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Ryan's Review: "Dream Chaser" by Duk

By Ryan Rutledge
On November 3, 2011


It seems recently, at least to what I've noticed, there's been a huge influx of rappers trying to break onto the scene and this seems to be the case with Duk (pronounced Duke for those who are like me and thought it was pronounced "duck").

You may or may not know this but Duk is, in fact, a student here at LSC.  It seems I may be late on the scene with this, being a freshman and all but in the last year Duk released his first mix tape, Dream Chaser. So, as an introduction, how does this album hold up?(Let me start off by saying that the version of the album I listened to was the "unmastered" version of it so what I'm hearing is not the final product and could be very different from what I've listened to for this review so with that said, lets dive in.)

Now, I like to think I'm totally honest with my reviews so I have to start off saying that in my opinion, this album sounds a bit pop generic. What I mean by that is that it sounds a good amount like what I'm always hearing in the club and the radio and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not good either. The bad part about it is that when you sound like what's out there it's harder to get noticed or grab the attention of people right away, you won't grab people's attention right away. That being said, the good side of it is that people used to music like this are almost bound to like it. Most of the songs do have a nice danceable beat to them even if they sound a bit generic.

A pretty big plus on this mixtape is Duk's flow. It sounds like he's been doing this for a while and it works. One song that showcases this is the title track "Dream Chaser". It's got a really mellow vibe to it, and Duk just sounds like a natural in this song. Another highlight of this mixtape are Duk's freestyles.  They're another really great showcase of his flow and style, again he sounds straight up professional on these, it sounds like he could indeed take on anyone. There are a few more songs here and there that work, such as "Cypher" (featuring A-Skillz) for one which showcases both rappers well.

The downsides to this mixtape are things that can easily be improved upon with more practice and experience. Duk's lyrics are hit and miss on this album. On some tracks such as his freestyles he can hit really hard and it's really enjoyable. But on songs like "Camera Phone" and "How You Doin Girl" I'm honestly just turned off by the lyrics. It sounds just like "typical" rap it's just bland stuff. Also, I just have to bring up the beats again, Duk needs to get better beats for his songs. While they can be enjoyable, it's the same stuff I've heard a million times over. Maybe my standards are a bit high but I want something to "wow" me and these beats just aren't doing it for me. He can hit hard, he needs beats that can keep up.

Overall, the mixtape is a lukewarm introduction for Duk. I can see him doing bigger things in the future if he just keeps producing and moving forward with his music. It's like the old saying goes, "How do you get to Carnagie Hall? Practice".  I feel like Duk has some real potential, it's just all a matter of pushing himself.


Tracks you'll like:  All of the freestyles, "Dream Chaser", and "Cypher"

Tracks you can skip: "Camera Phone" "How You Doin' Girl" "Tie Me Down (Remix)"

Track of the Week:  "Retarded Fren" by DOOM, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood

            For me, this is collaboration straight from the music gods.  DOOM is a master lyricist who crafts his words like a blacksmith a crafts a fine sword. Throw in a backing track from two prominent members of one of the greatest acts of all time, Radiohead, and you have musical magic. As unfortunately named as this track is I cannot recommend it enough. Listen and love it.

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