Dumhi? So, you’ve heard the name. You’ve heard the EPs/Albums, “Yoga At Home”, “Flowers” and one of 2010′s finer outings, “The Jungle” (read our review HERE), right? Or maybe you haven’t, but you should. Originality is a difficult find today, whether lyrical or on the production tip. What Philadelphia’s very own Haj a.k.a. Dumhi has done is provided you with some of the most original, stylistic soundscapes over the last half decade, yet very few have partook in the production schematics of one of the East Coast’s finest finds. However, with the pending release of his forthcoming EP/LP (really, it’s short in time, but I don’t wanna’ necessarily classify it as an EP) “The Whole World’s Watching”) Dumhi aims to capture the attention of those that fronted and enable the album’s title to indeed come to fruition.
Of course, you’ve already heard the album’s first two boisterous singles, “The Knife Remix” and “Fourth Of July”, which both boasted a lyrical helping hand from fellow Philly resident Reef The Lost Cauze, the earlier, of which, also featured notable appearances from Sean Price and Burke The Jurke. Yet, the combo of Dumhi and Reef just works, almost with ease as witnessed on one of “The Whole World’s..” most potent tracks “Paramount”, which also, again, is a Philly affair with Ethel Cee and Random in tow for a captivating lyrical venture.
You always want an album to start off with a bang and “The Whole World’s Watching” does exactly that. Boasting one of the most gritty, forceful deliveries in all of Hip Hop, Lessondary member Elucid complements the thunderous title cut perfectly spraying lyrical darts as his delivery, if you wanna’ take it back in the days, sounds eerily similar to Freestyle Fellowship affiliate, Volume 10, while the chant “The Whole World’s Watching” will have you reminiscing over Leaders’ of The New School’s debut, “A Future Without A Past”. However, as powerful as an opener the title cut is, the true gem of the LP arrives via “The Demo” and a memorable lyrical performance from Side Effect. Fueled by horns that you’d expect to hear on a Panjabi MC LP moreso that a Dumhi album, “The Demo” is blessed with a deep, hard-hitting drum kick that has the pure force of a pack of soldiers on a rampant march to the chow hall.
With appearances from Scanz, Reef, Sean P, Random, Ethel Cee, King Magnetic, etc. it’s understandable that Haj’ production could be easily overshadowed amidst the pack aforementioned emcees. Not the case, as Haj remains the star of the show with clever, well executed samples and hard, knocking drums that remain dusty yet true to the grassroots of Hip Hop. Following in the short but sweet formula found on “Yoga At Home” and “Flowers”, “The Whole World’s Watching” is truth to the sentiment that “sometimes less is better”. However, I’d still like to hear a full album between the likes of Reef/Elucid and Dumhi in the near future. In the meantime, pick this jawn up within the next few weeks, one of the more promising albums you’ll hear in 2011!!
“The Demo” f. Side Effect
“Paramount” f. Reef, Ethel Cee & Random