Mixtape Review-Sell Sole by Dej Loaf
I became completely infatuated with the Dej Loaf mixtape Sell Sole on track 7. It was great before that but the shorthand I had been using in my head about Dej Loaf based on her snarling single Try Me was “This is a little female 50 cent; hardcore material with an incredible sense of melody.” Track 7 is called Me U and Hennessy it’s only one minute and forty six seconds long and begins with the soft cooing plea “Can we stay home tonight?” What follows is such a soft illustration of pure inebriated passion Aaliyah would be ear to ear smiling. It’s not just a plea for sex. Me U & Hennessy is a warm and genuine call to celebrate romantic union. It’s followed by I Got It where she opens up even further “I don’t know much about that bible never felt like I needed it. I tell my mama that I got her when I make it we even. For all the years she took care of me and my brothers, believe it. I miss my grandma why did she have to leave me?” Not too long after that she’s back in startling threat mode “Anybody want war it ain’t s#$% to get it crackin’ cause N where I’m from they use alley’s for the caskets.”
She speaks violence and then says she’s not trying to promote it. Tells you to shut up open your mouth and eat her out then dedicates the next song to a tender loving moment (see Easy Love). These aren’t contradictions but dimensions of a very personal journey. No matter how many tracks start out with the intention to lick shots at enemies (see Birdcall) they can’t help but shout out the dead remember the locked away and thank those who’ve helped along the way. It’s the personality of Sell Sole that makes it so special.
Seven of the thirteen tracks are handled by DDS who gets the balance between short tempered thuggish paranoia and heartfelt longing. The sonic universe is full of the stark space drill beats give you but with a lick or two of soulful warmth. The soft plink on Grinding comes together perfectly with Loaf’s gently sung chorus.
The mixtape has a unique ability to give an artist a direct connection with his or her audience. No way could Def Loaf provide a major label debut like this. The songs would end up being more like the brazen radio friendly Blood(featuring Birdman and Young Thug) than the sincere meditative Never. In one mixtape I’ve got a direct connection to Def Loaf. Not only do I know what kind of music she wants to make and what her sound is but she’s an artist to root for. I want her to succeed so she can pay her mother back for her patience. Why would I root for Big Sean to make more awkward jokes through his thin mustache? Rap is more than technique and wordplay or hits. It’s having a story everyone wants to hear and Sell Sole is a ten out of ten in that category.
Stream or Download Sell Sole below: