“I’m honestly not too fond of the times of today and I usually just look around/think about my old friends, discontinued establishments that I used to go to, old routines, times when everything was carefree to me and albums and cartoons I grew up on.” Youthful old soul, emcee Dyzzi from DivSel (FKA Dyzzi) speaks on his musical mind-set. Though barely old enough to down a brew legally, this Chicago native/Milwaukee resident somehow can reach back to before he was even alive and channel the earnest lyrical skills of 90’s emcees and the ethereal jazzy quality of Hieroglyphics and Native Tongues tracks.
Dropping his second full-length in less than a year “KidsBackThen”, the DivSel crew general says “I’ve been writing and plotting this album since 2016, when I was still in high school. I actually wrote and completed my last album “Same Clothes As Yesterday” after I started this one because I wanted an appetizer out while I finished this one.”
What a statement it is! The theme of nostalgia through Hip-Hop is prevalent here and the music is as much a central part of friendships, personal milestones and daily culture as Dungeons & Dragons is to those kids from Stranger Things. Speaking on the process of the album’s creation Dyzzi from DivSel said “I always roll with a big crew of my DivSel homies when I record, which is how we did the “Same Clothes As Yesterday” album as well as my albums with KReal from DivSel, “Millennials 1 and 2″. While I was writing for this one, I mostly booked solo sessions and wrote while I was in some of my favorite spots from childhood.” Perhaps this is why the album feels highly personal and relatable.
Examples of tracks includes “One Day” where Dyzzi from DivSel admits he had to work minimum wage when his mom fell sick and KReal from DivSel was flippin’ sandwiches but they dream about their craft of rhyme taking care of their families. There’s also “BestFriends – 4u4rMe” (feat. Cj Folds & Tae the Don) where Dyzzi from DivSel relates the story of his childhood love interest, who even his mother and her mother tried to get together that he missed out on a relationship with and his open letter to her. “I still want her more than anything but at the end of the day, our mom’s and me & her are forever gonna be best friends” he said of that.
A particular high-point for the artist however is the track “How You Feel?” which features verses from West-coast blunted duo Chuuwee & Trizz. Speaking on the track Dyzzi from DivSel said “I’m particularly proud of that one as I won the beat in a producers rap contest from OrigamiBeats on YouTube who I am a fan of and got two of my favorite emcees on there. Both things I never imagined I could achieve.”
Skits in-between tracks take us through Dyzzi from DivSel’s high school day, making this a concept album as seamless as a mixtape. DivSel members (who actually did link up during their high school days) appear throughout including emcees KReal from DivSel and Chaz from DivSel as well as producers Juno Adonis and MarvyMarv. Next to the 2 DivSel guest features and Chuuwee, Trizz, Cj Folds and Tae the Don, ameriKKKen and KanDo contribute to the album as well. Other producers on “KidsBackThen” include Yung Tago & TnTxD (both of whom recently produced for NBA YoungBoy) as well as YooYongSoo, NK Music, Alex Collins, BLK Saturn, Jota Rodriguez, Byte, Hundat%, MjNichols and Dustfingaz.