What So Hot, D.R.A.M., Zebo | The Mid | Dance | Chicago Reader
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D.R.A.M.

D.R.A.M.

Richard Perkins

What So Hot, D.R.A.M., Zebo Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., July 30, 10 p.m. 2015
Price: $22.50
If a song’s worth depends on how well it can keep your brain in a ruthless grip, then the irrepressible “Cha Cha,” from Virginia rapper-turned-singer D.R.A.M., is downright fantastic. Featuring an accordion-like synth melody—the sample is ripped straight from Super Mario World (no, really)—and punched up by spraying percussion and hand claps, “Cha Cha” is the kind of ecstatic pop song that would be flirting with cheesiness if not for D.R.A.M.’s seductive, playful swagger of D.R.A.M. (he rhymes “mañana” with “mañana” close to a dozen times, which for whatever reason feels so right). And the single is currently on an extended run. After first releasing it on last fall’s #1EpicSummer mixtape, D.R.A.M repackaged it into the shorter EP #1EpicEP (#1EpicCheck/Empire), and since then it’s slowly garnered fans in high places, including Beyonce. The singer brought other songs from the mixtape with him, including a polished version of the sweet, romantic “Just One,” but I’ve had trouble listening to anything other than “Cha Cha.” I played the track at least a dozen times during a recent weekend-long bachelor party, and it only took a few plays for the song to worm its way into my friend Ethan’s head. I’d find him humming the melody to himself—much to his own chagrin—and I can’t help but admire how “Cha Cha” made its way deeper into my life. —Leor Galil

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