CIEJ’S DBS HEAVEN IS FUCKING GOOD



Posted By on April 21, 2015 @ 12:00 PM | Album Reviews

Hip-hop and weed go hand-in-hand, but ciej‘s “dbs heaven” proves rappers should pass on the blunt and chug a tallboy. The influence of alcohol on the EP reeks like a drunkard’s breath to a cop at 3AM on a Saturday. Pent up on the second floor of blank space and powered by the buzz of beer, ciej strings together pages of thoughts onto six tracks that borderline incoherent, but remain strikingly honest. Like a drunk conversation, “dbs heaven” has the brazen confidence of giving no fucks, the freedom to say whatever is on one’s mind without the filter of expectation or the fear of external perception. Though the themes of the EP are very ciejy — women, money, life — the glossy delivery and convoluted production create a unique context that mitigates any thematic cliche.

And of the production, it bangs throughout, a consistency that was lost in “bicker over bread”. ciej experiments with a bevy of jazz sounds, from horns to flutes to strings, but the bass really shines, pounding through the softness like a hangover on a warm, early spring morning. The arrangements are interesting as they are innovative; the rich regional history of jazz is extracted and spliced with the unforgiving rawness of the street.

Not without its faults, a few minor missteps blurt out. No MME project is ever solo, and ciej could not help himself from tapping fellow rapper MIR for a few bars on the final tracks. This detracts from the personal head space that was alluring in the EP’s opening moments, MIR coming across as interruption to the introspection. Additionally, gazza strip seems out of place amongst the others, though the track is so good it may as well be featured on every future MME release.

Fiery, gutsy, honest. What an accomplishment: “dbs heaven”. Enough writing, start listening.

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As a videographer, Mike aims to capture the creativity of Saint Louisans and challenge conventional notions of traditional hip-hop culture.

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