The Luke Beige Experience by D’zyl 5k1
The other night I was at Scarub of Living Legends’ album release party in the 626 and asked him what someone who has made many works over many years would say to someone earlier in that process. He said “the less you care, the freer you are.” I immediately thought of 4 or 5 artists in my community that created in this way and of them I can think of few that create more fearlessly than San Bernardino’s D’zyl 5k1. On The Luke Beige Experience, he explicitly pursues a project where he primarily sings throughout instead of rapping. It takes willpower as a rapper to not be the guest rap verse on your own sung-songs so kudos to him for that off-top but he also chose incredibly well. Hearing him rock tracks with Doc Lesnar, Cuda, CJ Simmons and more absolutely hits the spot because these are all I.E. technicians who know how to get the job done. Interestingly the collab with IEllis, “Us”, features NuZega himself singing as well which caught me off-guard as I expected him to do something blistering and insane but it was just smooth!
As brave as it is conceptually this still felt like a D’zyl album so I’m glad he still credited it to D’zyl 5k1 as opposed to Luke Beige. The producers are masterly and returning collaborators like Kentucky’s Spit1ne and the I.E.’s Big Mason. The songs have D’zyl’s honest silliness, originality, humor and cleverness. From stoner musing “Stare at the Ceiling” with Lesnar to oral-sex anthem “Shock Top” with the Homegirl Monie, D’zyl did not make your average R & B record: it’s an eyebrow raiser, like most of his work. Even the singing itself, largely evokes what he’s done before as a singer but still- hearing him let loose, edit less, run with it more and push the vocals literally and as songwriting tools is delightful and effective. I love the song “Oh” produced by Ac3 Beats, an I.E. producer I hope pops up on more production credits of local luminaries like 5k1.
The album closer “Honestly” is hard-hitting and relatable, a masterwork and worth the price of admission alone. Bump this record and witness an artist in his bag, having fun, sharing it with you.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers