Stylistically eclectic, it's no surprise that Things to Do in Dorchester...When You're Dead 2.5 features the work of three producers and approximately a dozen rappers and musicians. The third installment in the Things to Do in Dorchester series, the album has tracks for every type of hip hop fan—whether you just want something fun to listen to at a party (“Wave Ya Hands”) or something that explores social and political themes (“Same Shit”), there's something for everyone here.
The intro, at nearly five minutes, although it has a cool beat, is a bit long and rambling, and the second track, “Wave Ya Hands”, with lyrics rhyming “tits” with “clit” are pretty misogynistic—but things start to take a much more interesting turn with the fourth track, “I Don't Listen.”
“I Don't Listen” has a beat reminiscent of Outkast—it's all strange sounds that come together surprisingly well. The synthesizer in the background almost sounds like the 8-bit midi music of mid-90s Nintendo games. The lyrics are about being steadfastly independent: “I don't listen to shit/I don't believe anything comin' out your lips.” It's goes on to tell a story of being both stubborn and also knowing when to trust only yourself.
“Same Shit” tells a story in the style of Nas—you listen to a song like this for the same reason you read someone's autobiography, to try to get a glimpse of how someone else lives: “From my hood to your hood/same shit.” That's the sad truth of it: Not much has changed, and the problems that many people face are often the same everywhere.
“Thing 4 Gangsters” is one of the most jarring tracks—it starts off with recordings of people saying some blatantly racist things, but then the song begins and it's a surprisingly gentle song that is almost romantic. It's a strong juxtaposition that will shock you out of your complacency.
Overall, this 20-track mix-tape is bold, unique, and consistently interesting. DJ $prigg$ and everyone he works with on this release don't pull punches—they say exactly what they are thinking, for better or for worse.
Things to Do in Dorchester...When You're Dead 2.5 dropped on August 1 and is available for stream/download below.
Connect with Beanstock Records: Soundcloud
L.M. Alder is a writer, librarian and musician. His stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in Asimov's, Ghost Town, decomP, Corium, the EEEL, and other places. He is the co-author of A Cathedral in a Mason Jar: The Untold Story of Elvis Presley (tNY.Press, 2016). You can check out his band at TheDeafeningColors.com.