Worcester, MA-based emcee D.O.S [Death over Simplicity] delivers his latest EP From the Mind Springs a Painting, a conceptual 6-track body of work that blends hard-nosed lyricism akin to the late Jazz musician Lee Morgan. The project deals with a handful of topics ranging from personal struggles, love and loyalty in the strict sense.
The project opens up with “Exuberance”, a sombre-sounding piece that sees the rapper opening up about his trials and tribulations and the past. Over the soulful vocal-sample-driven backdrop, he drops listeners deep into the action with his vivid lyricism and smooth cadence. Lines “90s intro, came up on 16-bit pixels and DMX cassettes used to be the official/ Still no half stepping regardless what cloud on you on though” hark back to a forgotten time and remind listeners of the changes that have occurred over time. This is followed by “El Pajaro Tranquilo” featuring Danny Fantom. The production has a retro jazz vibe complete with warm chords, rich keys and crunchy drum breaks and here, D.O.S goes full throttle with the flow. He ramps up the energy with much vigour and engaging lines like “I’m like the meditating hermit, you ain’t from in a while/Hit the road looking for an inch to turn a mile”. Joining the fray is Danny Fantom who comes through with lines like “Make em stretch/pack a rapper in plastic then feed em to the streets make a fiend do a backflip/D.O.S hit me, said I need you on this track/Told him ,bet give me an hour and I sent it right back” to complete the mission. “Heart Container” has a solemn and moody feel and serves as the right backdrop for D.O.S ‘ introspective bars. he reflects on the concept of love and the never-ending cycle of this game called life.
On “You Ain’t Nobody” ,D.O.S links up with Ghost Of The Machine and the duo delivers a hard-hitting and insightful track that tackles the current state of affairs in this modern capitalistic system. D.O.S leads the charge with his unapologetic views and lines like “In a world that wants the destruction of my phenotype/I just wanna thrive and smash leah and aliyah right?” capture the rapper’s thoughts on his basic human rights while Ghost Of The Machine’s “All atonement for our darkest moments/shouldn’t be an omen/roots of my family tree submerged deep in the notion” gives listeners a glimpse into is perspectives.
The project closes out with the Lee Morgan-assisted “Final Movement”, a reflective track that sees D.O.S detailing his journey thus far. The following excerpt “It’s been a minute since revving engines and chasing women/Backs were turned on me when I was shivering no hard feelings/I kick the habit, had help to get my health reestablished/ Hell and heaven walked through the madness” vividly details how he fought his past demons and got over. He also pours adulation on a special someone who helped him along the way. The sombre jazzy track is quite the perfect way to wrap things up as it summarizes D.O.S’ life’s journey and helps put things in perspective.
Overall,From the Mind Springs a Painting, is an engaging piece albeit short but cohesive. The production is tight, rich and punchy and D.O.S’ introspective and somewhat abstract-laden bars come together like hand in gloves and make for an overall refreshing listen.
Stream From the Mind Springs a Painting on major DSPs here.
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