The West Coast has been looking to restructure their platform in the post-gangsta rap era and by the sounds of next-gen artists such as Blu, U-N-I and most recently Diz Gibran, the sunnier side of LA lifestyle is the popular picture to portray. Aligning with rogue clothing company Crooks & Castles, Diz Gibran is out to make believers of all comers with his commendable debut Soon You’ll Understand.
Rapper-producer tandems have become a rarity since the days Gang Starr were front runners in the culture, but Diz, alongside trusty collaborator Moonshine, construct the type of Hip-Hop that caters to their respective timbres, blending in pleasant harmony. Moonshine specializes in slow-burning audio delicacies that translate the crispiness of warm vinyl into a digital format. His contributions vary from rich and measured (“Impossible”) to buoyant and enchanted (“On It”) and still manages to pack a few surprises as heard on the steel drum influenced “Calypso Flow.”
Gibran on the other hand, rides the wave of melodic genius steadily to uphold his end of the bargain. Straightforward in approach and vocal demeanor, the Left Coaster transfixes his energy to recreate his brand of reality rap, LA edition. Simultaneously expressing his affliction towards music and disdain for pop-radio on “Stereo,” Diz lets it be known “The dream is real/making music for the fiends to feel/with or without a decent deal,” he’s determined to be heard.
Fully embodying the ambiance of California dreaming, “City Lights” navigates through the perils of the the lifestyle, “Exactly” with its James Cagney theme, is a punchline buffet and the brooding “New Religion,” questions modern theology in a suggestive yet reputable manner. And there’s no shortage of ol’ fashioned braggadocio with “Once Again” setting the tone for Gibran to flex his verbal skills for the lion’s share of the album.
19 tracks for one sitting is a bit lengthy and occasionally, Diz does leave some to be desired with occasional less than thrilling lyricism, but the bottom line is Soon You’ll Understand is simply peppered with preferable music. Masses may sleep for now, but there’s plenty indicators present that Diz Gibran’s reality rap will rise to the top — sooner than you think.
Diz Gibran Feat. BJ The Chicago Kid – “Truly Yours” (Acoustic Version)