New York Hip-Hop Genius, Des Brennan, Drops Slick EP
You've probably heard of Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Grieves, and other hip-hop masterminds, but there's one name you're missing: Des Brennan. Hailing from Rockland, NY, the independent rapper has been consistently putting out impressive records for a few years now. His grind is unstoppable. Last month, he dropped his latest EP, Growing Apart, six tracks of sonic experimentation.
Growing Apart begins with its title track, produced by Vanilla. Acting as a miscellany of soundscapes, the song employs bubbling chimes, thick slaps of percussion, and otherworldly ringing tones, all competing for attention beneath Des' steady flow. Next comes "Trials," fuzzy with deep synth vibes and a more intense vocal delivery from Des, rapping lines like "The music won't die 'cause it's all I'll ever need." The creeping arrangement conjures similarities to Aesop Rock's "No Regrets," but Des works hard to keep it a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. The middle of Growing Apart finds "Aurora," produced by badsummer. It's a slick, R&B-infused track led by shimmering piano beats and quick wit. Next is "East Central," an experiment in sound that spends 45 seconds introducing warring, warbling noises before Des comes in with a vengeance. The arrangement is anxious and fluctuating, mimicking the heavy subjects Des drops, admitting "I could feel the pressure building up, tryna keep myself together / I already knew the diagnosis, kid is fucked up, he needs a higher dosage."
On "Cheers," the percussion is sharp and insistent, and the overall tone is intense, moving through a classy piano rhythm to roaring applause and more. Growing Apart ends with "Apple Tree," produced by Tesk. The track is a standout, taking a cue from Grieves' raw, rapid, quick-witted songwriting. Here, Des bears an admirable vulnerability, leading the song with his nonchalant delivery above grainy, fizzling tones. Dropping lines like "My success will be posthumous / Find gems when they clear out my esophagus," he confesses his fears as an independent artist, anticipating a dull, quiet failure. Little does Des know, he's merely beginning. His wordplay is brilliant, his delivery is thoughtfully crafted from fellow hip-hop influence, and the beats are slick, smooth sonic wonders. With talent of this caliber, there will be no failure for Des Brennan.