Funky DL is a British emcee/producer who has been making music since the ‘90s. Substantial is an emcee/producer from PG County, Maryland who has been making music for just about as long. Years back, both artists found themselves in Tokyo working with the legendary producer Nujabes and eventually connected through him and became friends who collaborated here and there over the years on various projects. In 2015, they reconnected in person in Japan playing a tribute show, which led to a European tour in 2017 that brought Substantial through London, where they decided to work on a more realized project together. Now the result is finally here in the form of an EP, We Met in Tokyo…
For this project, Funky DL is on the beats and Substantial is on the mic. When you listen to the EP, it will immediately feel familiar, like you’ve always had this record in your library. That’s because one, they’re working in a timeless soulful, jazzy boom bap style, but also because two, these two have such a natural chemistry together. The beats that DL is laying down have such natural grooves to them, with these wide open pockets, and it’s almost too easy for a vet like Substantial to jump on the mic and start rocking his rhymes. The real treat here is that while Substantial could have easily have gotten away with some generic shit talking or party rhymes, he still makes a short and fun collaborative EP like this have some depth with his words. He does this with songs like “What I Been Saying 2.0” and “Say Less,” where he speaks to the frustrations of seeing his community putting in the work for a better tomorrow while the goal posts keep moving, or how he sees others chasing empty promises of money and fame or acting hard. He does all of this with the savvy of a veteran who knows how to make these messages resonate without coming across as too preachy. Of course, it helps to have these undeniable beats from Funky DL that will just immediately get your head bobbing that helps these messages go down easy.
We Met in Tokyo… is a short project, but these two veterans from different sides of the Atlantic know how to make even the smallest opportunity count. The EP is all killer, classic beats and rhymes that will just slide right into your hip hop rotation like its always been there.
|Title:||Substantial & Funky DL - We Met in Tokyo...|