D.T.C. (Dedicated To Christ), a duo comprised of rappers Daz and Nelz, brings us their first EP, which is self-titled.
The project explores different aspects of the artist’s sound throughout while still remaining unified in the overarching style.
Each song fits into an overarching theme, something that is often not the case for first EPs.
Jesus – The first track on the EP immediately catches my ear with a gypsy jazz sample of the song “Minor Swing.” The hook is cadenced and memorable. The gritty tone of the first verse is well-matched with the feel of the beat. The second verse is shorter and serves to drive the point home before the conclusion of the song. I find beginning the project with a track about Jesus to be fitting for a group called “Dedicated to Christ”
Overall, the bars are very solid, but not mind-blowing. There are, however, several outstanding instances of wordplay, such as, “An open grievance leads to a sealed fate in the form of a closed casket.”
Dear God – The mellow tone of this second track is appropriate for the mellow tone of the lyrics. While the lyrics don’t stand out for their agility, they do stand out for heavy content. On this song, we get to hear an outstanding testimony. “Nobody knew my real name, I made myself invisible/ Sadly, I considered myself unforgivable.” “And yet you, Lord, still considered me worthy.”
The hook feels obligatory, and I think the song might have been better without the break. For me, the highlight of this song is the incredible story that is told.
Pray – “We hard-hittin’/ Jesus’ image/ scripture-spittin’/ Christian rebels buckin’ the system with no misgivings.”
Right off the bat, we encounter a sung hook. This serves to set the mood and lend a worship-esque feel to the rappers’ petition while still fitting in as an element of a hip-hop song. The first verse might be my favorite on this project. The style of the flows combined with the content reminds me of ’00s Christcentric and Lampmode releases. The second verse busts in with a different cadence to it, but without a reduction in quality. Both Daz and Nelz make their points eloquently in the space of their verses. Probably the only change I would make would be to add some harmonies on the hook.
R.E.P.E.N.T. – If you’re looking for a hype track on this project, this is it. D.T.C. picks up the pace on this fast-paced, heavy-hitting anthem. The hook follows the tried-and-true acrostic style, with each letter in “repent” representing the start of a phrase. Daz and Nelz take turns rapping either the letters themselves or the corresponding phrases, and both lyricists bag their verse.
My biggest complaint about this track is that the sounds used in the production sound cheap. In no way does this ruin the song, but it could be that much better.
Renew Me – The EP ends on an introspective note with “Renew Me” as Daz and Nelz turn to examine, along with the listener, their mental and spiritual struggles.
“That life before redemption seems to haunt me like a shadow/ and when nobody is lookin’ I’m locked deep inside this battle.”
Solid concept, production, hook, and bars all fit together into a very well-crafted song for the project to conclude with.
Overall, I found D.T.C.’s self-titled EP to be a very promising debut project for the duo and I’m very excited to see what they’ll come up with in the future!
My favorite tracks:
Darius Mullin is a student, musician, and avid lover of all things Christian Hip Hop. You can often find him fellowshipping with friends, making music, working on schoolwork, making terrible jokes, or touring local caves.