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Dude Reppin Knowhere’s “Moma”

There are some records that undoubtedly rely on one big single to win over the masses, but with Dude Reppin Knowhere’s Space Activated, the latest EP from the acclaimed songwriter has given us no less than a handful of stunning songs of this caliber. The first post-EP single this player has dropped, the most recent being “Moma,” sees DRK coming undone like the wild animal we always knew he could be, falling into a ferocious groove pattern that seduces listeners even more than his smoky vocal does, and for those of us who were anticipating a lot out of the realm of indie hip-hop this season, it provides more than enough sonic wonderment worth writing home about. 

Like his last two singles, DRK’s latest studio cut is pristinely produced but not even slightly overdone, leaning more on the natural tonality of the instruments and our leading man’s vocal than it does anything behind the soundboard. Too many pop songwriters, especially in the hip-hop scene, have taken to embracing the artificialities that have become standardized in the genre’s most commercialized output, but this is one composer who isn’t giving in to this disheartening trend. He’s got too much to give without filtration being added into the mix, and critics like myself are grateful for his strict adherence to organic practices. 

The vocal track gets a mild boost from the EQ, particularly in the chorus of “Moma,” but I think this was necessary to overcome the wallop of the instrumental harmony accompanying it. There’s a vaguely continuous climax that spans the entirety of this song, which stands in strong contrast to the other formulas DRK used in Space Activated, but his sound doesn’t come off as eccentric in this scenario at all. He’s good at adapting to different tempos and styles of play, and that’s made clear to anyone who would question it in this single. 

Dude Reppin Knowhere has a versatile skillset that has only been somewhat exploited in past offerings, and I think that recording an acoustic take on “Moma” would go a long way toward demonstrating just how much he can do in the studio when there’s nothing to stop the creative juices from flowing any different way they possibly could. The bones of this composition are sublimely flexible, and I’d love to hear what they could produce in a capacity that aesthetically conflicts with the one we’re presented with in this version of the song.

I’ve been a Dude Reppin Knowhere fan for a little while now, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that I’ll be staying tuned to his discography on the strength of the consistency he’s showing off in his most recent releases. “Moma” is certainly one of the best songs he’s made outside of the content on Space Activated, but it’s hardly the only reason to pick up his work this spring. DRK is a musician everyone needs to be taking very seriously right now, and I’m not the only critic saying as much heading into this new season. 

Mindy McCall



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