Die-Rek “The Die-Version Project” Review

The Die-Version Project Cover Art

Candian emcee Die-Rek has had a good year this year, but what people don’t know (and what I didn’t know until a couple months after his album dropped) the man has been involved in hip hop for a while and in fact dropped the “Die-Versity” mixtape before his debut album “The Die-Version Project”. I haven’t really kept up with what else he’s done this year but he was featured on Wes Pendleton’s debut single (he was on the B-Side). Let’s see how Die-Rek measures up on his debut album “The Die-Version Project”.

After listening to the project a couple times I think this album is like an audition tape to the CHH and hip hop world for him. Before this project I’d never heard of him, I haven’t seen him in a crew or drop a guest verse on other albums or something. So this album had to be grab the listener’s attention Die-Rek showcased EVERYTHING. He produced the entire record and obviously laid down vocals too. Now with this at least in my eyes being an audition album, I believe that’s why the record runs so long. And that’s one of my gripes with the record.

Let’s jump into the record, the single “Grown-Man Biz” is what got me hip to Die-Rek. His production bangs, it’s real boom bap with original raps. For this one he even brings DJ Versatile for some much needed cuts to the joint (Dear Hip Hop artists, us listeners still like hearing cuts on our records, get the DJs involved).

Now this record covers a multitude of topics with the undertone of introspection and reflection. “U Ain’t Gotta Know (Trust and Obey)” is a track we all need to listen to and is exactly about what the title suggests. I think a lot of us kind of build up a life of Christianity to be something so complex of a lifestyle (or maybe that’s just me) but at the end of the day, this life comes down to trusting and obeying God period. Die-Rek makes his point made with lines like

“He’s (God) gotta be first cuz second to him is considered last place”

“Last But Not Least” is a track all about Die-Rek’s grind while at the same time giving praise to The Most High. At the same time the track preaches a message of perseverance which is always nice to hear. Another aspect of this album that like is the new faces that you hear from Dee Jackson (who’s featured on this track) ChrisJay, Roach Uno, Darker Peter Parker and Nifty all display intriguing tracks on this album.

“Success” was probably my favorite song on this album, I’m not sure in the slightest what sample was used for the beat but I believe DJ Manwell sampled the same thing for the record he did with Othello. Regardless Die-Rek did a nice job with the beat. The track covers what the real idea of success should be, it shouldn’t be based on other people. It should be based on what God wants for us, Nifty speaks on how while he loved being on the road and whatnot but true success is being with his family and supporting them.

“The Die-Version” project is a nice introduction to Die-Rek. He really showed that he has a lot of talent to make an impact on the CHH scene. To be honest his production is nothing we haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bang. Like I said in the beginning of the review Die-Rek brings a lot of topics to the table with this album. It should get the listener to reflect on the life they’re leading now. He should be able to grab listeners with his lyrics and his voice (honestly he sounds just like Common) his production and the new faces he brings along for the hide. My only gripes are the fact that the album’s seems too long (which I never thought I’d say about a hip hop album) and it gets kind of predictable with the 3 tracks then an instrumental. Either way the album is a solid project and I hope to hear more from him sooner rather than later, his journey’s just started.


RATING: 4/5 (Dope release; Go Grab It)

~ by Michael Stover on November 29, 2011.

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