On his 4 track EP project, “Dear Culture”, donSMITH shows he is a lyrical beast and a storyteller – a true wordsmith. As a matter of fact, his deep, honest words are the highlight of this album. He sets the bar high, as he performs like an artist who knows he’s about to snatch the souls of listeners with his songs. While most rappers of our current time, aim to draw attention to themselves, donSMITH opts to focus on the message and the audience who needs to hear it most. “Dear Culture” is not only the kind of music that you can nod and whistle to in the bathroom, and what you have on repeat for days, but donSMITH’s lyrical and creative performances make this an EP that you’ll need to return to often.
With a soulful, jazzy beats coalescing with elite storytelling, donSMITH welcomes us to “Dear Culture”. Introspection is a perpetual theme for the Washington Heights and Harlem-bred emcee, who provides a breath of fresh air with a motley crew of tales covering the hardships and the pride, while bridging the gap between generations and minority communities throughout this project.
Starting with “Seasons”, the listener is introduced to an energetic flow with methodical yet swift stop-start changes to the beat, to start off what becomes a more than notable project. Redolent vibes emanate from donSMITH’s delivery, while the soulful harmonies back him up earnestly. On “OG >IG” ft. HISTORY, he reminds us that he is the storytelling guy, with vivid illustrations of his experiences.
Unlike mainstream hip-hop artists where rappers possess a veil of fake bravado, donSMITH confirms that he doesn’t have to follow trends, because there’s no need to when the art speaks for itself. Here donSMITH does what he does best, by reflecting on pragmatic woes.
Never one to shy away from pressing topics, he lends a sobering view on what it feels like to strive and survive. Succinct and to the point, after one listen, you won’t need any more convincing about the talents donSMITH possesses.
By the time you press play to hear the warm and shimmering keys on “All Over”, and the soul-searching “Too Many”, you’ll wonder where donSMITH has been hiding in the shadows as one of hip hop’s prophetic underdogs.
His poetry is offered by the wit and wisdom of a clear spoken and equally cutting tongue. donSMITH entices his listener with conceptual themes, which is the thread that laces this project together with such grit.
donSMITH articulates empowerment in all of its arenas. In a society searching for solutions he is well aware that we need to find the answers within ourselves to rise to the top. His approach to well-being and unity is demonstrated with the technicality and wholeheartedness which makes the listener approach these issues with a fresh perspective.
A declaration of authenticity and a dedication to delivering verisimilitude, this EP shows us what is to come on donSMITH’s forthcoming album. If “Dear Culture” is just a prelude, then old and new fans alike are up for one special treat!