It’s no secret that I adore Young Dirt. As I said in a previous post, “Young Dirt, Old Soul” he creates music that has a very widespread appeal by combining lyrics, vocal skills and timing to create a very new sound, yet still holds all the power and harsh reality of rap. He takes the essence of rap and translates it for a larger audience
And once again, I have seen another dimension of Young Dirt that has blown me away and prompted another post.
On his “Unplugged” video, from the Mid Atlantic Music Conference 2012, Young Dirt does something that I’ve been hoping for (and mentioned in my previous post): to see Young Dirt alone on a stage in a solitary spotlight; no crew, no shawties, no chains, no bottles, just music and personality.
In this video of his performance at the Conference, he does just that. Backed up by soulful and funky rhythms, he performs some of his best music…with just a microphone.
Starting off his set with Otis Freestyle and Today Mourning, he also includes Hello, Always Home, and what I think of as his anthem, Take Off. While it’s a long video (almost 20 minutes), hang in there till 13:11 for Take Off. Pure genius. Even when joined onstage at the end by his happy, mugging friends, Young Dirt still keeps it classy and smooth.
So what are my conclusions after watching Young Dirt Unplugged that I haven’t already written? Well, he belongs on a stage by himself. Powered by a mesmerizing personality, he whips up the audience, performs professionally, and delivers some of the most interesting music you’ll ever hear. I don’t know that I can even call Young Dirt Unplugged rap or hip-hop, it’s like some strange nuclear-powered hybrid of the two. He takes all his lyrically elegant and vibrant rap talents and merges them with funky bass lines, R&B notes and creates something I personally have never heard before: a mixing of rap and hip hop that’s new and unique and quite astounding.
Should I call this Rap Hop? Hip Rap? I’m old and white, so I don’t know. But while Waka Flocka Flame may be the King of Punk Rap, I’m going to call Young Dirt the King of Soul Rap. He’s a talented old soul, and moves fluidly between rap, hip hop, soul and R&B. All Hail The King!