Minnesota MC Dem Atlas is building his buzz in a very commendable way; the upcoming artist is signed to the reputable Rhymesayers Entertainment label, and he’s capitalising on his increasing stock by releasing ‘MF Dem’, a concise project which finds him presenting us with some wildly entertaining tracks over previously released MF Doom instrumentals.
The project kicks off with ‘Grbge Trsh’; Atlas’ quirky, melodic delivery sets him apart from his contemporaries, with an utterly distinctive style and left-field approach, and it’s a true breath of fresh air to hear an MC ride the beat with such a confident, unorthodox quality. The off-kilter, silky flow displayed on ‘Sum-Mo’ is really dope too, and Dem Atlas displays a natural ability to be fully entertaining with his vocal performances. The subtle R&B vibes of ‘Flawless’ are thoroughly entertaining, and it’s impressive how wide of a skill-set Atlas has at his disposal, and he uses each and every corner of it on ‘MF Dem’.
The wide variety of styles on show here continues with ‘Lack The Lad’; the charismatic and hyper-energetic vocal display from Dem Atlas shows his potential beyond the traditional hip-hop leanings. Of course, this is a tape filled with MF Doom production, so the boom-bap is very much alive and well on this project, but Atlas takes his performances beyond what most MC’s would bring to the table, and that is a very good sign for his future and longevity. The catchy ‘Nervosa’ is a catchy, melodic cut, and the project closes on the subtle standout ‘Resolve Dissolve’.
Dem Atlas is one to keep tabs on for sure; this is surely just a pre-cursor to a proper project to follow at some point. The MF Doom beats are an exhilarating soundtrack for Atlas to demonstrate his wide-variety of flows and tones, and it’s entertaining from beginning to end. If you’re a fan of hip-hop that pushes the boundaries and doesn’t stick to the traditional, tried and tested formulas, this is bound to stay in rotation for a while. Check it out.
By Sam Bennett