Dutch Brown has released a masterpiece, carefully crafted and poured over, from the title to the intricately laid rap bars in his latest LP, 'Deus Per Vicos.' The title, translating to "God through the villages," explains a lot about Dutch. Dutch Brown's history on the streets, in cipher after cipher, refining his craft day in and day out, eventually caused a buzz in New York without the help of social media. Dutch's talent, lyricism, and gritty energy, were discussed far and wide, and the news about someone spitting heat traveled by word of mouth. I can only expect with this latest project that the good news about 'Deus Per Vicos' will surely go just as far, if not exponentially farther, given the well-laid plans for its release.
I had the pleasure of connecting with and interviewing Dutch Brown in April 2021 on my radio show. Since that time, I have worked with Dutch on several small projects, and I am always humbled to be working with this man who has done the incredible things he has done in his music career. By the time that I sought him out for an interview, Dutch Brown was already a well-seasoned rapper and artist in the New York scene, well known in Harlem and beyond from his time with Murda Mook and T-Rex as part of Dot Mob. In that 2021 interview, Dutch discussed his time with Dot Mob, how he got started and touched on his future projects. He spoke on four separate works and his concept for each. One of the projects that we talked through was a collection that Dutch had planned out, down to song ideas and producers, that would eventually become 'Deus Per Vicos.' I am delighted to report that the project has become a reality, and after looping for weeks on my speakers and in my car, I can honestly say that if you are a true rap fan and have a love for the craft, this project will check off all of the boxes for you.
The project is heavy, dark, and aggressive. It's old school meets new school, streets meet the studio, and the soundscape feels intimidating without needing to stand up. True to form, Dutch has maintained his unique street sound as a self-proclaimed "rapper's rapper" on this project. He throws those jabs while speaking the truth throughout the album. In 'Skylurkers,' Dutch summarizes what he often tells me, he doesn't like other rappers and has no desire to be like them. "Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I said all you n***s sound the same, and they got mad at me." It says it all.
Many of you may have already heard the single 'Send Em,' which leaked on March 4 as a preview. There is already a buzz about the track, with several small articles and reviews floating around the rap social media circles, which speaks to the quality of the production work and that "through the villages" gift that Dutch possesses as a performer. 'Send Em' features haunting melodies from producer Ben Jesus (whose audio signature I am obsessed with), paired with antagonistic in-your-face bars. The track is assertive and argumentative, highlighting dominance and confidence necessary both on the streets and in the industry.
In his early years, Dutch shares that he was surrounded by music, particularly jazz music, and while he writes and performs rap, he admits that his musical tastes are eclectic. In this project, you will hear those jazz hints and inspiration peppered on 'Skylurkers' and 'Sunny Daze,' my personal favorites from the project. The contrast of Dutch's cool, confident wordplay over soulful notes makes both tracks memorable, but 'Sunny Daze' takes the top spot for me because of the melodic hook that will get stuck in your head.
Every single track has surprises and highlights that you'll enjoy, from audio easter eggs and pop references to bars that stand on their own. There are NO SKIPS on this project. You can easily listen through the entire body of work without getting tired of the sound. A couple of tracks, like 'Despicable 101' had me sad that they ended so soon, and 'Pick a Side' feels like a summer night. In closing, the whole project is a smash. With Dutch's background and history in the business, I can see the project easily breaking records for him, and I can not wait to see it happen. In closing, I'd like to mention that if no one makes a soundbite out of Dutch's "woosah, woosah" on 'The Come Up' I will be highly disappointed in the internet. It's a moment.