He’s not a smuggler, but he is certainly a smooth talker. Mitch Darrell is set to bring a whole new story to the galaxy.
When Mitch Darrell dropped an early listen of his upcoming album ‘Dreadhead Lando’ into the FiveTwenty inbox, I couldn’t wait to dive into the project.
Here is my instant reaction:
Opening Crawl – The intro is inspired by the iconic Star Wars opening crawl. However, in this case, it is a modern interpretation that sets the stage for ‘Lando’.
Space Station ft. Li$o – The opening here has that feel of being part of a classic Star Wars score. I can envision Darth Vader walking through the Death Star and this being heard in the background. The hook comes in. It is a simple repetitive chant of “I’ma take a vacation in my space station” which repeats perhaps a little too much. However, when Darrell dives into his bars he shows how good of an emcee he is and how good he can potentially be. Li$o delivers a slightly lethargic flow on his feature verse. It works as a contrast to the rest of the track, however.
Cloud City ft. Wells & Matthew Campbell – I actually did a review on this track previously. I can tell you that I love it! To check out my full review, click here.
Lovin’ U ft. Xay Hill – “Lovin’ U” is another track that has been previously available. The simple piano intro sets a mellow mood that carries on even as the beat drops and Xay Hill enters with his autotuned vocals. Darrell is working through his search for the wife that is out there waiting for him. “I would love to be a Jedi but I just can’t follow the rules/ not allowed to do what happened at the end of episode two/ and since marriage is forbidden I would not fit in with the crew/ cause my plan is to search these planets find the one and tell her I do”
Token Black ‘Casino Freestyle’ – On this track, Darrell is tackling racism and feeling like the only “black man in the galaxy”. Conscience raps are close to Mitch’s heart and “Token Black” is a perfect example of that. The message is on point and presented in a way that is neither over the top or off-putting. It is simply, “here is the issue that needs to be addressed”. So far it is one of the highlights of the first half of the project.
Broken ft. Naim – Get ready for that smooth, throwback R&B feel. The first true criticism that I can give on the project comes with the vocals of Naim. The mix could be much better and certainly cleaner. Perhaps this is the sound that was looking to be achieved, but there is a distinct difference with Darrell’s vocals on the verse. Overall this is not a bad track, but it is definitely my least favorite to this point. The flow pattern is on point, it just lacks that factor that makes a song stick with you.
Light Speed ‘Interlude’ – This is not what you probably think of when you read “interlude”. In fact, once the vocals come in, it caused my eyebrows to raise. Instead of a one minute or less “break”, it is an impressive track that blends a distinct hook with amazing wordplay. “Light speed, I might be the chosen one/ sky walking, I’m talking to the son/ we need you please help the frozen one/ that’s Han, I’m solo my bro can’t run”
Greatness ft. Jacquan.R & Yung Jetti – I really enjoy the writing on this track. At the same time, I was hoping for a bit more from the production. One thing the simplistic beat does is allow the bars to shine. “I know I’ma be great, I know that it takes time/ get on my knees and pray, and I know that I’ll be fine/ get better with each flow, get better with each line/ I know that greatness starts from within, and not from others eyes” As solid as the writing is, there is a lack of that element that really hooks you into having this song on repeat.
Jedi vs. Sith – Where the previous track’s production erred on the side of too simple, the production here draws you in from the start. Immediately my head began to bounce with the rhythm and the catchy hook…and then the verse comes in. People are going to be forced to wake up to Darrell as a spitter. It wouldn’t even be fair for me to quote any lines here. You simply need to listen for yourself. With one song left, “Jedi vs. Sith” may be in a position to be my personal favorite track on ‘Dreadhead Lando’.
Catina Celebration ft. TreAlise – Okay, so let’s talk about this track. It certainly stands out from the rest. It has that party song feel and is performed well. The biggest issue for me is the contrast with the rest of the project. The overall sound was unexpected, and if it was within a different collection of songs, I may have had a different response. Coming off of “Jedi vs. Sith”, and with this being the project’s final track, I was just expecting the finale to be…different. At the same time, it delivers an ode to the iconic scene of its namesake. “Celebrating victory as if it was my birthday/ thinking we gonna run it back as if it was the first day/ feel like I’m a running back and now we’re watching First Take/ everybody talking about the night we had at your place.”
1. Jedi vs. Sith
2. Light Speed (Interlude)
3. Cloud City
‘Dreadhead Lando’ is dropping on March 9, 2019. Make sure you are ready to make the jump to hyperspace.