Welcome to one of the best albums this year you may never have heard of. Yet. If classic, hardcore, concrete cracking, boom bap is your thing, then Christmas has come early. ‘The Hardcore Composer‘ is a brutal banger of an album. 10 tracks of rock solid beats courtesy of Dom Dirtee and a host of features from only the heavyweights of rap – Lil Fame, Teflon, Illa Ghee, Nems, Termanology, Planet Asia and more.
We’ve said it before, but hot damn is there some brilliant hip hop coming out over the past few years. 2020 is killing it and Dom Dirtee drops a producers version of ‘Illmatic’ as a debut joint. You’d expect nothing less coming out of Duck Down Records though. People may know Dom for his artwork over the years, but not for his banging work behind the boards. That’s about to change with this joint though, because heads are going to learn. Dom Dirtee played, wrote, composed and produced this entire heat rock (save for a few scratches from Statik Selektah & DJ Arkitek) and of course he designed the damn cover. D Double, like his album, is the complete package.
What you instantly notice on first spin, is that every beat BANGS, and I mean that literally. You won’t find any of that stripped back, minimalist, sample heavy stuff on this joint. This is brilliantly crafted, composed and delivered. And when you have such a distinct, hardcore and heavy soundtrack, you can’t have weak lyricists behind the mic. Luckily that’s not a problem Dom has as he enlists A-graders to spit bars. And not just turn up and drop a dope 16, but really bring verbal fire that matches the white hot production.
There have been some brilliant producer albums this year from the likes of Buckwild (twice!), Stu Bangas, DJ-M1, Statik Selektah and others but this one might just rise above all of them. The other brilliant element of this release is the ability to take such an iconic sound, stay true to it’s grimey roots, but also bring it into modern music. So many times dope albums with that traditional flavour can SOUND dated, like they transport you back to a golden era, but ‘The Hardcore Composer’ brings that sound into the now. And the high quality bars add that extra spark.
A brilliant album from start to finish, this is a flawless victory and one hell of a debut from Dom Dirtee. Play it loud, play it often.
Bangers: Kill Switch, Bad Habits, No Celebs, The Hardcore Composer
Score: 10 / 10. This joint is one of the most well-crafted, perfectly delivered albums of 2020. It has huge replay value (over a dozen spins and I just can’t stop playing it) and it’s music that just makes 2020 ‘ok’ again. Hardbody beats, killer lyrics and features from some of the best emcees, all wrapped up in a cohesive and easily digested album. Perfect.