D Clak – Trap Again
D Clak, after a decade of mix tapes and live performances in and around the Pittsburgh area, has released his first album The Dime Piece. The single “Trap Again” from that album is a extremely well produced outing for this young hip hop artist that combines considerable finesse with a rough and ready approach to life exuding confidence and sure-footed musical inclinations. It clocks out at a little past the three minute mark, but D Clak takes listeners on an entertaining journey during that brief window of time. It’s a groove-oriented backing track he works with here and proves himself a capable enough rapper and vocalist that he instantly finds the groove and rides it with a combination of cool detatchment and well placed engagement that the material deserves. There’s no question it is autobiographical, even D Clak makes no bones about that during his performance, but there’s nothing unduly prettied up for public consumption.
He sings about returning to the same life of hustling and good times with a sort of knowing shrug. This is my life, but I’m the master of it, is a feeling some will get time and again when they listen to his lyrics. There’s some relatively intricate lyric passages in this song, but Clak handles them with a relaxed aplomb that few of his contemporaries could dare muster. The chorus recurs with a fair amount of frequency, but Clak rarely gives it in the same way to the audience twice in a row and, instead, throws intelligent little twists on it that make it a different experience for the audience virtually each time through. The electronic instruments used to create the backing track, namely synthesizer and drum machine, never drain the spirit from the song. If nothing else, D Clak knows how to put together compelling musical backing for his voice and they match up rather well here.
The lyrics are direct street poetry. The streets can be a poor white or black neighborhood, it doesn’t matter, what matters instead is that D Clak is a writer who pulls no punches about the realities of his life and doesn’t pretend to be ashamed. It is, ultimately, what it is. He owns all of this with his phrasing, sometimes resigned, other times bristling with entertaining swagger. He doesn’t overwrite a single passage, however, and more to the point seems to have crafted the lyric very much with his own voice in mind. This seems like it would be a natural thing to do, but some don’t have the necessary dedication and it isn’t hard to find singers or hip hop performers alike who sound a little uncomfortable with their own material. This is heavy, heady stuff and shows off the result of D Clak’s years of dedication and love to this form of music. “Trap Again” is well put together, swings like no one’s business, and has an attention grabbing performers at its heart.