Prolific East Coast artists DJ Lucas, Papo2oo4, and Subjxct 5 have shared a collaborative album called Dirty Designer.
On Dirty Designer, Massachusett's DJ Lucas, New York's Papo2oo4, and New Jersey's Subjxct 5 join forces to create a true East Coast powerhouse. DJ Lucas reps the Dark World collective, a label he founded that began to make waves on the internet in the mid 2010s. As a part of Dark World, he became known for his idiosyncratic style and witty lyrics. On this release, he has collaborated with Papo2oo4 and Subjxct 5, who have worked together on a number of previous projects, including Papo2oo4's last release- the underrated M.E.T.S.. This time, DJ Lucas, Papo2oo4, and Subjxct 5 combine to create an album that is off-beat and yet simultaneously catchy.
The album kicks off with the dusty, quirky "Chances". The song introduces the overall sound of the album—elegant yet also gritty. The instrumental on this track, produced by Subjxct 5, features rich 808s and a triumphant horn section. Moreover, DJ Lucas and Papo2oo4 trade smooth verses overtop of the glamorous instrumental. Next, album highlight "Bleepathon" provides a more upbeat instrumental, with swirling vocal samples and shiny drums. They follow this track up with the moody "TLC", a wistful song with dark guitars and grimy drums. DJ Lucas and Papo2oo4 drop evocative verses full of absurd imagery over top of the mercurial instrumental. Another highlight is the bouncy posse cut "Cult Film". This song contains a nostalgic instrumental built from bittersweet keyboards and reminiscent vocal stabs. This track features strong verses from NYC veteran Wiki, talented rapper Mal Devisa, underrated Massachusetts emcee Jymmy Kafka. Finally, the album closes out with the sparkling "Money Same Color", which boasts a truly beautiful instrumental from Subjxct 5, made up of graceful strings and romantic backing vocals.
Overall, "Dirty Designer" is an interesting effort from these three artists. It is simultaneously catchy and off-kilter, and it is both elegant and smooth. The three musicians show strong chemistry throughout the record, trading clever verses overtop of textured production. Hopefully, we will hear more collaborations between these three in the near future.