Bonus MP3: Dem Southernfolkz -- "The Message"
Since we're already speaking of songs that are making waves, here's another one worth checking out.
Chances are you haven't seen Dallas hip-hop trio Dem Southernfolkz perform much around town. That's 'cause, really, Dem Southernfolkz (or DSFZ for short) hasn't performed much around town. It's tough to, y'know, when two of your three members are in the Army and being constantly shipped back and forth for overseas tours.
But that doesn't mean the music's any less powerful. Combining gospel influences with the aesthetic of southern-fried hip-hop troupe Nappy Roots (whose Skinny Deville guests on the above track) and the virtuous know-how of a couple young men who've seen more than they've probably had to, Big Ben (aka Thomas Benjamin), Kinfolk Jack (aka Richard Jackson) and Saturday Alridge (aka Nathan Wright have a created a sound that's at once hip and affecting.
The title track to the band's recently released full-length debut, The Message, is a natural entranceway into their style--which is one you'll likely to dig if early '90s hip-hop collectives like Arrested Development and more recent intelligent hip-hop purveyors are your flavor of choice. --Pete Freedman