Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Prinz-D, Lyriciss, Nike Nando, Run the Jewels, Yung Gleesh


Regular DMV Beats readers should already be familiar with Darius "Prinz-D McCall, who calls himself the First Deaf Rapper (I gave him shine here and here, in particular). His profile continues to grow, though: In mid-October there was an in-depth piece on WAMU-FM, and then a few days ago Spin magazine made him the cornerstone of a profile on hearing-impaired MCs. (He's also got a press contact now, too.) "All I really care about is that when people hear me, they're like, 'That's nice! He's deaf? So fucking what,'" he told Spin.Joe Warminsky


Two huge deliveries from Maryland rapper Lyriciss this week: His debut independent album, The Balance, and a video for album cut "Big Gold Chain." Directed by Dante Bailey, the video spins a cautionary tale about the trials, tribulations, and casualties of the drug game. "Just a young nigga lost with no GPS/So he keeps one eye open like CBS," Lyriciss raps, offering his own take on one of Jay Z's most famous lines from "Can I Live?" Both the video and the song reflect what Scarface taught us nearly 30 years ago about the American dream: There are no happy endings, even for the "success stories." Pick up The Balance on iTunes or Amazon.—Julian Kimble

Nike Nando

In March, the assiduous Nike Nando released his SprdLv mixtape, which opened with the strong title track. Nando and DeuceTheMusic filmed a video for "SprdLV" earlier this year, but it was delayed till, well, now. It's a simple, black-and-white clip shot in the snow-covered woods—a nice complement to Drew Beats' horn-heavy production. Look out for Nike Nando's next project, CouldBeWorse, out on Christmas Eve. —JK

Run The Jewels

It's safe to say that Dungeon Family affiliate Killer Mike is fond of the nation's capital. Over the last year and a half, he's performed at the Rock & Roll Hotel, Howard Theatre, and the 9:30 Club. For the latter gig, Mike joined forces with underground luminary El-P to promote their self-titled collaborative album, Run the Jewels. During their visit to D.C., the duo found time to film a video for the rappity rap-laden "Get It," parading around the District and loitering on President Obama's manicured lawn with tourmates Kool AD, Despot, and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire. —Harold Stallworth

Get It from Run The Jewels on Myspace.

Yung Gleesh

Yung Gleesh—one of perhaps only three rappers on the planet consistently using Auto-Tune to greater effect—extends his unrelenting viral campaign with a Will Hoopes-directed video for "Which 1 U Worken," a lighthearted ditty from his retail debut, Ain't Shit Changed. The brief street single, produced by frequent collaborator Dolan Beats, is crammed to the hilt with methodical inquiry. Gleesh makes like a felonious pollster, asking listeners to weigh in on everything from gang affiliation to which semiautomatic weapon would best match his sneakers. —HS

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