Kellen Fredrickson // Evan Dale // Jan 22, 2018
As two of the founders and creative minds behind this magazine, music has obviously always been a longstanding point of connection for our friendship. Dot Demo, an underrated, underground lyricist from New York has been one of our favorite rappers for years. But, in recent months with a pair of releases, Nahforreal' and Delirium, he's stepped up the drive and the attitude necessary to take the next step. Without discussing to his latest project, Delirium, both of us listen to it and pen our organic responses Those opinons and organic responses read below.
Putting into words the enigmatic wave that is Dot Demo may be one of the more difficult tasks we’ve tackled here at RNGLDR.
A bright phenom hailing from the South Bronx, NY, Demo possesses the dynamism of the industry’s strongest lyricists, without sacrificing ethereal backgrounds and the ever-present Empire State of Mind we have all come to expect from New York’s finest.
Perhaps the most impressive feat yet in Demo’s career, Delirium comes on the heels of his 2018 buzzer beater Nahforreal’.
A polished project in its own right, Nahforreal’ is a grittier, harder hitting compilation that showcases Demo’s unique ability to weave high-brow lyrics with upbeat tracks, spinning a tale of life and strife across 10 tracks.
This brand of rap, as championed by the Ultra Nostra grandmaster himself, is not a pigeon hole that Dot lives in.
For all intents and purposes, Delirium is a converse take on Nahforreal’s brazen matter-of-factness.
Rather than adhering to that methodology, Delirium is strikingly introspective, a consideration through lofi industrial beats.
Make no mistake that these projects are complimentary. That said, something about this follow up feels distinctly different.
Edgier, but not as obvious.
Lyrical finesse is the major standout of Delirium.
A deeply contemplative take on life, loss, and the realities of life on the edge explored through myriad flows and styles.
We’ve come to expect heavy hitters from the Ultra Nostra headliner, and there are more than a few tracks that don’t fail to please as far as that’s concerned.
Rundown, Phantom of the Opps, and Hunnit are the standouts if you want something that bangs in the speakers, backed by effortlessly deep lyrics and high-quality production.
Rounding out the middle of the spectrum are tunes like Simmer Down, David Banner Freestyle/Bad Times, and Nothing Like Me.
These are, for as far as can tell, the happy medium where Demo’s full range is on display, combining harder beats and more evocative lyrics without neglecting to pay either side it’s due respect.
That said, there are a few tracks on Delirium that I think are easily the best to listen to, and somehow continue to improve every time you run them back. Obe Interlude, 24karat Halo, Still Trippin’, and Pressure on Me are all so artfully crafted it’s hard to not put them on repeat for hours at a time.
Raw, unfiltered, but not rough around the edges.
That is in essence what Delirium is, and following the slap-heavy project Nahforreal’ up with such a complimentary but drastically different compilation is nothing short of impressive.
Demo does not get the credit he deserves for the amount of production and lyricism he puts out while maintaining a very distinct, unapologetic, hard-nosed, street-wise brand of hip hop.
Keep your eyes on Dot Demo.
There is still plenty to come, and if the progression of quality we’ve come to expect continues I would not be surprised to see more and more listeners becoming closely familiar with Demo’s refreshing spin on hip hop.
East Coast vibes mixed with a third-eye-open perspective enables such intriguing music.
Keep it coming, Dot.
There is a fleeting moment off the bat and a series of tangible textures and aesthetics throughout Dot Demo’s new album, Delirium that are reminiscent of an East Coast take on Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. Obviously, the lyrical prowess of Dot, whose name itself takes note of Kendrick Lamar’s most well-establish nickname, K.Dot, is perhaps his most well-known musical attribute. But, lyricism, though certainly the most fervent pillar to his foundation, is only the tip of the iceberg.
It’s hard to have lyricism without flow – it’s hard to have poetry without rhythm – and in no way is Dot lacking in either department that makes classic rap exactly what it’s supposed to be. Seamlessly weaving in and out of any beat he comes across, he shows us exactly why he is one of the most underrated pure rappers in the game today. Transitions between each song provide him ample space to completely switch up his flow without losing his tight grip on the project itself. In Delirium’s tertiary track, Nothing Like Me, Dot meditatively rides a Dilla-reminiscent, relaxed beat, while in the following track, Hunnit, he brings a much more violent and off-beat cadence to production that thrives from a more volatile delivery. A few tracks later with the Obe Interlude, Dot exhibits his knack for working overtop an especially laid-back, romantic beat and delivers a mellow smoke jam. In effect, Nothing Like Me comes to be a warm, fluid hip-hop cooler, while Hunnit is a high-energy, addicting banger with a chorus to match, and Obe Interlude turns into the kind of mellow track many high-energy artists today have trouble delivering.
It’s that kind of versatility which exists everywhere on the album, not only these three tracks, that allows Dot Demo for the first time to properly display just how well-rounded, talented, and underrated he really is.
His 2016 debut project, Outer Body Experience, was a marathon project that showed more than just glimpses, but rather a solid, wide-angle view of the kind of artist he might one day become. Roberto Clemente in particular found a huge audience and delivered him to his first taste of the limelight. Two years passed before he delivered last November’s Nahforreal’ which was strewn with high-energy bangers and the kind of attitude that proved Dot had had enough of the lack of recognition. Not even two months later, and he delivers, this, Delirium– his masterpiece to this point.
Defined by clever and timely sampling and skits, the likes of which we wish were more prevalent on the album to help drive a storyline, everything else falls into place without effort. Defined by lyricism, by flow, by cadence; Defined by meaningful penmanship, by classic low-fidelity New York production, by a balance between the old and the new, Delirium is the kind of project from the kind of artist that make us question why music like it doesn’t more often finds its way into acclaim from the public hip-hop fanbase.
But, perhaps it will. There is nothing about the project asking for more of what someone else is doing in hip-hop today. Uniqueness, brashness, and raw talent rarely come together in one artist, but Dot Demo has them and leaves them all out on the field of Delirium.