IN THE DARK
An album by Hidden Vs. A Dude Named Drew
Review presented by Courtney Ulrich
Listen to “In The Dark” by Hidden Vs. A Dude Named Drew
Hidden is becoming a familiar name on The Write Reviews’ website. After having his The Way of the Warrior album reviewed and being named the Featured Emcee for November of 2016, Hidden earned a nomination for the Most Underrated Emcee of 2016-2017 at The Write Awards last year. Although he fell just short of taking the award in a tightly contested category full of talent, Hidden wasn’t going to allow himself to fade out of the scene. Halfway through 2017, Hidden’s Outlaws To The End album received praise on the website. Even though Outlaws To The End had been released prior to The Way of the Warrior, the album proved Hidden to be one of the strongest emcees, in terms of concepts and originality, ever featured on the website. Once again, Hidden finds himself under the microscope, hoping to earn another nomination or two at The Write Awards this April. In The Dark is a nine-track album that aims to bring more to light about the emcee from Texas. We will find out as our newest addition to Write Reviews’ staff and the first female critic to join the team, Courtney Ulrich, will give us the complete breakdown of Hidden’s dark disc. – Warren Peace
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THE HIATUS IS OVER
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“Onslaught” is a remarkable track to kickoff the albums introduction. Hearing Road Runner “meep, meep” added a fresh take on humor towards the middle. It sure as hell made me giggle. I could feel the emcee switching it up a bit throughout the track to keep his audience on the edge of their seats, craving more. At first, I had sensed some dark moods radiating from within the lyrics. It sounds as if the emcee is angered throughout his flow. Although, I really enjoyed listening to this jam. It deserves to be heard on radio stations everywhere.
2- Incessant Symphony
I am impressed with Hidden’s many uses of mega pop culture sound samples throughout the whole album. While listening, I found myself eager to discover the next reference that the artist strategically composed throughout the jam. I had a hard time throughout this track with keeping interest. The transition from “Onslaught” to “Incessant Symphony” was a bit rocky. It might help is he toned down some on the repetition. The unending (no pun intended) reps had my trigger finger itching to hit the ‘next’ button.
Ah! A beautiful chaos! Hidden vs. A Dude Named Drew reeled me right back in with their brilliance on the track “Hidden.” As you’re starting to tap your foot to the beat, the emcee drops the hook and it’s got your head nodding instantly. I feel a bit of sadness for the character described in the lyrics. It seems he is a victim to his own surroundings and he becomes consumed in his own hell. A mockery of a life well-wasted. The jam has got me feeling like “Woah! That’s deep.” Yet, I’m still tapping my foot and bobbin’ my head while I enjoy the beat.
4- In The Dark
The emcee’s delivery on the title track is a grand experience for all fans of the Hip Hop Nation. I heard a lot of the same rhyme schemes on this track as others on the album, but it is placed perfectly within sequence on “In The Dark”. As the albums core, the listener has really caught on to the portrayal of the dungeon/darkness theme. From the audience’s point of view, not only did I hear the track at its surface, but the emcee becomes so truthfully descriptive in the delivery of his lyrics. His listeners are given the opportunity to experience what it’s like to feel the music as it speaks to you.
5- The Feast II feat. M-Acculate
All of a sudden, I have an impulsive urge to get the Nintendo out for a 3-day gaming binge after listening to this song. It stays true to the dungeon theme effortlessly. There’s something unique in the emcee’s delivery and tone that sets the mood. For me, it creates an atmospheric feeling of world destruction. With each hook that’s delivered the emcee depicts a face of agony. Much like Majora’s Mask. I really enjoyed the many sound samples included in this track. At first, I felt it was going to be totally lame. But that is not the case whatsoever. Once I got the sound sample references, I realized that Hidden vs. A Dude Named Drew has created an epic freaking masterpiece. M – Acculate steps up on the track as it’s featured guest artist. A fresh change of pace to the album format by bringing in a guest artist undoubtedly adds some creative spark to the album. but I feel that this featured artist was not beneficial to your album. M-Acculate seemed to be behind and sluggish on his deliverance.
I really enjoy the hook on this track. Its catchy vibe adds an upbeat twist. I could see this jam topping a few charts and earning plenty of radio play. Everything is amazing, even when Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. I have nothing negative to add in regards to this specific track. I really dig it.
Hey! Now, this is off the hook!! The uplifting beat has got me really feeling the music. Is that Etta James delivering that beautiful female vocalist sound throughout the mix? Because it sure does sound like it. The best bar oh the track has got to be “You don’t get to be the best to be decent. No matter what anyone says, don’t let the beast in.” That’s probably my favorite line in the whole album. The track has a good, strong placement as well. Everyone could use a little pep talk after being “Hidden” and “In The Dark.” I have nothing negative to add to the track. The only question I might have is “Where’s the chorus?” I’d like to compliment you on your choice of side bitches. She’s pretty hot.
8- Modern Tradgedy
I feel like “Modern Tragedy” is a portrayal of an ultimate sacrifice. It might just be my wild imagination, but the feeling that I take from the lyrics is a sacrifice had to be made in order to do the one thing that Hidden loves passionately. The song’s placement is totally fitting. I feel like the line “the beast is trying to come back and win” is the final dramatic twist/turn that then leads the album to its last track. What stands out the most, in my opinion, is the verse containing the bar, “for a dime and a magic bean. But money falls short, it can’ t buy you what you need.” Those are real words that speak strongly to me. I feel like Hidden is saying money can’t buy you love, happiness, success or respect. Those things have to be earned, otherwise, you’re gonna fall short. All in all, I like the song, but damn, it’s depressing. Like a race without a purpose. I’m not sure that I would enjoy listening to this track often.
It’s kind of catchy but the line “darkness is a virtue” gets pretty repetitive and borders on annoying by the end of the track. This has to be my least favorite track on In The Dark. Although, it does have many great aspects. It’s ironic how the first line of the jam says “this is the end”, and it just so happens to be the last track. I see what ya did there. It was rather humorous. I feel like the lyrics are fitting for the outro and sums up the tracks as a whole. I really enjoy the break at the end. It sets a relaxing mood and gave me good vibes. I feel like the track is trying to express the message of “don’t let darkness overrun you. Always stay true to yourself.”
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OUTLAWS TO THE END
Get your copy of Outlaws To The End by Hidden here.
Onslaught, Hidden, The Feast II, Amazing, and Hey
THE WRITE UP
All in all, I really enjoyed In The Dark. There were a few beats that I wasn’t able to get into, but you can’t always please everyone. It just wasn’t my style. It seemed a little overly depressing to me. When you really listen closely to the lyrics, it took away from the beats instead of bringing everything together. I felt that two of the tracks had a bit too much repetition in them and that the emcee could have done without killing the vibe with a broken record.
I really enjoyed the sound samples. The Zelda, Al Pacino, and Road Runner references were awesome. The instrumentals were all great and kept me moving with the music. “Amazing” and “Hey” were dope as fuck and should be played on radio stations across the nation. Both tracks were upbeat and fun. I feel like the album, as a whole, was depicting the artist at war within himself. Overall, it was unique and something I’d listen to again.
(3 out of 5 stars)
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