Dex meets Dexter
The conveyor belt of Chicago rappers continues with Famous Dex...
Famous Dex made a surprise appearance on Chicago’s South Side in 2015, travelling on the Soundcloud express, dubbed by the influential Rich The Kid. Prince of mumble rap, he drew attention with his uncontrollable energy, anarchic phrasing, and an almost extremist conception of dynamic onomatopoeia. But on his first album, Dex meets Dexter, he concentrates more on soaring melodies, which float thanks to autotune helium. This surprising new direction offers a striking counterpoint to Lil Pump’s tremulous minimalism.
When his voice joins with that of the singer from Drax Project, the result is even more structured, with a nod to the electro-pop of Daft Punk. This more sedate, more peaceful side of Dexter is a real shining light, balanced out by a few grittier pieces like the first track “Pick It Up” with A$AP Rocky, or the dark “Take Her” with Wiz Khalifa. Eddying smoothly from haute couture to women and drugs, Famous Dex becomes more charming with every new release: mischievous, but also contemplative. When he invites the listener on a sugar coated trip to “Japan” or a more sedate paddle in the hypnotic “Deadpool”, Dexter takes on a new form, albeit a little less paranoid or megalomaniac than his Cartoon Network alter-ego. Famous Dex’s placement of words and wisecracks makes him completely winning, giving a more elaborate follow-up to Lil Yachty’s Lil Boat. Verse by verse, Dexter is coming ever closer to being a kind of electronic Peter Pan, a tattooed, fluorescent Charlie Brown.