Deca makes goofy hip-hop profound—and vice versa | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Deca makes goofy hip-hop profound—and vice versa 

click to enlarge Deca


Paulo Salud

Denver-born, New York-based MC and producer Deca wallows gleefully in the loopy psychedelic end of hip-hop. His past records have owed debts to the Native Tongues collective (groups who were part of it, including De la Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, get frequent shout-outs), but Deca’s 2018 instrumental album Flux (Beulah) draws equally on loungey trip-hop. Some tracks feel like they could be outtakes from classic Dan the Automator records: On "Space Dust" Deca combines laid-back beats, drifting horn samples, and corny inspirational snippets of announcements and dialogue into an ode to expanded chemical and spiritual consciousness. "On the Clock" rocks like a woozy metronome, clicking and bubbling off "into the silence, into the light”—as a disembodied voice declaims at the track's conclusion. Flux also contains a number of remixes; on "Skyward,” a reworking of a 2017 track (for which he released a wonderful video in the vein of Yellow Submarine), Deca put an ominous beat beneath his wry, slippery rhymes about grasping for—and missing—enlightenment. "God bless the poet proletariat,") he raps, then mourns "strange beautiful things losing their wings" before sliding improbably into a chorus about a whale's stomach lining. Like his hip-hop heroes, Deca makes you giggle and think simultaneously—it's boom-bap to feed your head.   v

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