The Breaks: DMV Hip-Hop Happenings From the Short Week
It’s been a short week—thanks, Memorial Day! May’s final installment of the Breaks features a laid-back groove from yU, a new video from Black Zheep DZ, and a weekend appearance by the legendary producer, rapper, and DJ Large Professor. These are the breaks.
Dreaming with yU
Over the holiday weekend, Mello Music Group shared "Dreams," a summery, Sunday-appropriate track by yU and Danedra Rowell. Originally released as part of Mello Music Group’s 7" series, the song is like an album-closing musical epilogue that evokes images of sun rays waking you up as they creep into your bedroom. Its strength is in the simplicity of Rowell's guest vocals and the song's highly percussive production. It’s another versatile showing from the refreshingly humble third of Diamond District that will make you excited for the solstice, but will also leave you longing for more new music from the trio.
Black Zheep DZ Remembers Yesterday
Black Zheep DZ, a fraction of Baltimore’s 7th Floor Villains, released his video for "Yesterdays." It’s involved, to say the least. As the rapper—who you might recognize from GoldLink’s "The God Complex (When I Die)" video—spins stories of the past, director T Zhang creates a mind-fuck packed with strong images. The bulk of the three-minute clip takes place in the forest (where, as horror flicks have taught us, good things rarely happen), where Zheep and his boys seek an escape from the everyday rigors of life, a girl dances in slow-motion, and an ominous figure dressed in black lurks around the perimeter. Several shots stand out but, aside from the juxtaposition of love and violence that comes out of nowhere, it’s the final one that’s the most jarring. Zheep now has a history of appearing in memorable videos, which is incentive to give his Refugee project a listen.
Large Professor in D.C. This Weekend
Tomorrow night, celebrated producer, DJ, and member of ‘90s hip-hop group Main Source will appear at the Lodge at Red Rocks with DJ Stylus. Large Professor, who’s partially responsible for Nas’ very first musical appearance and has collaborated with him frequently over the past two decades, has a robust resume of production credits that includes work on Nas’ Illmatic, as well as A Tribe Called Quest’s "Keep It Rollin" and a little remix of Common’s "Resurrection." The event begins at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover.