Dragon Fli Empire & Def-Chap DFE vs. DEF EP

Dragon Fli Empire & Def-ChapDFE vs. DEF EP
Veteran Calgary, AB duo Dragon Fli Empire and rookie Saskatoon, SK rapper/producer Def-Chap join forces over a gimmick as simple as similar names or, more specifically, anagrams of an acronym and a name. The jazzy, soulful production provided by Def-Chap for this six-song EP is well within the comfort zone of DFE. While it would might have been a nice surprise to see Teekay put to the test with a significantly different sound, the combination of DJ Cosm's cool cuts and Teekay's smooth voice and traditional delivery results in yet another solid collection of throwback, Native Tongues-inspired hip-hop for the duo. The lyrics are positive, with Teekay rapping on the solo songs about his love for a woman ("Lucky Day") and his desire to shine as an individual ("One of a Kind"). Def-Chap joins him on the mic for two tracks, although he sounds a lot less awkward on "What They Want," a sort of braggadocio ode to hip-hop, than he does on opening track "Pages in Stages," which is about the trials and tribulations of an MC. Chicago, IL rapper Infinito 2017 holds his own with the only other guest verse, for a song about their hometowns ("CHI 2 CGY"), but it's right after that track's short drum break outro that the highlight of the EP happens. "Surreal" features spectacular jazz vocals on the chorus by Joanna Borrome and a great trumpet sample that dominates an otherwise minimal, classic, '50s R&B beat. It's a great ending to this EP, offering enough of a change from the usual DFE sound and challenging Teekay. DFE vs DEF — EP won't make new converts, but it will definitely please the fans of Dragon Fli Empire. (Independent)