If you think "country music," like I originally did when I first heard the name Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., you'd be wrong. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is a new wavey Detroit-based duo whose demographic is unlikely to be found at a NASCAR event. You'd be much more likely to find them at late night dance parties. The synth-heavy MC-esque twosome (comprised of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein) have an undeniable knack for layering sonic sounds alongside tight harmonies. More than ever, on their first mixtape effort Produce Vol. 1., Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s aural tapestries float effervescently to the forefront. Produce is lively and danceable, and if nothing else, just plain FUN.
Lucky for us, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has graciously released Produce as a free download on DatPiff.com.
Yep, that's right. Free. Free as in "free with no strings attached."
But that's not even the best part.
The best part is that Produce is the perfect mixtape for kicking off summer. Here are my top three jams off this summerlicious treat:
"Beach Boys Biggie" (Track 9)
Like many gems on this mixtape, this track pairs things that seem like they'd make a cacophonous juxtaposition. But those things end up not clashing. Like, at all. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has a genius for meshing diverse concepts into a unified whole. Their genius shines most brightly with this mashup. They take "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G. and mix it with "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" by the Beach Boys. What you end up with is a bouncy lighthearted jam that should be bumped full-blast at every pool party across America.
Hip-hop is a thread that's woven throughout Produce. With Kid Cudi's buddy rapper King Chip and the multi-talented Tunde Olaniran, this thread is spun to an entirely new level. "Crazy For Ya" is a fierce track with an insane beat. The beat comes booming in around the ten second mark, providing a backdrop for most of the song. At the end of the track, when most of the other instrumentation fades out, the hotness of the track only amplifies.
"If You Didn't See Me (GoldenboyZ Remix)" (Track 16)
The remix by Detroit collective Goldenboyz is a happy ending to a playful album. It stays true to the anthemic dancieness of the original, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s most well-known song, while coating it with a warm layer of gooey haze. Like the entire mixtape, this track remains light and breezy as it packs a powerful punch.
Download Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s mixtape Produce Vol. 1 for free at DatPiff.com.