How to get high off music; a mixtape review
Dan âDKâ Kozerski just doesnât take himself as seriously as he should. The country club emceeâwho is valiantly fighting to give rappers who wear sweater vests a good nameâdropped his sophomore mixtape, From The Outside In, on August 7. The 12-track project mixes DKâs unorthodox voice, unorthodox instrumentals and unorthodox song topics for an easy listening, must-download tape.
Now, the key is just getting him to realize it.
The DePaul University sophomore scatters shoutouts to his Northville High School clique throughout the project, spitting how they âkick it on Beck, hit a party on Sheldonâ and describing their secondary school lunch schedule. While that shit flew on DKâs first mixtape, Music Is My High, which built a cult-like following in the rap Mecca that is Northville, it doesnât here. From The Outside In got over 1000 downloads in less than 24 hours, something DK needs to understand.
The 19-year-old is better than that, and the rest of the mixtape proves it.
âLove My Lifeâ makes you want to plop a lawn chair in your front yard and suck down a few (ten?) PBRâs. DK combines slow-moving brass instrumentals with smart rhymes to send listeners a message: âYeah I tried weed, I had to feel the feeling/Turns out you just hit McDonaldâs up to the damn ceiling/Musicâs still my high, yeah thatâs my first love/I still do it for the fans Iâm never above.â
DK doesnât have a typical rapperâs voiceâwhich takes its toll on some of his hooksâand shows hints of a lisp at times. But his choice of instrumentals complements his unusual tone perfectly. Heâs one of the few emcees who can spit over blues, jazz, reggae and funk beats, as heard in âSomeday,â in which he displays an uncanny ability for assonance: âSlow it down with me, sit around with me/ Pour a round with me and just clown with me.â
From the Outside In is the type of music that suburban kids arenât afraid of bumping to when they drive. Itâs a type of hip hop that metro Detroit hasnât seen much of. Itâs happier, catchier and focused more on sharp lyricism rather than aggressive beats. DK uses complex rhyme schemes in âOne Wayâ and âNo Half Steppinâ from which most emcees would shy away, giving both songs a fresh, energized feel.
But thatâs not to say that thereâs not variety on the tape. Similar to when DK went into attack mode in his previous tapeâs âDear Psychiatrist,â he spits ninety seconds of fire over an antagonistic piano line in âCypher.â He also offers up a serviceable dance track, âIâm Hip-Hop,â the lone song on the tape featuring an electronic beat.
Unlike DKâs freshman tape, which featured the popular track âHe Crazy,â From The Outside In doesnât have a bona fide hit. In spite of thatâand the projectâs other small shortcomingsâthe young emcee made a killer tape. Its combination of unconventional elements produces a clean, unique brand of hip hop, the type of music to which you should be listening as summer draws to a close.