An aspiring hip-hop artist from the Washington DC area, Lil Dream has recently released his first full-length project in over a year, stitching together a series of impressive collaborations to bring us ‘Swipe Rixh 2’. A seven-track project that arrives as a distinct melting pot of musical inspirations and personal experiences, the new mixtape features a vast array of producers and artists, pushing his hip-hop sounds with an immediate sense of rhythm and musical prowess.
Opening with ‘Freestyle’, Lil Dream launches his aural assault, pushing cliched autotune and a staple, rap flow to safely bring the project into existence. The verses hit with a defined character and light, flickering contrast, bringing some much-needed weight to the song. It’s an ill-balanced introduction that pushes a steady, but safe line, hiding potential flaws with a melee of over-produced sounds that end up making the song appear seamless, but also unfortunately flat.
As the mix rolls on, Lil Dream expands his sound with scattered waves of gentle riffs and driving synths, shaping the outer edges of each track into a polished and melodic scene. Melodies rise and fall, and each track rallies with its own fleeting character, pushing the release forward with a certain sense of atmospherics and passion. Rising from shaky beginnings, ‘Swipe Rixh 2’ rises from the ashes with a series of creative flourishes, blossoming into a diverse mix of authentic beats and lyrics realness.
An eclectic mix of beats and almost seamless style transitions, Lil Dream is at his best when he strips back his sound and carves a more organic path. A rapper with plenty to say, it’s a shame that his sound is often lost to an over-saturated and ultimately familiar sound.
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