DMF Musa Drops “I Feel”

A bassline emits an optimistic tone as brittle beats attempt to replicate it in the opening bars of “I Feel,” the latest single from DMF Musa. When DMF Musa starts to rap in his brutish voice, his vocal wraps around the bass tightly but leaves just enough room for a fleeting percussive stomp to penetrate the harmony.

The lyrics are tangible and presented to us free of the watered-down metaphors and pedestrian platitudes of mainstream hip-hop, but they’re only telling us half of the story here. The other half is being told by this wickedly sharp instrumentation, which is bolstered by a muscular master mix and elegantly produced alongside the strong vocal of the man in charge himself. Like the other songs that I’ve heard in the rap underground recently, “I Feel” is both an exercise in fluid melodicism and a formidable stab at experimental hip-hop, and it’s a fun listen for anyone with an ear for the new era in smart rap music. 

The music video for “I Feel” is well-directed, but it doesn’t overstate the theme of the song with a lot of predictable imagery that would muddy the narrative behind the words. The video plays out like a walk through the backdrop of a player’s life, only instead of pointing out different landmarks along our journey by their given names, DMF Musa’s verses act as an emotional encapsulation of what we’re looking at.

The music is always the main focus, and while the video is certainly a colorful piece to look at, its cosmetic artistry pales in comparison to what the song contains from a compositional point of view. DMF Musa has a lot going for him with this sound, and in this single, he shows off just how much he can develop his songcraft both as a lyricist and as an arranger. These instruments are communicating so much to us here beyond stimulating hooks and memorable verses; this is as engrossing a hip-hop single as I’ve ever heard, and if anything, it pushes the limits of the genre into some seriously intriguing new territory. 

“I Feel” is an awesome single, and more than reason enough to scope out DMF Musa’s new work, which in the short time since its debut has already racked up some heavy critical accolades from one side of the hip-hop spectrum to the next. In a year that has already produced some stellar content from upstart songwriters looking to break into the mainstream, “I Feel” stands out as the first authentic hip-hop song to explore an often forgotten aspect of the genre’s roots, and in an era where melding the old with the new is trendier than ever before, this track is quite a hot commodity, to say the least. I look forward to catching DMF Musa on his next tour, and if you enjoy legit hip-hop grooves that aren’t leaning on a lot of synthetics or samples to get us into the jam as much as I do, you won’t want to miss it, either. 

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