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D Clak doesn’t get in the listener’s face or engage in much chest beating. He doesn’t have to. The single “Trap Again” from his first album The Dime Piece gets over with its audience because of his command of both the song and the details filling it. This is a performance that rolls out of Clak naturally, one word after another in rhythmic succession, and he astutely cuts his voice as closely as he can to the musical arrangement. Everything on this song sounds warm and full. Ten years working at getting better and better has given D Clak an individual, but recognizable, sound that comes striding out of the speakers with its head held high and bobbing side to side. It doesn’t have to over exert to seem street; the sounds of a major American city come out of every passage in this track.

His eye for detail is very sharp and his voice is incredibly strong. We get so many details about his life, the world where he walks, and his attitude about it comes across from the first. This is the kind of up close and personal specifics that too many hip hop songs deprive us of preferring, instead, to fall back on formulas and clichés. There’s nothing like that going on in “Trap Again”. D Clak’s voice and vision of the world are uniquely his own and accompanied by a musical arrangement that brings those details into the sharpest of focus. He centers the musical body of the track around electronic instruments – one providing a synthesizer pulse while electronic drums hook around it and create a solid rhythm section attack. There’s a surprising amount of melody in the song and it definitely bounces brightly in strong contrast to Clak’s intense lyrics. His vocal delivery has an equal amount of step to it, but it’s just as rhythmically inclined as the music.

The attitude behind the song might seem alien to a lot of people, familiar to some. It isn’t hard for a widespread audience, however, to feel some resonance with this song on more than just a musical level. In essence, whatever the details might be, “Trap Again” is a song about surviving the cycles of life and pressing on with what you feel like you’ve got to do. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. It might seem like a song about slipping back into a dangerous lifestyle or so on, but this song is truthfully about an universal human experience filtered through the prism of Clak’s own life.

It’s hard to imagine Clak’s album The Dime Piece could have a better single. This is a truly different achievement within an existing framework; anyone familiar with hip hop will hear something in this approach, but there’s enough pepper tossed into the mix by Clak to give it a distinct flavor. In a genre often cited as musically limited, that’s a strong rebuke to such ideas and sets the stage for the next, even brighter, part of D Clak’s career.

DIGITALDJPOOL: https://digitaldjpool.com/Songs/101628/D-Clak-Trap-Again-Dirty

Shannon Cowden