It’s August and my vibe has been mainly neo-soul, hip-hop and r&b. I go through ebbs and flows of music styles and albums that stay on repeat – right now its Jhene Aiko’s Souled Out. In late June, I went back home to the City of Angels and had a cool two week visit where I caught up with old friends, family, and visited my old stomping grounds.
It was around 2 a.m. in Santa Monica when a few old friends met a few new friends. We danced at the beach and then proceeded to take a dip in the ocean [we may or may not have been drinking heavily at a nearby bar.] Shortly, after our late night dip we arrived at my friends apartment. We talked music everything from Miles Davis to Jay-Z.
One of the homies said we had to peep this up-and-coming artist, named Dae Zhen. Turns out Dae Zhen is the homies younger brother. I was skeptical at first. LA is like a breeding ground for wack artists trying to make a name for themselves. But, at 3 a.m. while kicking it on the sofa craving some pizza, ’94 played on the screen, I heard this sound and saw that face and asked to hear more.
A few weeks later when I returned to DC, I decided I had to listen some more – so I did. I have even incorporated Dae Zhen’s music into some of my playlist’s and sent his tracks around to friends. I downloaded his albums and have officially become a fan.
His sound is one that is smooth, deep, witty and soulful. Somewhere between Childish Gambino, J. Cole, with a 90’s hip hop vibe. It is hard to believe that he is only 22. His first album – Women and Wordplay – is a great primer into the world of his sound. He has recently dropped another album called Dipset which is just as addicting.
After about a month of consuming everything that he has put out. I can say I fully co-sign his sound – its everything you want to hear this summer.