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Artist Spotlight: deee-nice

Rapper Deee-nice posing in front of a tree for his album Midnight Moodswing
Deee-nice poses on the cover of "Midnight Moodswing"

Coming at you with the latest summer jams, Derek Osinski (IG: @_sinski), also known by his stage name “deee-nice”, is an up-and-coming rapper who brings a new and modern take on the nostalgic style of old-school rap through his clever rhymes and his exaggerated, yet undoubtedly charming vocal inflections. Deee began experimenting with music professionally with the release of his catchy and infectious single “Scratch the Itch (SummaJam)” which went on to become a cult classic in his local hometown.

From there, deee has assembled a fairly small but versatile catalog consisting of about twelve unique songs— six of which are tied to his newest EP, titled Midnight Moodswing, which was released on July 9th, 2022.

Despite Midnight Moodswing’s fairly short runtime of 17 minutes, deee has collaborated with unique artists and talents to create what I believe to be his most quality and artistic release to date which is why I want to take some time and go over my thoughts on this project.

Rapper Dilly rapping in the studio
Dilly in the studio

The first track “Paid (feat. Dilly)” immediately stands out as a track that diverges from the norms of modern music trends with its simplistic yet effective production that incorporates a mild amount of bass, drums, and synths. Deee creates a very relaxed and uplifting sound while also rapping alongside Dilly about the wonders of payday and how “every two weeks, we be lookin’ fine”. This is an intro that is not only catchy but also effective at setting the tone for how the rest of the EP will be thematically.

The next track titled “They Told Me No (feat. Jsen)” opens with a melodic and nostalgic-sounding synth reminiscent of the 80’s or something taken from the Weeknd’s After Hours. Deee energetically bursts into the track with a message about the struggles of moving forward in life and how there will always be people to get in the way that try to hold you back— each word bearing a rough and determined inflection unlike anything heard in his previous tracks. This harsher energy is juxtaposed by Jsen who provides some of the most chilling and psychedelic-sounding vocals on this project which I find really ties this track together.

“Follow Your Dreams”, the next track off of Midnight Moodswing, was released as a single prior to the EP’s release and is arguably one of the most well-rounded tracks on the EP. The message is simple enough: just follow your dreams. Clearly the message hits home for deee, as he belts every word of this track showcasing once again his varying vocal inflections while also displaying his range as a singer. Another example of less being more, the production lacks the modern nuance of thumping bass lines and sporadic 808s to provide what I feel is a balanced and natural sound that’s infectiously catchy and overall one of deee’s strongest efforts.

If the first three tracks were considered the “midnight” half of the EP, “My Side'' seamlessly transitions into the EPs “moodswing” section with its noticeably different shift in production and tone. While the production has a more boom bap inspired drumbeat and Kanye-esque use of synths, this shift is also accentuated by deee providing a more serious look into his early life where he discusses the troubles of himself and his family with the passing of his father. Overall this track is very tasteful in the way that the vocals and production coincide so harmoniously; creating not only a strong emotional core for this EP but also a window into the artistry of deee’s music.

We then shift away from the serious and into the “Bootylicious (feat. Court)” which, besides having arguably the best song name you've ever seen, is another major standout from this project. The production is turned up to 11 with a wonderfully colorful mish-mash of electric guitars, synths, drums— and yes, even a cowbell. This energy is also carried into the vocals as deee-nice comes back with a similar energy to his first track “Scratch the Itch (SummaJam)”. Court and deee have a short but fun back-and-forth exchange of bars that I thought was very tasteful and well done. My main thoughts for this track is that it’s just goofy fun that sounds like something you should be playing on a nighttime summer drive with the top down.

Lastly we arrive at “Paradise”, a solid finale to the short journey of Midnight Moodswing. This track is all-around a return to the norm with both the production and vocals, however, deee decides to slow things down a bit. In this track, deee is battling with the decision of staying with someone who makes his life like “paradise” while also realizing that they aren’t on the same wavelength. Delivering some soft but emotional vocals on the chorus, deee does a great job at conveying the distraught of having to choose if being with someone who doesn’t understand you is the right choice.

Midnight Moodswing is a strong addition to deee-nice’s catalog that features some welcome experimentation with both the production and themes presented that help to diversify deee from his peers. The features are all solid with each leaving their own unique impact on their respective tracks. Each track is capable of holding its own with none of them dragging down the EP, leaving me with nothing bad to say about this release. While I wish the length of the project could've been longer, I think this EP provided a solid foundation to keep listeners entertained until the next project.

As a friend of deee's, I wanted to shed some light on his art by telling more people about it. He's always been such a creative force of nature and he deserves to have his work enjoyed by as many people as possible. He's a great artist and and even greater friend.

"I wanted to share this EP with everyone in the hopes that some of your readers will also share it with their friends so that, hopefully, we can all one day get everybody everywhere doin the jam."

- Derek Osinski

Listen to deee-nice on Apple Music and Spotify:

Written By: Michael Miserendino

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