There were a few moments in 2020 that left fans wondering whether music was ever going to be the same after COVID, but while a lot of other scenes were stagnating under the weight of the pandemic, Miami’s music culture seemed to simmer and boil over in a way hardly typical of such an off-year in the industry. 2021 is seeing a new wave of talent emerging from the city’s underground in the form of stylish pop players like DICI, whose new single “Five Rings” is primed to take the summer by storm. Juggling components of both melodic hip-hop and aggressive pop rather masterfully, DICI presents his audience with a near-perfect amalgamation of Miami’s greatest musical forces this year inside of a track designed with efficiency in mind.
Though the composition itself is more a work of conservative songwriting than it is anything on the experimental end of the spectrum, the color it produces through emotional harmonies stands essentially unmatched by anything else I’ve been listening to lately. Blending influences that touch on his personal background whilst expanding on concepts unique to the city in which he’s found himself rising through the ranks, DICI would be a tough act for any upstart pop singer to follow this season.
The narrative in this single is open to your own interpretations based on how you perceive the lyrical statements, as they bring to mind images of athleticism, competition, dreams, indulgent fantasies, eroticisms, and even a bit of self-realization all at the same time. Ultimately it’s the sonic and poetic symbolism here that serves as the most consistent point of conveyance for our vocalist, whose metaphorical nature flirts with the esoteric quite openly in “Five Rings.”
Listen to “Five Rings” below
The groove behind him isn’t overstated, but it’s certainly big enough to have an effect on how we’re to take DICI’s mood. Instruments aren’t made to be cosmetic features alone in this song, but instead contributive parts that are necessary for us to both understand the context of the lyrics and, more importantly, what their sentiments are targeting. He didn’t have to be quite as avant-garde as he was on this front, but at the same time, it’s not like he doesn’t wear the look well.
There are so many different things we can take away from “Five Rings” if analyzing the single’s core aesthetics and the man behind them, but the bottom line is a simple one: DICI is an artist you need to be paying a lot of attention to if you’re into the future of melodic hip-hop. This is a player who isn’t at all content to recycle the familiar songwriting concepts a lot of his contemporaries have stylized their entire personas around in the past half-decade, and from where I sit he’s got one of the few original sounds to garner attention from both rap and pop/rock audiences in the last year in a positive way. I’m eager to hear his official debut album, but until then, “Five Rings” is a track I recommend checking out if you’re new to his music.