I’ll start with the production. It’s excellent. Sounds like something Dilla would have produced today. Deeply layered, soulful beats flavored with jazzy interludes – Seneca B produced all 7 songs on the “We Were Friends” EP, by Des Brennan. Usually when one producer creates the majority of tracks on an album, one of two things happen, the results are repetitively lackluster or satisfactorily cohesive.
This Ep belongs decidedly to the second category. In a day and age of rappers who grunt, talk about money and women or say one word over and over again…sometimes even Autotuned, it’s nice to hear a upcoming emcee spit a complete EP with dope lyrics over hot music.
Des Brennan has done what few of his contemporaries have been able to do and that is to make relevant music without overtly bowing to the current rap themes. And that’s a considerable feat, considering Des has been releasing music for just on a year now, though he has been exercising his craft for about 5 years. Des, who comes from Pearl River, New York – which is about 30 minutes north of New York City- started taking his music seriously after graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh in May 2015.
Des Brennan shows off a controlled and restrained yet enrapturing lyrical form with insight and lucid storytelling on the “We Were Friends” EP, where he explores the most essential of live and loves’ themes, including family and friendship issues.
Like any master storyteller, Des describes every scene in vivid detail, emphasizing in the movement between the EP’s top and bottom portions that in life and love, the work and pain come first and the benefits and relief afterward, if success has been achieved. And sometimes, no matter how much work and pain you put in, success cannot be achieved, for one reason or another.
Introspective and profound, Des rarely dates his music by using the pulsar slang of the day. Instead, his verses and choruses are more aligned towards smart afflicting prose. Many times, concepts and subject matter in underground hip-hop get cycled around, that is not the case for this recording, as Des Brennan brings a lot of new perceptions and insight to topics that are as old as life itself.
That’s because in personal relationships everyone has their own private perspectives, except most do not explore or elaborate on them verbally, as Des has done here, connecting his thoughts with those of his listeners.
Listen up to standout tracks such as “Shook”, “Clipped”, “River”, “I Should Say”, “Survive” and “Friends”. You’ll pick more hard hitting one-liners on this EP than you will hear in a month listening to mainstream radio.
Des is not only smart lyrically but he can cut deep with one single phrase – “I see you’ve got some new bruises, from the same old people, but you choose this,” taken from “Friends”, or “These relationships are feeling forced, so when I end them I don’t feel remorse,” extracted from “Clipped”. The truth is artists like Des Brennan are still making amazing hip hop it just isn’t on the radio.
I came across Des Brennan by accident – never heard of him or his music before, but I immediately loved the beats and his lyrical flow. Des’ lyrics paint a perfect picture in my mind, and will do the same for you as it unfolds layers and layers of depth. The message is clear in the “We Were Friends” EP. Des Brennan knows what he is doing!