Trey Dilla – 320


320 is a new album from hip hop artist, Trey Dilla. At first glance this might seem like a straightforward hip hop release, but it quickly becomes clear that the backing music is much more complex and better quality than most standard hip hop fare. The background makes use of a lot of soft chimes and ambient synths while being anchored by firm beats. Trey’s delivery is often conversational and reflective. It almost has the feel of a “fireside chat” in rap form. His vocals are just very engaging and sincere. He oscillates between a range of emotions in these songs, often displaying surprising sensitivity. Some of the tracks contain romantic undertones, while others (such as Look at Us) are full blown love songs. The opening jam, Southside Everywhere is a hard hitting, nostalgic trip that slowly gives way to making plans about the future.

Trey Dilla can obviously rap decently, but what’s more interestng to me is that he’s actually a good poet and songwriter. Many technically good rappers are not necessarily good writers. Trey’s abilities as a lyricist seem highly advanced, perhaps indicating a background in creative writing, or maybe he just puts a lot of heart into his work. No problems with the production. Everything is clean, and he doesn’t muddy up the vocals by using a lot of processing or autotune. Just a nice smooth sound.

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