to greater things for D-Celli. Also, I hope I gave Day Day P’s production the credit it deserved throughout my track-by-track review. I’m no expert when it comes to production, but I know quality when I hear it, and I know D-Celli couldn’t have put out such a complete, clean-sounding product without the production efforts of Day Day as well as Brikz and Day Day P’s features throughout the tape. I hope you’ve downloaded this mixtape by now. Hit up Dylan on Twitter and give him the props he deserves.