You've bore witness to the wonder of DJ Burn One. Whether you realize it or not is the only distinction here. While his name is comparatively obscure when you consider his peers are the likes of Zaytoven, and Lex Luger he figures as a fundamental figure in contemporary rap music having played a determining part in the careers of Gucci Mane, Yelawolf, Starlito, and ASAP Rocky. While he isn't a mainstream staple, he has been a profound influence on the mainstream nonetheless. Of course, his list of associates goes well-beyond the more regarded names and covers a sweeping list of aspiring musicians in the Southeast United States who have met with myriad levels of fame and accomplishment. To be frank, DJ Burn One has quietly earned a place in the canon of Southern hip-hop that is unequaled. And while that reputation may not be as widely acknowledged, it has allowed him to build a living doing what he does best.

In recent years Burn One's 5 Points Music Group has earned the praise of nearly every taste-making blog there is. Whether they praise him because they actually understand the value of what he's doing, or whether they do it because they realize how important he is and simply hop on the bandwagon, the fact persists that his role is unquestioned. And this irrefutable stature is what allowed him to have the means to work on his most recent album with Walt Live and Go! Ricky Go! The trio often work together under the 5 Points banner, but as the group iNDEEDFACE, Burn One follows Walt and Ricky's lead. The resulting sounds detail a path that departs from the familiar terrain of Southern hip-hop to traverse the infinitely-expanding transcendence of cosmic mysticism, or what we might commonly refer to as "psych" music. This isn't drug music. This music is the result of individuals who have utilized drugs to access a higher plane while maintaining a concrete--if at times metaphysical--connection to the common ground. iNDEEDFACE have crafted a record that indulges the obscure and non-traditional without becoming inaccessible, or fanciful.

This is experimental music that is still hip-hop, that is, it's still immediate and it's not defined by where it stands in relation to other music. Who Killed The Last Dragon is defined by artistic aptitude, refinement of a craft, deep thinking, and the immaculate capture of worthwhile life experiences. This music is refreshing, but disturbingly out of place in hip-hop right now. In a time where signifiers and marketing hold more currency than the capacity to rap iNDEEDFACE have created an album that agrees to play the game only so that it can tell the game to go fuck itself before the first point has been scored. Perhaps nowhere is this sentiment more immediate than 'Fly On The Wall' which Burn One confided is, "Definitely the underdog anthem."

  • "If I could be a fly on the wall
  • In a room full of people talking down on me
  • I'd probably say fuck them all
  • What's your problem I'm just trying to live in harmony."

There is the obvious and comical element to the chorus that can be obtained from simply hearing the words aloud. It is immediately easy to infer, and I imagine it would be tough to not sing along to it (I wouldn't know because I've been singing along to it every time I've run it back). But pausing to consider the lyrics for a moment reveals an existential transcendence not at all common in hip-hop. In a time where people are afraid to speak their minds because they worry about possibly offending someone whose help they may need down the line, in a time when individuals too weak to stand are championed as running shit because everyone wants to eat a piece of pie in the victory circle, iNDEEDFACE are only concerned with being enlightened beings spreading positivity and making art.

Over the course of the record the extent to which you feel familiar with this music will be in direct relation to how much time you've spent exploring rarified crevices of music contained and captured on vinyl in bygone eras. This music skirts categorization nearly as fast as it aligns with it. The music is mixed like it was played by a band, and that's because Burn One, Ricky, and Walt are a band (along with Bruther Brown on bass, and Neemo on drums/trombone). But they're not a band in the most obvious and traditional sense because they're using the technology of the studio to disrupt time and space in a uniquely self-reflexive way. The studio isn't just a tool to capture sounds in perpetually suspended animation. Like Brian Eno, George Martin, or Teo Macero iNDEEDFACE set the studio in motion as a dynamic instrument of its own unique breed. The result will take you where you're headed, as long as you're willing to let go and follow the lead of these

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