Drezus, Indian Summer (photo:: )
Album reviews
Artist:
Drezus
Album:
Indian Summer
Release year:
2015
Label:
Self-released
12 June 2015 / by Niki Thayaaparan (author)

As soon as the first couple of verses drop on the second track, “The Sequel”, in Drezus’ debut album Indian Summer, the clear influence of the Wu­Tang era can be heard, with the tone of his voice sounding a lot like Method Man from the Clan. The album starts off with self-­putrefied hatred stemming from the early departure of Drezus’ father, to the peak of conquer and what it feels like to finally understand and master your own domain with the help of his religious Native Indian roots. With Indian Summer, Drezus mulled the courage to express the struggle of racial discrimination as a Native, but also managed to explain the struggle of humankind as a social recovery process of self­love and acceptance, family, and disregarding nay sayers.

​Drezus is a member of the Plains Cree tribe. Unlike others who claim to have found a complete existential understanding of life from books and everyday life experiences, he went through inexplicable hardships during his vision quest and came close to dying. Drezus came on top with Indian Summer, and tracks like “Cruisin’”, “Say”, and “Nehiyaw Girl” show off the fun of living a hedonistic life and the hard­earned break that not only struggling hip hop artists deserve, but what humans as a struggling species need to cooperate and survive. “Say” introduces the first female vocalist on the album, Inez, who brings a velvety change of pace. “Nehiyaw Girl” focuses on Drezus’ women of interest and is one of the few songs on Indian Summer that is more club oriented.

What immensely helps with the “suffer, learn, conquer, and prosper” feel from the album is the West­coast driven sound that a few tracks from Indian Summer emits. 2Pac is referenced numerous times throughout the album, but tracks “All I Can Be” and “Free pt. 1 & pt. 2 are what really ooze that 90s hip hop crossover with R&B sound. “All I Can Be” opens with a jazz inspired drum fill, sounding a lot like the funk percussion style in The Meters’ 1974 album Rejuvenation. The sweet vocals coming in at the chorus compliment the classic 90s R&B sound at its prime. Drezus starts his verse with a classic Biggie line, “it was all a dream”, and begins painting a vivid image of Biggie Smalls cruising in a limousine with the queen of the scene at the time, Lil Kim. It’s colourful nostalgia.

Drezus brings his journey of Indian Summer into retrospect in “Reminisce”, saying that “we couldn’t be us/without all ya’ll”. It is an ode to hip hop and how it has progressed since it first emerged as a culture that was solely associated with gang violence. Drezus acknowledges his appreciation for hip hop and ties it in with his love for family in “Reminisce”, melting his personal values in one track. This album is a storytelling masterpiece that values the before and after of struggling with oneself, following a passion and sticking with it, and transcending negative opinions. But most importantly, Drezus reminds us that falling in love with a culture that isn’t exclusive to race or gender helps us all focus on bettering the mind, body, and soul.

The author

Niki Thayaaparan

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