Durells World – Call Me Later, Way Too Busy – Pre-release EP Review
*BEEP* – just an announcement before we get right into it here today…this is pre-release y’all…the Call Me Later, Way Too Busy EP from Durells World can still most certainly change anything from the songs to the album art to the writing to the amount of tracks etc. & everything between now and its official release. You’ve been told.
*BEEP**BEEP* – you all know that’s the kind of stuff we end up writing not only because it’s true…but because there are usually genuine concerns about quality or content or something or other…right?
*BEEP**BEEP**BEEP* – good lord. Concerns? Durells World should switch places with Jer @ SBS’ World for a day and have a listen to what real concerns sound like. Ain’t nothin’ wrong here or any reason to hold up this EP from getting out into the world that I can hear – let’s get to it…no more beeps from me.
Don’t look at me like that. Note the quotations…that’s Durells World, not me. Call Me Later, Way Too Busy starts into its overall theme immediately by sending you to Durell’s voicemail on “BEEP” before the music even begins. Like all the best mixtapes out there…these samples are saying something that eventually threads itself deeper throughout the new EP from Durells World as it plays through. At the moment…right now it sounds like homeboy here is busy ghosting a lady-friend…which is ultimately an interesting place to start and way to introduce us all into Durells World; the protagonist or antagonist of his own story…you decide. I always like to assume the best in people…maybe he’s just having a long shower or watching a movie or something…I mean…we don’t KNOW this girl on the phone yet right? Who knows what ‘callin’ you non-stop’ means to her? Maybe it’s been non-stop for the past hour and Durell has been hiding under the covers hoping the freak from the night before might leave him alone – we don’t know! Just saying…we can’t judge the man off of just one “BEEP” alone.
Alright…all jokes aside…”Runnin, Runnin, Runnin” will immediately stand out to your ears, I guarantee it. And it should…for multiple reasons…but chances are, it’ll have you noticing the serious risk that Durells World’s EP takes instantly on this first track. Check this out…cause this is how great music works…not GOOD music, great music is what I said…but you’re gonna hear that hook at the beginning and your ears are likely going to question it. Does it work? Does it not? Do I like it? Do I love it? Do I not? Then you’ll hear that hook sink into the track as it expands and evolves throughout its structure…and by the time you hear “Runnin, Runnin, Runnin” again, you realize just how much the offbeat hook brings to this entire song. Any doubts you’d potentially have regardless will quickly dissolve as the verse begins and Durell starts spittin’ impressive lyrics in an equally impressive flow – he comes out of the gate sounding right into this and ready to take his own path into music with confidence. A real blend here from the old-school to the new, you can easily cite & spot influences from all of the genres main facets from hip-hop to trap & straight-up rap. When Durell gets the energy behind his words, he LIGHTS UP the mic hard – check out a spot like just past the first minute or on his way into the second…you can hear the attitude, character, presence and skill continuously dripping right out of the vocals. There is genuine personality in “Runnin, Runnin, Runnin” – and it makes all the difference in the world as we listen…emcees can go a lifetime without finding ‘their’ voice. Durell’s clearly already found his.
Ha. Alright. Homie…we’ve probably got more in common than you might think. Proclaiming at the beginning of “High Witcha, Vibe Witcha” that he was ‘high when he wrote this’ – well…let me tell ya brother…I don’t just keep this bong sitting next to me like some fancy decoration here as I write this – this thang gets USED brah! So I hear ya man…I can get “High Witcha, Vibe Witcha.” Ain’t no amount of weed I could ever put in this bowl that would ever take my mind fully off this tune though…I’d never zone out that hard…because this is…awesome. The opening verse is absolutely SICK – talk about a wordsmith! Even when writing a song about smoking greens and floating away…don’t mistake this for any kind of Cheech & Chong skit or like, the ever-present cheesiness you’ll hear in something like Afroman’s music…this is that intelligently structured kind of flow…hints of humor like you’d find in Lil’ Dicky’s or Luda’s music but ones you certainly can’t ignore. And don’t think I don’t appreciate the irony in hearing a track that’s so unbelievably focused here while he’s rhyming about being blasted to the point where it’s ‘to the point I can’t say I wasn’t smokin.’’ But there’s zero-doubt about it – Durell is unbelievably on-point here and the words he’s written absolutely hit the spot here with real CHARACTER in the tone of his voice that 100% hits the mood of the music and theme. The way the main hook comes out is super-loose but incredibly genuine – wickedly inviting to listen to. Getting assistance from featured guest Rel B on a killer verse…the amount of talent & skill he has is certainly clear…ALMOST too clear…he sounds real hungry & focused and I like that. I’m just saying…make sure you puff, puff, pass it to this guy too…he’s clearly put the work into his bars and Rel B sounds great, but serious. The flow of the lyrics and the subtle melody they put into the words in this collaboration is massively impressive.
The initial “BEEP” on the EP might be best explained through the lyrics of “Wrong Time.” A song that deals with the man just searching for a little bit of space…I was impressed with Durells World before already, but this track took it right over the top for me. Track after track, this emcee has been entirely entertaining…LISTEN to the way he attacks the verses & chorus of “Wrong Time” and the jazzy-swag he puts into his rhythm, cadence and flow – ‘cause that’s smooth as it gets. Progressively, this EP has been building & building upon itself…and even though “Wrong Time” works its magic with an insightfully chilled-out beat & style, it’s an absolute highlight early-on in this record. I’m telling you people, straight-up…it’s the addition of real personality into these songs that keeps Durells World winning song after song. Many people can write a great song and rely on that writing to get them by…almost as if they end up playing the role rather than living it; conversely…you can tell this is Durells World for a reason…he IS living these stories…and as a result, he sounds right in the grip, moment & flow at every twist & turn. “Wrong Turn” works a mesmerizing & hypnotic rhythm & groove in the music and Durell hits the metering, pace & flow with brilliant precision & bankable professionalism.
“BEEP #2” – the struggle is real! Things get even more complicated & interesting when we step into the voicemails of Durell’s phone this second time. Seems like the man is still ghostin’ the original lady-friend we heard…I mean…she sounds NICE bro…I really don’t think she’s being psychotic…I’m kinda on her side a bit brother! Anyhow. Seems like right after that, we get a bit more insight into what life for Durell has been like lately…but we’re still not entirely sure where he IS. A call from a homeboy reveals that he’s missing out on…hmmm…we’ll just say several pieces of the pie and leave it at that for now. Even more interesting…is the voice that comes on afterwards…clearly a new lady-friend entering into the mix of messages but one that he most certainly knows from his past. How recent that past is…or why he’s not taking that call either…is still a mystery. What’s even more of a mystery is like…how LOADED with ladies is this guy’s life anyhow? Cause if he wants to switch phones with me for a minute…that’s cool with me. Only phone calls I get are wrong numbers and bill collectors…I could use Durell’s ghosting abilities. And I’d promise to answer his phone for a few of these ladies to, you know, uhh…repay the favor…yeah…
Seriously people. Have a listen to “Selfish” when you get the chance. I’m not going to defend the whole ‘pre-release’ notion here…you’re going to hear this cut exactly as I do right now – because WHY on earth would you change perfection? As of this point…track six of nine on the EP…I haven’t heard one thing I’d change even remotely. The assistance in production throughout the album from talents like Flip, Yondo, GuM$, J. Knight and No Luck here on “Selfish” have really kept this entire record vibrantly entertaining with a wicked mix of styles & captivating sounds driving the music in all kinds of incredible directions. No Luck has “Selfish” sounding incredible…overall, I’m absolutely loving the music on this cut and the way the samples loop together with the beat. King stays the king though – the moment that Durell takes a grip on the microphone of “Selfish,” this entire track comes flying right off the top ropes to land the people’s elbow right into your speakers. Rap & flow wise…I can absolutely honestly say that Durell’s delivery and style is some of the best I’ve heard over these past five years and certainly in 2017; it’s undeniable when you hear the roll he’s on with “Selfish” – how this track could become any more ‘ready’ than it is right now here in pre-release, I’ll never know. Brilliant line to end it on too.
So let me make an appeal to Durells World direct…on behalf of all the people out there that are looking to listen to a seriously great rap-record: DO THE RIGHT THING HOMIE – RELEASE THIS BEAST. IT IS TIME.
Call him later…cause he clearly is way too busy. Durell’s out there grindin’ – which to an extent I can understand…hopefully he’s talkin’ mainly about being at the studio and workin’ that music career…because there’s no way this guy should really be doing anything else with his time to make dough. “More Money” was the closest spot on the record that I had to any doubts about anything. What saves this particular track and has made the entire album great, comes down to performance. If I was to base “More Money” off of lyrical content & substance alone, chances are this track would find itself to the bottom of the pile and quickly – and to respond to the lyrics directly, it’s not that it’s not important to me or that I don’t get where he’s coming from…it’s just that the whole money-thing has been so extensively covered a billion times within rap-music that he runs the risk of being behind here when he’s been ahead of the curve throughout the entire EP. Feel me? “More Money” takes a chance here…he’s made slicker references to the grind in other cuts…this one’s a lot more direct and focused on the dollar…with so many of those out there, he is taking a risk here with a cut that’s more commonly found out there on a lyrical-level. BUT…that being said…once again, I think he really manages to pull this one out with one of his most innovative performances personally when it comes to the hooks and how he puts them together. It’s got a looseness to it…but all clearly stylistic and sounds made by choice; and when you actually listen to it closely, you’ll hear that the delivery on this cut is actually anything BUT loose – Durell’s practically shifting up & down octaves & scales as he flows through the lyrics and hooks of “More Money.” So…thematically-speaking…I’d remind the man that he’s shown us much more creativity already on the record, which dulls this one down a bit lyrically as a result – but on performance, structure and flow…good lord…not a damn thing I’d change one bit.
Again…not to beat the points I made about “More Money” over the head to hard – but LISTEN to the way that Durell comes out swinging with imagery in the words of “IDK” and how superior the lyricism of this cut is to the song prior. I’ll admit…there’s a bit of a freestyle-aspect to the sound of the flow on “IDK” – its bars are definitely front-loaded and a large portion of this track ends up being instrumental. Nothing really wrong with that…the rap we do get is highly-skilled and massively entertaining…he’s written this one with a ton of wicked lines strung together that shine a spotlight on the way this wordsmith can work the words to his advantage. As the final cut on the EP aside from one last voicemail – I was cool with the way this one drifts out to the ending, even though I felt like I wanted a bit more of that flow to spring up again towards the end…can’t deny the way he’s ended it fits. Plus it’s just another reason to return and listen again…as IF I needed any more than the countless number of reasons Durells World has given me along the way. I dig the haunting music & atmosphere in this final track too…it really does become a memorable ending to a truly impressive record…a sound that’ll stick with ya.
Ending it with “BEEP #3” – we at least get confirmation that our emcee in question has been equal-opportunity ghosting all along. Whether it’s been his homies or the ladies, he just ain’t been answering. Call Me Later, Way Too Busy – I suppose we have to assume that he’s been busy writing and recording rather than up to no good…though of course, the lyrics of this record will certainly lead you to believe that the stories must be lived first in order to be written later, know what I mean? It’s not as if he’s going to leave himself a voicemail on his own machine that would fill in all the blanks 100% for us…so we kind of have to assume at least a few of these things we’re hearing in the storylines of his songs are what’s been keeping him away from the phone.
If I was Durell…I’d be keeping my phone on silent too. Hopefully those friends all understand this man has got WORK to do right now…that he belongs on the m-i-c…and that he’s gotta keep pushing his music & career with everything he’s got until he gets to exactly where he wants to be. Believe me…this highly-skilled emcee makes rhymes that are certain to get noticed and a talent like this can’t stay secret forever. It might be go-time for him right now…you might have to call him later…soon enough, you might actually be thankful you were even able to leave a voicemail back in the day when his phone wasn’t constantly ringing off the hook and that you ‘knew him way back when…’
This guy’s goin’ places. Give him some space and a set of bars to rhyme on, he’ll prove it every time.
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