Occasionally, I have to pleasure of reviewing music that makes me happy to have heard it. Mike Dreams’ independent release- Dreamer’s Poetry is that type of music. From the lyrics, to the samples (think Paul Davis’ 1977 hit song “I Go Crazy” and Denise Williams’ “Free”), the Minnesota native’s command of the English language, seamless delivery and adept skill at forming (and using) metaphors results in what could well be a definitive album for 2010. In short- Dreamer’s Poetry is the shiznit.
Now that I’m through gushing, I’ll tell you why.
There are seriously so many good lines that it would be hard for me to pick a couple to highlight. That in itself is exciting these days. Nevertheless, I’ll give it a shot. On “The Dreamer” (the intro), Dreams talks about holding onto his aspirations in spite of well meaning advice from his father to focus on the present, being the realest in the “Sota”, and the reason why he doesn’t need a piece from Jacob the Jeweler to proclaim his faith… “And I don’t even worry bout the bling or the diamond rings/or the Jesus on a chain/why would I need him on a chain when he’s in my heart and runs through my veins…” And that’s just the first track.
“I Go Crazy”, is possibly the best song I’ve heard so far this year. Along with the expertly used sample of the aforementioned Paul Davis’ record, “I Go Crazy”, Dreams flows effortlessly, describing, with heartfelt sincerity, the obstacles he knows he has to overcome to obtain the ever-elusive “deal” that many artists chase for years… “Do you know how it feels when you ill/but the game’s saturated like two-piece meals and biscuits with buttermilk/and you just tryna eat /lock myself in the lab with my records on repeat…”
“Weekend Jam” is a bouncy, likeable cut that will remind you of the music your moms would listen to while she was cleaning up around the house on Saturday mornings. Dreams channels L.L (think “I Need Love”) on “Dreamgurl”. “We Goin’ Worldwide” and “Feelin’ Out This World” make good use of fellow Minnesotian (that’s what they call them right?) singer, Christina Fisher’s voice that gives both tracks the commercial appeal to do well on radio. Dreamer’s Poetry also features appearances by Garey Hannah Sr. Oli, Toyebi, Ashley Dubose, Margeuax Davis, Adeipe and production from Wisdom and Jimmy Easy.
It’s not easy to make a hip hop album these days that isn’t about guns, sex, drugs and just general all-around foolishness that has the ability to stand on its own- especially when you’re talking about going to church, tithing and NOT smoking blunts. Who does that? And the better question is: how do you do it without it coming off corny or preachy?
Mike Dreams masters the art of fusing poetry, sampling (including the high speed sample, which can be wack if it’s not handled properly), and good-old fashioned story-telling to make cuts that you actually want to hear. Musically and lyrically, Dreams seems much older than his 21 years, which is a key component when making grown up music for grown up listeners. We can only hope that the world is ready for what he’s bringing.