The advent of technology and social media has led to an entirely different definition of what a music scene is in the last ten years, and in that sense, geography is no longer a factor in defining an erupting movement in pop. Dude Reppin Knowhere issues one of the most effective experimental pop tracks of the summer so far in his latest music video, “Sneaky Style,” and to properly understand its complex compositional wonderment, it’s best to abandon any prerequisite notions you might have about scene politics as they currently stand in 2022.
Every shot in the music video for “Sneaky Style” is saturated in colors that reflect the landscape of Dude Reppin Knowhere’s home turf and its multitude of cultural treasures. Prowess, pride, poeticism, and a passion for play come together to make a kaleidoscopic visual experience that surpasses anything that I expected to see coming into this review, and while it is as slick as anything you might have seen on a classic installment of Epic. Awesome. Videos., it has a simplicity to its structure that keeps it from coming off as even slightly arrogant in its design.
The bassline is aggressively stylized to push as much muscle into the melodies as possible in “Sneaky Style,” but it’s not nearly as physical a component as the singing and its textured string shadow are. The instrumental part in the song is a little less intense than DRK’s, but their juxtaposition of temperance and tenacity makes the vocal dueling even more alluring than it possibly would have been. It’s not as feverish as some of DRK’s past material, but it’s a lot more mature in style, at least from where I sit.
This is a pretty streamlined master mix, but I think that it’s worth pointing out how unaffected the tonality of the instrumentation is by the sleek construction here. “Sneaky Style” has a lot more melodic moxie than anything I’ve heard in the explosive European underground this past spring, and even when taking into account its tight arrangement, we’re never robbed of a single drop of harmonic pleasure in this song. You don’t have to be an expert in recording to appreciate the amount of time and effort that must have gone into hammering out all of the details in this track (and its music video, for that matter), but for those of us who keep up with this kind of stuff, it’s a brilliant offering for sure.
If “Sneaky Style” is on par with what we can anticipate hearing out of Dude Reppin Knowhere’s forthcoming studio sessions, then there’s a good chance that his brand is going to break through to a global audience that has been looking for something fresh once and for all this fall. This single was released to a warm reception from rap music aficionados, and if it manages to take hold of external listeners this season, then I believe that DRK is going to be in for an even bigger year in 2023.
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