Even though Devine Carama’s featured here on the site for his new EP, The Dream Walker, we still have to give you the quality track-by-track review of it, because… It’s our thing. Enjoy the back and forth from Yori and K1ng Eljay as they break down the lyricism from TheREDEFINED’s latest premiere (linked here).
“Let There Be Light”
[Yori] – Classic boom-bap beat that Devine is known for. The amount of energy and passion Devine puts into his lyrics never diminishes. I think that’s dope. He really wants to be the ill-rapper that also teaches a lesson.
[Eljay] – Interestingly enough, this was a late addition to the finalized tracklisting (as in, we literally heard it for the first time a day ago, lol), but it fits here well. The movie clips splashed throughout the hook and the scratches adds another typical rap track to balance out the heavy messages on almost every other song, and also shows that he can confidently spit. It also empties well into the next track, which is one of my favorites on the project.
“Keepers of The Boom Bap”
[Yori] – Haha, look at this transition. DJ JK-47 and Andrew Lopez did an amazing job with this beat. As the name states, there are a lot of booming and bapping in this beat (#bars). Devine has never been heavy with hooks, but when he does use them, they flow so well with this verses.
“16 Bars In A Clip”
[Yori] – If Devine ever wrote a “this is why I’m hot” track, this would be it. Even though the track is metaphor heavy, the execution and commitment to the imagery creates the verbal picture that Devine was going for.
“Lazarus of Bethany”
[Eljay] – Since I know it’s possible some won’t catch the reference in it’s entirety, Lazarus of Bethany was another name for Saint Lazarus, who was resurrected by Jesus according to the Bible. Taking that story, Devine bases his whole approach around that, bringing in complex, witty bars to close out the short track and tie it all together.
“Martin Luther Kinged Me”
[Yori] – I don’t know how I feel about MLK becoming a verb, but I see what Carama was trying to do here. Very dope interpretation of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The skit at the end is used ingeniously in order to spark an internal dialogue within the listener.
“Cold Winter Nights”
[Yori] – I assume this is a play on Sister Souljah’s novel The Coldest Winter Ever. As in Devine’s intro, Winter (the antagonist of the novel) is born into a world that she has to survive. One of my personal favorites off of the project, Devine highlights the blurry line between making decisions and adapting to your surroundings.
“Love” (feat. Talor Hall)
[Yori] – I feel it’s important to note that the song about love, acceptance and tolerance is the longest track on the project by more than a minute. Probably unintentional, but it shows what Devine deems most important.
“36 Bars Of Glory”
[Eljay] – And on cue, Devine drops into a one-off verse that has him rhyming until he makes a mistake and ends it. I’m interested in hearing what else he had to spit, but this was another dope reminder of how capable of an emcee he is, just in case you forgot.
“Twinkle Twinkle WorldSTAR” (feat. Talor Hall)
[Yori] – Sad, but as I listen to the lyrics, I believe this might be the logic behind most Worldstar posts. The eerie beat choice and Talor’s vocals add to the unnatural illumination that Worldstar gives its users. As far as lyric/message/instrumental cohesion, this track is the most complete on the EP.
“Martin Didn’t Die For This!”
[Eljay] – This line was mentioned a little earlier in the project, and that line inspires a full song of technical finger-wagging from Devine as he addresses several different things that MLK wouldn’t be happy to see. It’s not a completely original idea , per say, but the execution and the flow fits the project perfectly.
“Underground Rap Road”
Weirdly enough, this could’ve been the most forced song on the project, but somehow in the midst of it, the points and parallels made begin to surface and it also proves its spot here. It’s interesting how all of the skits, interludes, and overarching themes tie together, almost in honor of Black History Month, but does it without coming off as overly preachy – even with the focus on the positive messages.
[Yori] – Devine has dedicated his talent and the platform that he has built to positivity, be it in his rhymes, his community outreaches or just taking his daughters to a dance. The integrity that Carama brings to his craft can be seen more explicitly in The Dream Walkerbut what he has done with this latest release is to cater more to the mainstream ear via his beat choices. It seems that Devine is attempting to merge his conscious heavy lyrics with more attainable beat choices. The ending result are tracks that you can nod your head to, without the filler lyrics we have become accustomed to. The Dream Walker EP is perfectly crafted and reflects everything that Devine stands for. However, I would like to hear Devine make a track in which he just has fun, with no underlying theme or message.
[K1ng Eljay] – I could sit and harp about his message being positive all day; we’ve done that in the past, and we will continue to do that since it’s rare to hear someone that cares about their words to this effect. However, all of that’s a moot point if he can’t execute his message with the technical skills needed to be effective. In short, doesn’t matter if the message is great if he’s wack, and thankfully, Devine Carama has proven a few times by now that he’s far from that. In fact, he’s actually one of the better rhymers you’ll hear and it’s evidenced here on The Dream Walker EP. That being said, the project flows well from start to finish (with the exception of a couple of skits that made me personally feel depressed due to the sample recognition, such as Denzel in “Glory”), and the messages and vibes are radiant throughout. It’s a dope project from a dope emcee.
Click the artwork to jump to our premiere page and download The Dream Walker!