Dmentid remains unvanquished throughout his tenacious new album, ‘Aspire’.
Revitalised following a brief musical hiatus, the Bronx born, Brooklyn rapper marks his return to the Rap game with restored hunger and a newfound sense of maturity. Addressing his internal conflicts and confronting his demons, the FNM music group prodigy is back where he belongs – delivering absorbing, thought-provoking verses at the peak of his powers.
Opening with the intimate ‘Expressions’, Dmentid offers a brutal commentary on the instability of his mental state, where continuous battles with isolation ultimately see him befriending depression. But emboldened by the rallying 808s and uplifting gospel choir sample, the rapper swiftly adopts an unconquerable mindset, climbing out of the darkness with resilience likened to that of the great LeBron James. This perseverance is a prominent feature throughout ‘Aspire’, with the Brooklyn rapper stating on ‘Real Me’; “almost gave up but that heartbeat still beating”. While certainly not a revolutionary topic for a hip-hop album, the authenticity in which Dmentid approaches these themes makes for a credible, heartfelt record, through which his fighting tenacity is extremely inspirational.
Lyrically, ‘Aspire’ contains moments of vulnerability, with Dmentid often acknowledging that he is fighting these battles alone. ‘Wake Up’ is one of many examples, where the mellow hip-hop instrumental is met with the crestfallen, pondering question; “but honestly, who’s there for me?”. This solitude is also present on the destructive, trap inspired, ‘Still Standing’. Competing with the chaotic percussion and heavy distortion, the Brooklyn rapper recognises that it’s “me, myself and I chasing a classic” – once again revealing the confidence he has in his own ability. But despite this unaccompanied journey towards success, Dmentid aims to speak for the masses, with his enticing storytelling and motivational traits certain to resonate with many.
Taking inspiration from a range of subgenres, ‘Aspire’s’ production spans several decades of hip-hop, providing a pleasant balance between innovation and nostalgia. Given his astute technical abilities, Dmentid’s unique cadence allows him to effortlessly flow over each of these 9 tracks, whether the bass heavy Rick Ross flavoured ‘All About’, or the nonchalant piano looped ‘Hey You’, which aesthetically resembles something from Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’. The former of these reveals his status as a hip-hop purist, with the skippy flows and clever punchlines denoting an MC with a supreme skillset.
Conveying wisdom through his husky vocals and exemplary lyricism, Dmentid ensures ‘Aspire’ exists as a concise, energising album, which undeniably deserves all the plaudits it receives. Albeit containing some compressed mixing on the production side, Dmentid’s seasoned approach and sheer rapping capabilities more than make up for this. He is not an inexperienced up-and-coming rapper – he is the complete package, signed and sealed.
Favourite Tracks: Expressions, Wake Up, Real Me, Hey You