Review: DJ Drama "Quality Street Music"

Review: DJ Drama "Quality Street Music"

DJ Drama's fourth album expands upon his Gangsta Grillz groundwork to create what is most certainly Quality Street Music.

Some may say that DJs like Drama are not "DJs" at all. Seeing that they aren’t steady flipping faders, critics feel it's fair game to strip them of their titles. With the club experience in, mind let us make it more expansive - a DJ is someone who takes an array of sounds and combines them creatively to produce an eclectic audio experience. Thus, like Khaled and others there is no question that Drama is a DJ. The query now: is he a good one?

The initial aspects to consider are the collaborations; namely, the artists whose sixteens combine to make his tracks. Now to have rappers familiar with each other is easy, but because they’ve worked together previously originality is almost obliterated. Luckily Drama doesn’t have such dependencies. For the most part the spells he concocts are unique. Off the bat there's “Clouds”, starring Rick Ross, Miguel, Pusha T and Curren$y.  There’s no question that these ingredients have never before been mixed, and suffice it to say, the recipe makes sonically memorable magic.

Concerning this idea of feature based originality “I’ma Hata” is an additional example. Waka’s aggression and Tyler’s audacity weave one hell of a tapestry. However collaborations don’t only perk the eardrums, they’re also around to titillate. For those senses aerating from the fairer sex, Drama offers up “So Many Girls” and “Real Niggas In The Building”.  In no way are these ballads set to swoon, instead they proclaim the misogyny hip hop is so unapologetically proud of. The first includes the dynamic duo, Wale and Tyga whom women will forgive, and the latter Travis Porter and Kirko Bangz who are no in need of absolution. After all this is Quality Street Music, and there is plenty of it.

The three songs especially exemplary of the album’s title are: “Goin Down”, “Never Die”,and “My Way”. All three tracks have deep acoustics, credible features and penetrating concepts. Songs about leadership, loss, and struggle filled with outstanding verses from the likes of Fabolous, Jeezy and Common. Aside from this stand out set, another pair of songs must be mentioned: “Pledge of Allegiance” and “Same Ol’ Story”, both comprised of rising talents. New age tastemakers such as Wiz and Schoolboy Q are afforded an outlet herein to appease the streets, and they do so well.  Again, this is Quality Street Music, and the evidence is ample that Drama is not only a DJ creating music, but a good one.  Once more the platform builder has constructed a solid stage for rap stars to stand on. 

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