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DMF Musa Drops “I Feel”

Skillful rapper and poet DMF Musa pulls out all the stops in the new single “I Feel,” and by my estimation, delivers some of his very best work yet. Anyone who knows DMF Musa is more than aware of his dynamic skillset as a rapper and songwriter, but few would expect the depth of emotion that he imparts in his latest work, which is captured beautifully in an accompanying music video. 2022 saw the release of a lot of good music in and out of his scene, and with this single to kick off 2023, it would appear that his already impressive professional momentum is starting to pick up. 

Hip-hop on the mainstream side of the dial hasn’t been willing to experiment with its sound nearly half as much as DMF Musa does, and you can instantly hear the difference in quality when examining the instrumental arrangement that frames “I Feel.” There are shades of rock, pop, and even a darker side of trap in these beats; at one point, the rhythm adopts an almost deflating swing that is both playful and yet somber, with DMF Musa’s words acting as the reconciliation between the two conflicting emotions. If this isn’t solid songwriting, I don’t know what is. 

The grooves that we come in contact with in this single are as entrancing as the imagery that comprises the music video, and together they make for one of the more surreal experiences that I’ve engaged in as a hip-hop music critic. The video isn’t shot in a particularly psychedelic or cerebral manner, but its visuals juxtaposed with textured bass beats are inspired and even a tad postmodern without a doubt. DMF Musa is seen as a rapper, but don’t let the broad umbrella label fool you; there’s a near-endless supply of artistic layers in the work that he has released. 

“I Feel” is littered with addictive beats that more drill-leaning hip-hop fans will appreciate, but the underlying physicality in the arrangement emphasizes the trap-inspired polish that this single wears with pride. DMF Musa is true to his ethos here, and while he’s open to incorporating nuances from a litany of external influences in this melody, he firmly asserts himself as a quality rapper first and foremost in this single. Compositionally, this is an ode to the OGs of yesteryear; stylistically, it’s a glimpse into the future of hip-hop’s more fluid, progressive subgenres like we’ve never heard them before. 

The music you’re going to hear coming out of this scene in 2023 will likely be compelling from start to finish, but after a lot of consideration, I don’t think there’s much debate as to whether or not “I Feel” is its most ear-catching crown jewel thus far. DMF Musa rips apart the contemporary hip-hop formula just to piece it back together with a flamboyant musicality here that is desperately needed in 2023, and frankly, it’s the most endearing element to behold in both the song and the video. He’s proven himself ready for the primetime, and if “I Feel” gets the same exposure that its source scene, it could easily bring DMF Musa the fame and fortune that he’s worked so very hard to achieve. 

Mindy McCall



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