When I first heard UK rapper, Dream Mclean I was having a late night music session with a friend of mine. He informed me of a track he had heard the night before that was one of the deepest and most hard-hitting tracks he had heard in a very long time. This sort of build up for a new track always gets me going, so I of course sat with a brief stint of excitement waiting for the track to load on SoundCloud.
‘Bruises’ by Dream Mclean, I had never heard of him, but trusted my friend’s judgement on good music. As the beat spilt through the speakers and his slow but rhythmic flow echoed through the room, I was instantly in awe. Quick to realise this was not another, fast paced, tongue in cheek grime MC. The track is written about a heated argument with his girlfriend that resulted in violence from both parties. From the perspective of himself, his girlfriend and his son, the raw honesty and emotion in this track is mesmerising.
“They argued all night, it turned into a fight, mummy hit him in the face, Daddy hit her back harder. Now without a male role model in my life, who knows? I could grow into my Father.”
Dream Mclean hales from Colchester, Essex. Having grown up on the likes of hip hop giants, Nas, Wu-Tang and mid-era Jay-Z, it is easy to see where his slow, hip hop flow comes from. However growing up in Essex also means that it is impossible to escape the garage, drum and bass and more recently, dubstep-fuelled nights at venues such as, Tribal. This hybrid of British grit, and laid back hip hop has evolved into something special with Dream Mclean. It was not long before he was snatched up by MTA records, and soon was touring with Professor Green and Chase & Status. Dream Mclean is someone you should be listening to if you’re into hip hop, grime and bass music, as his blend of all three styles is perfect fitting.
His latest album Greyscale was something I was very excited to get my hands on. As soon as it was out I had it pumping through my speakers and was impressed from start to finish. The opening track ‘Bastard’ is a slow, moody and raw piece that is written with a touch of humour adding to his lyrics about how he is basically, a bastard.
“I’m goin’ to hell, I’m goin’ I know so. But before I go I wanna go to the mobo’s. Roll out the black carpet, cos I’m a fuckin’ mixed race black bastard… John Terry agrees”
Another stand out track is ‘D.W.I.D’. a full scale banger, with one of the heaviest beats I’ve heard in a while, accompanied by Professor Green and CASisDEAD. Pro Green seems to have taken a moment to appreciate a track he can push his lyrics through, stepping away from his radio friendly, pop/grime personality, and stepping into his old shoes. There is no holding back on lyrics of his excessive lifestyle and drug fuelled nights out. CASisDEAD never fails to deliver, and this sort of song in what he does best, all out nasty, rude and aggressive. There are also tracks for the more laid back hip hop fans. ‘The Unholy Trinity’ has an essence of the 90’s golden era of hip hop, only with a naturally produced modern and British twist to it. A laid back and hooky beat held together by vocal samples and 70’s sounding bass guitar, the opposite end of the spectrum to ‘D.W.I.D’.
Whilst I may be stating the obvious, the best way to really get this album is to stop what you’re doing now and either buy it, or stream it through his SoundCloud page. It covers everything from deep bass and hip hop to grime and drum ‘n’ bass all glued together by his voice, that is ultimately the stand out performance and is undoubtedly why he is rising to success at such a rate.
There is not a better feeling as a music fan than hearing something and instantly feeling excited and inspired to hear more from the artist. What is even better is when they live up to your expectations.