Following the success (and controversy) of the Internet hit “Cha Cha,” Virginian rapper/singer D.R.A.M. started opening the ears of the biggest names in the industry, being remixed by Drake and Beyoncé to name a few. A couple weeks ago, D.R.A.M. released a nine track EP, Gahdamn!, following the successful release of his #1EpicEP last year. Besides some of the most important cosigns, D.R.A.M. was featured on Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment’s Surf in the spring earlier this year, and is currently on the Family Matters tour with Chance the Rapper.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this project. Most of his songs before this were a strong hit or miss for me, and I think that’s the case for most people when they listen to D.R.A.M. But after the lead single “$” with Donnie Trumpet on the horns, I only hoped the rest of the project would sound like this… And most of it did. D.R.A.M. brought along the entire Social Experiment crew for this EP, guaranteeing incredible instrumentals from the Chicago crew on every track.
D.R.A.M. shows off a range of genres from song to song that is extremely rare to have on a single project. He can get loud and obnoxious, like on the opening track “Signals (Throw it Around),” or get much more serious on a track like “Fax.” D.R.A.M. definitely doesn’t go for the “real hip-hop” persona, making him one of the most distinct voices in the music scene. My favorite track “Wit the Shits” brings everything that has so far made D.R.A.M. successful. It’s got a sleek instrumental blending a smooth acoustic guitar with sharp drum kicks and high hats, with D.R.A.M.’s vocals serving as almost instrumental layer. Another standout moment for me on this EP came with the alternate version of “Caretaker”, originally on The Social Experiment’s Surf. This time, D.R.A.M. harmonizes alongside TDE signee SZA, and their voices blend perfectly. I did find myself bored once or twice for a few minutes on this record which doesn’t last much over half an hour, but I think D.R.A.M. understands that he’s not ready to release a full length project just yet.
This EP came out pretty decent in the end. There were a few great moments on here, but only one, maybe two of the tracks are going to be in my rotation for more than a few weeks. With that being said, none of the tracks were incredibly terrible, and D.R.A.M.’s growth is going to be very entertaining to watch over the next few years.
Written by Dylan Hardin