REVIEW – “The Rabbit Hole” by: Deshawn Flaire

"No cosigns, just dope rhymes"

If you are still sleeping on the quality of hip-hop being made in Chicago, it’s time to wake up!

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Deshawn Flaire is yet another promising talent hailing from Chicago. The Rabbit Hole is Flaire’s follow-up project to his 2013 EP, Hope Is Dope.

10415644_665959103452731_7517175455432198643_nMany mentions of reality and dreams throughout this project, Flaire is working hard to turn his dreams into a reality and he took time on this project to chronicle his progress as a man and an artist as he works towards his goal.

“So Far…(Intro)” is one hell of a way to kick off a project. This songs gives listeners a true understanding of what they have to look forward to for the remainder of this project. In “So Far,” Flaire acknowledges his growth but takes time to point out the many areas in life where he hasn’t grown or changed (for better or worse). This song is probably my favorite on The Rabbit Hole because Flaire just sounds so hungry on the track and the concept is very relatable — with references of constantly reminiscing on old girlfriends to lines like: “never been a believer but I hear you preaching.

966747_513917451990231_1111559928_oTransitioning from “So Far,” Flaire immediately shows his versatility with a chopped-and-screwed Houston vibe on the tracks, “RS/P (Real Shit Pimpin’)” and “Happy Hour”.

“RS/P” is my favorite of those two songs because while using that chopped-and-screwed sound, Flaire stayed true to himself with lines like: “started from the bottom, now we’re climbing, that’s what I call real progress“. Also, Ricky Nattiel was a great addition to “RS/P” because while he’s too from Chicago, he somehow amplified that Houston chopped-and-screwed vibe with his contribution.

I would highly recommend this project for anyone to check out. It’s an easy listen — just nine songs — but Flaire does a great job at pairing his lyricism, wit, and transparency with some complimentary (yet versatile) production. As much as I enjoyed this project, the songs that resonated with me most were definitely the intro, “So Far,” and the outro, “The Feels,” because I found myself wanted more of that from Flaire. Those tracks were so introspective and real (for lack-of-a-better-word).

Listening to “The Feels” made me a fan of Deshawn Flaire because I understood him as an artist after hearing that song. “So Far” was a great attention-getter with a strong concept and an immediate display of Flaire’s lyrical ability — I love the rhyme-scheme on that track. Tracks like “RS/P” and “Really Real” are very enjoyable but those tracks were the potatoes of this project. “So Far” and “The Feels” are the meat, after listening to this project, those tracks will stick with you the longest.

On “The Feels,” Flaire tells us he doesn’t care about the fame or acclaim, he just loves his craft. That kind of dedication, mixed with his talent is an impressive combination. My favorite rhymes on “The Feels” (and probably my favorite rhymes on The Rabbit Hole as a whole) are:”This album was carefully planned and cleverly thought. Every beat was hustled for and eagerly bought. Every feature that you hear was particularly sought for, my only wish was that I brought more.” I felt as if those are the rhymes Deshawn Flaire would want to be defined by as an artist, he has a vision and he’s determined to bring it to fruition.

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