If there is one artist that the indie critics cannot seem to get enough of in 2021, it is definitely Miami’s own DICI, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in attention his debut EP has received since first dropping a little earlier this year. His fusion of hip-hop and subtle surreal pop influences has had everyone talking – and for good reason, given that his provocative streak as a songwriter appears to be getting even stronger with the release of his latest single, “Five Rings,” this spring. Although structurally sharing many of the same attributes his first set of compositions held dear, “Five Rings” plies us with a bit more of his pop sensibilities and reveals the creative to be so much more than an experimental rapper from the southeast.
DICI isn’t flexing on the mic nearly as much as he could have in this scenario, and his choice to go conservative and stick swagger in the backseat here actually allows for us to tune in to his technique a lot better than we would have in another setting. He’s got a nimbleness with his verses that hasn’t been discussed nearly as much as it has needed to be in the last couple of months, and in “Five Rings,” it’s made to be a catalyst for catharsis to such a degree that credible critics will have to comment on its appearance. This is one agile vocalist, and being that it’s one of his best features, using it to his advantage is the only way to go.
This mix does DICI’s singing parts more favors than it does any of his rapping, but I don’t think there’s a single audible instance in which his delivery on the verses is diminished because of the effects. It’s been said before about his music, but I’ll say it again now – this isn’t an artist who needs a lot of bells and whistles to make his raw talents shine like a diamond in the rough. He does much better when there’s nothing to get in between his narrative and the audience than he does with a lot of bombastic components adorning everything from the beat to the harmony he’s starting with his voice alone. That puts him in a special class of players, and I won’t be the lone critic to tell you that.
This fresh face could be just the thing alternative hip-hop needed to maintain the relevancy it had going into the latter portion of the 2010s, and while he still has a lot of ground to cover before he can call himself a true renaissance man of the new rap era, DICI is giving me a kind of chills I just cannot ignore with this latest release. He’s got the ‘it’ factor that everyone in pop music talks about, but he’s not coming across as being hung up on labeling or scene politics in this release. The lively color of Miami is present in his recent portrait of powerful indie hip-hop, but it’s looking even more spellbinding through the lens of the international stage.
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