Dot Demo Continues Run of Dynamic Projects with My Brother's Keeper
Kellen Fredrickson // Aug 10, 2019
As you’ve been drowned in consumer culture through your lifetime, marketing schemes during gifting seasons have prompted you with a cliché:
“What to get the person that has it all.”
In hopes of providing something unique that someone has never had or thought about at any point during their lifetime, you’ve pulled the trigger – probably on a gift or two lacking uniqueness or specialness in any way.
But, imagine for a moment that the metaphorical gift giver is South Bronx hyper-lyricist, Dot Demo. His latest project, My Brother’s Keeper – a unique and special gift no one but him could have conceived – would be a welcome surprise to any fan of hip-hop’s most fervent pillars.
It’s been almost impossible to keep up with Dot Demo the last two years, during which the prolific lyricist has released not one, not two, but three concurrent projects. The trilogy of releases includes Nahforreal’, Delirium, and My Brother’s Keeper. And although minimal time has passed between their drops, one could easily imagine how each project might have been released years apart.
Stylistically, each is as varied as the next, placing the daily life of hustle and flow in the industrial mecca of New York at the forefront of its storytelling while letting the rest of the music wander boundlessly through annals of experimentation.
It’s interesting that, though after the release of Delirium we thought we had seen the dynamic extent of Dot Demo, his newest iteration somehow manages to exist in a different lane than either of its predecessors – or any of his canon before that.
Gritty, unapologetic, illuminating, and polished are common threads we have come to expect from Dot Demo. However, this newest work presents it in a fresh conceptual package.
This in part is no doubt due to the masterful composition on behalf of RUNITUPDAY!, the production mastermind behind My Brother’s Keeper.
The pair manages to do something that bends genres as well as time periods. It’s as if the classic undertones of East Coast hip-hop beats have met the zen-like delivery and contemporary viewpoint that Dot Demo’s penmanship and delivery perennially bring to the table.
The result is a project that is unmistakably true to its musical roots, yet brings the vibe into the 21st-century and beyond. Putting his flow on display in a way that is both markedly new and as unmistakably unique while at the same time still very much his signature is a linear ability Dot Demo has exhibited before, and something he has impressively done again with My Brother’s Keeper.
For it’s harder hitting waves, It’s Alright, Don’t Kome Round Here, Hunnit Band$, Extortion (Paranoia), and Yardsale deliver head slapping compositions that are at this point such a staple of Dot’s music that we tend to overlook just how poetic his delivery weaves a storyline beneath the high-energy intensity. And yet, the variation between each is instantly recognizable.
At the meat of the album – the auditory adhesive that holds it all together – tracks like What We On, Slr, and Picture Me Flowin are the perfect medium between the bounce and high end of Dot Demo’s spectrum and My Brother’s Keeper more metered moments.
Lastly Dot and DAY! hit us with the emotive cuts that make a listener feel like they’re floating through a metropolis on the weightlessness of a somber cloud. Fettucine, 3:33, I Don’t Like Showin Emotion, and His & Her’s ride the low-fidelity end of the spectrum. Slowing it down without losing any of the razor-sharp timing rounds out the incredible delivery and execution of this collaborative musical score.
At the end of the day, pinpoint accuracy between each distinct motif is what makes My Brother’s Keeper an incredible album. The chemistry between Dot Demo and RUNITUPDAY! has produced a purely magical final cut of paradoxically cohesive yet diverse hip-hop that spans genres, time periods, and emotions. The highs and the lows, the in-betweens, and everything else that comes with it.
The music seems to mirror the daily tests and fluctuations of life, which is a profound thought considering the album feels so approachable, so relatable, and resonates with just about any open-minded member of its audience. To this end it’s little surprise that Yardsale and What We On have already accrued enough Spotify listens to join the likes of Roberto Clemente, Wok, and 24karat Halo on his list of top 5 career streams.
Not only will My Brother’s Keeper likely come to subsist as Dot Demo’s most popular project to date, but it also checks the boxes of an artist that has truly turned the corner and continues to push towards an endless reach of perfecting his craft. First, he showed us his range. Next, he showed us his finesse. And now, he’s shown us that he can walk the walk, talk the talk, and fold all his gifts into one package signed, sealed, and delivered for epochally and stylistically varying hip-hop ears.
My Brother’s Keeper isn’t just great to listen to. It’s great period. Ultra Nostra Records is off to a sprinting start.