If you’re like me, then the times in which we live really have you questioning Gil Scott Heron’s proclamation that “The revolution will not be televised”. It seems lately that everything—no matter how unsettling—is recorded for the world to see. Dark days are here, and even darker days are certainly ahead. And while that’s probably not new information to anyone reading this, the ability to watch every grisly detail of these dark days on a near-endless loop is something of a new phenomenon. I bring that up because, like many of you, I find myself having to avoid constantly engaging in scenes of brutality and death as a means of protecting my own wellbeing. Still, I don’t completely ignore what’s going on and would never completely disengage from the sea of struggles being waged all around me. But I gotta tell you, Dynas’ new single “Hands Up” really reminded me of the scope of how much has happened these past couple of years.
The track, as you can imagine, finds the Florida-residing emcee recalling some of the most recent victims of police violence as committed against black lives. The song isn’t particularly gruesome and it doesn’t really pick apart every little detail surrounding the deaths of people like Botham Jean or George Floyd. But what it does do is reference so many names and events that it begins to weigh a little heavy on anyone with even a sliver of empathy for their fellow man. A couple of names rise to the surface that, I hate to admit, hadn’t run through my mind in some time.
Dynas is a master of his craft, as he packs his rhymes to the gills with words and depth while managing to make it sound effortless and even melodic. It doesn’t hurt that he has what is arguably one of the most unique voices of his era. Producer and longtime collaborator Tony Galvin serves up a trunk-rattling wave of synthy soulfulness for Dynas to unload his rapid-fire rhymes over. The whole thing sweeps you up with a rush of energy then leaves you affected in its wake all too soon.
Potent and powerful work that acts a frank reminder that, while it’s important to practice self-care in these days & times, it’s also important to take an unflinching look at your surroundings to keep it all in perspective.
You can listen to "Hands Up" now on all streaming platforms courtesy of AVX Records/Badgramma Music.