Duos in hip-hop are discussed on a regular basis. Outkast, Clipse, Gangstarr, Stepbrothers (Don Trip & Starlito), and more are all herald as some of the best two man groups in hip-hop of all time. Duos and groups are created everyday but many lack in the chemistry department. While you can make music together sometimes you need to click on a musical level and many duos can’t do this. That isn’t to say they shouldn’t keep trying, but as a duo the chemistry has to be there. You should be able to have an idea and your partner add something to create another layer to what you presented.
I’ve known Alabama’s K1NG ELJAY for a long time. He was the first person to give my writing a chance and we’ve been friends every since then. I met D Gut my last visit to Austin, TX for SXSW in 2014 and I saw the talent he had as a musician. I believe this was the first time ELJAY and Gut had met as well, as we all stayed in the same rental house. This day would birth a friendship that would turn into the music you’re about to hear in this post.
While both artists are good as solo acts, being a duo adds another dynamic to their artistry. The way D Gut and ELJAY feed off of each other’s energy on tracks reminds me of how Don Trip can say one thing and Starlito will finish his train of thought in the next few bars. “The First Song” is the first record on their new The Process EP and it explains how both got their start in music. The video showcases some areas in downtown Birmingham, AL as the duo go back and forth in their verses, sharing their stories in a way that looks like two friends having a conversation that we audibly and visually experience.
Before the project was released the duo sent the album to some friends and writers for reaction videos (I’m in here a couple of times). It’s worth watching to see what people have said about the project before you take a listen to The Process. They have a mix of soul samples and video game samples all while dropping bars that you won’t get until the second or third listen (it took me a few tries to get D Gut’s “I bust raps and get across the point like division is long”line on “The First Song”).
This duo of the RDFND crew are trying to change the way people perceive hip-hop from Alabama. To be honest, I don’t know many artists from that state so their scene has a lot of growing to do. I think what they’re going to accomplish with this project is going to start a trend and you won’t only know it for their college football team.
Download/Purchase The Process: Bandcamp