Album Review: D-Win – Kubrick EP

Chicago based artist D-Win has broken his near year long silence with his latest concept EP Kubrick; exploring racism, police brutality and manipulative media. A collaborative effort with Chicago producer Tek XKubrick was created, according to a press release, to “enlighten and inspire those who are seeking a shift in the right direction”.

The EP opens with the title track, an introduction into mastermind Stanley Kubrick; a filmmaker most know for his controversial works such as A Clockwork Orange and Lolita. From this first track, the tone is set with a heavy bass backing the opening lyrics “I was being misguided so I decided I wasn’t going to be silent”.

The opening piece bleeds into “Walking on Water” with a continuous energy as D-Win unapologetically hits hard with his standpoint of media corruption and unjust toward minorities. Underlying the punch of his words is a theatrical choir of strings building into the chorus:  “We smell smoke/ running through the fire/ really we should fall/ with every step/ flames all around me and I can’t see through/ but at the end of it all/ it’s like I’m walking on water.”

From here, the listener’s ear is perked by an eeriness created with backdrop of white noise; bringing in something dark, yet emotional with “Dear STN”. Suddenly, the concept of struggling as a black youth in a dissolute society because less abstract as D-Win places himself into the song pleading: “I’m feeling trapped/ all by myself/ back to the wall/ can somebody help.”

The tempo draws back with the EP’s next track “Drown”, but vigor is not lost. The song starts with a hum of strings that meet a light yet strong beat. The voices stay hushed, drawing all attention to D-Win’s opening raps before picking-up with a stronger bass electronic  instrumentals as featured singer Sciren delivers the chorus.

The energy is brought back with “Censor”. The song name drops young men across America who recently lost their lives at the hands of police. Although each track clearly explores black youth in America, “Censor” strikes no subtly as D-Win sings out a reminder, “It could of been you/ it could of been me”.

The EP wraps up with “Mass Love”. The song begins with the closing statement: “I’m through writing these songs/ For now I just sing along/ Lately I’ve been thinking/ Shit they gonna wished they listened”. With a quick bass drop, D-Win starts his rap over tribal beats and catchy recorder lick.

Overall, the EP is both creative and well-executed. Not only is the concept eloquently projected, the musical and recording technicalities are professionally executed. With at least one great work under his belt, the expectations for D-Win are high, but there’s a feeling his future endeavors won’t disappoint.

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