Darren G is audibly just as hungry as he was on Ravenous, but with his latest EP, Off My Chest, he spends less time beating down his opposition and focuses on exposing a bit more of the man behind the rapper. The ol’ addage, “don’t confuse my kindenss for weakness” is apropos though, because he is anything but soft on each of the five tracks on Off My Chest. A notable change that must be acknowledged is Darren G’s growth as a producer. The beats, self-produced as well as those produced by Beatsmith Resist, and Forensics, are significantly more soulful than the majority of those on Ravenous (please don’t read, “the Ravenous beats must not be…”), making OMC even more of a treat for the listener.
Thematically the 5-track EP is cohesive and definitely sits well under the banner of “dope” – fittingly the intro shares the origin of the now common use of the word dope in hip hop culture and in greater American culture as well. The opener, Represent Dope, is solid all around, Darren G’s verses are sharp and honest, Tony Sleez adds the perfect touch with clean cuts to change things up and Darren G’s production is excellent. The second track, Off My Chest, is produced by Beatsmith Resist, who I learned of at an Urban Underground “Strictly Business Beat Battle”, and is easily the hardest beat on the EP; the beat feels like an anthem and is perfectly complimented by Darren G’s aggressive style. Get There is reminiscent of Cam’ron’s “Oh Boy” in how Darren G uses the sample as another voice in his verse and is definitely one of my favorites from him thus far. You Don’t Know Me and tracks like it can be a little bit of a put off, telling the listener that they don’t know you, yet here they are, trying to get to know you. That aside the track is good. This track feels more like the tracks on Ravenous, which is not negative, but it just stands out as not quite at home on this project. The closer, Feels (prod. by Forensics), is such a well, dope, finishing touch on the EP. The beat carries the soul of the first three tracks and allows for Darren G to share some more heartfelt rhymes – “so good to still see my mother, no resentment toward my little brother, or my sister…I’m a always be there to pick you up…”.
If you would like to download the Off My Chest EP for free, just click here or the album cover at the top of the page.
Peace and Love,