Final summer time, earlier than DD Osama was being performed out of each pre-teen’s Bluetooth speaker within the 5 boroughs, he was a comparatively small-time drill rapper from the Sugar Hill space of Harlem. Alongside together with his buddy Sugarhill Ddot and little brother Notti Osama, they had been a trio of baby-faced 14 and 15 yr olds with a few no-holds-barred diss tracks to their names. Then tragedy struck. In early July 2022, 14-year-old Notti Osama was stabbed to dying within the 137th Road-Metropolis School subway station. The incident rippled by New York’s drill scene, bringing a ton of consideration to the trio and its music. Seemingly in a single day they had been sensations. Voyeuristic beef pages and on-line platforms, together with however not restricted to No Jumper, ran wild. Drake hit them as much as mannequin his latest clothes line. Labels swooped in with heavy briefcases in hand.
Within the meantime, Notti’s dying was callously changed into a punchline, most infamously by the attention-hungry viral hit “Notti Bop,” a tune and dance mocking the way in which he died. Darkish turns are inevitable in a subgenre that’s grow to be the go-to outlet for the youngest residents of essentially the most depleted and underserved corners of New York, however this was a brand new low. Now 16, DD Osama is the present hottest New York drill rapper not named Ice Spice. He instructions a special kind of fandom than earlier title holders like Pop Smoke and Sheff G; these artists had been older by just a few years, which is quite a bit at that age. DD is beloved by youngsters who’re nonetheless years away from moving into R-rated films. Just lately I spent a day at a center faculty in Harlem and nearly the one artist they needed to speak about was DD Osama. At his stay exhibits, younger ladies scream like he’s on the quilt of Tiger Beat and grownup chaperones mill round within the background. The dissonance couldn’t be louder on DD’s eerie new mixtape Right here 2 Keep, a debut that’s making an attempt to be drill’s model of My World 2.0 and course of grief on the similar time.
Understandably, DD isn’t fully certain deal with all of this. Songs which can be imagined to be loved-up teenage pop-rap truly sound melancholy and fatalistic, even after they’re making an attempt to not. On “Who I Am,” he flatly sing-raps a few woman that he’s fallen for. The tune clearly desires to have the slick tone of “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” however is unintentionally extra like “Coronary heart on Ice” as he lilts, “Been by quite a bit and I ain’t tryna’ lose you/Misplaced my brother this shit feels uncommon.” Likewise “Be Alright” is a romance the place every thing goes just about wonderful within the lyrics but the miserable-sounding ATL Jacob beat and DD’s quiet, cracking voice makes the despair really feel inextricable.
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