Today I had the pleasure of checking out the newly released song from D.A. (also known under the performance name of Most Official), entitled "Loving The Game." To understand the piece and the journey more completely, let me share a little about the artist. D.A. and I crossed paths on the 'gram, as with most musicians I connect with, and while talking about artist services, he shared his unique and incredible journey with his life's passion: music. D.A. is an independent artist from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area of Minnesota with a long and impressive past in the industry. In 2008, as Most Official, he placed second out of over 30,000 entrants in the Loud.com competition, scored a record contract with SRC/Universal, eventually exited that contract, took a break from the business to pursue life, and is now back with a ton of head knowledge and more than an ounce of heart learning. As a seasoned hip-hop artist influenced by the heavy hitters and greats of the '90s, you'll hear that vibe, energy, and sound come through in all of his work. "Loving The Game" is no outlier from his signature, sharing a focused message that hip-hop is not dead.
This track is a clear and direct love letter to hip-hop: the culture, the sound, the energy, the attitude, the style, and the embodiment of the music that influenced (and continues to influence) not just one generation but the world for decades. Through thoughtfully planned and executed lyrics, D.A. pays homage to the creation of hip-hop on the east coast, detailing all aspects of the essence of hip-hop from its influence on popular culture in everything from daytime talk shows to streetwear to high-end fashion. D.A. speaks on how old school artists who came up early in the game taught the future generations of hip-hop artists how to perform, from the look and sound down to the style details in how you hold a microphone. Listen for relatable references to household names like Biggie, Nas, Tupac, cultural references that hip-hop heads will immediately connect with, and ties to the ongoing metamorphosis of the music that continues to present.
The track takes you on a journey from the birth of music and culture to its evolution over time, likening the development and growth of hip-hop to a child growing up, or quite literally a game where the rules are the same, but the players change. In talking with D.A. I've learned that the song, while new to many of you, is actually a few years old but speaks to the timelessness of good music. D.A. shares, "While the song might be old, the message is still relevant. I can't stop loving the game because of what it's meant for me and continues to do for me and so many others."
The soundscape of this track is what you might expect from the genre and sound influences described above and pleasantly so. I found the piano melodies and instrumentals bright and airy while keeping a solid footing in the boom-bap sound. Expertly mixed, D.A.'s voice rides the musical wave with ease, heartbeat drums pulse and propel the beat forward, and while you are enjoying that hook, the whole song seems to fly by - leaving you ready to listen to it all over again from the top.
D.A. is one artist to keep an eye on with this piece and future works, as he maintains plans to release a backlog of projects to the public for free. Connect with him on Instagram as I did at @grandvillain_productions and listen to his full musical catalog on the website: https://grandvillainproductions.com.