Arts & Entertainment

Chicago Rapper Drops New EP

The album artwork for a surprise EP dropped by Chicago rapper Dally Auston.

Savemoney rapper Dally Auston thinks about music differently than most rappers. A forbearing artist in every aspect, Auston has worked on a highly-anticipated project called “Roses,” the release of which has been expected for nearly three years. Dally Auston isn’t your conventional musician; he doesn’t release an endless flow of singles, as other top-notch artists might. His irregular way of releasing music speaks to the merit of his talent.

After Auston released album artwork for an unknown project via Twitter in early January, hopes that “Roses” would finally see the light of day were high. But, as it turned out, Auston had something different planned for his listeners.

Auston did not leave his fans waiting for long. “99¢” is his new EP and his first full body of music since he released “The Wood” three years ago. The EP shares the name of one of Auston’s most popular music videos, itself a nod to Savemoney. The title sends the message that Auston remains a man for and of the people.

Auston’s music is typically dense, with melodies draped in soft and hard layers of lyrics that materialize into puzzles. With an ear for beats that subtly evoke ethereal moods, Auston maneuvers through every song, from his fan-favorite “W$GTM,” which is a song on his “The Wood” mixtape, to the newly released single from “99¢,” a dreamy track called “My Life.”

The album “99¢” relies on Auston because it has no features. The music follows Auston on an introspective journey in which he lurks in the darkness of his own words laid out by production from That Dude Nate, 5heriff, Banks The Genius, Morimoto and Home-Sick. The mixtape starts somberly, yet ends joyously.

The mixtape’s first song, “Before Roses,” sets a cloudy mood. 5heriff produced the track , which features a simple melody that builds up at the start. Keys on an organ play somber notes just before Auston weaves his glossy flow into the quiet thud of the drums on the track. Thirty seconds into the song, Auston’s crisp voice delicately blends into the smooth instrumental that sounds like an ode to early songs by Odd Future, the group most popular for bringing Tyler, the Creator to fame.

“My Life,” the third and most popular track on “99¢,” features Auston spit-firing syllables over a beat laced with flutes and other wind instruments. His unique ability to melt pronunciations and words like butter is perhaps his greatest quality as an artist. A good example of old-school cool, “My Life” mixes Auston’s off-kilter flow with scattered snares and keys in a track that discusses why success doesn’t happen overnight. Auston wanted to make it clear with “My Life” that establishing a career of rapping isn’t as easy as it looks.

Auston’s blunt, raspy flow can’t be found anywhere else. Although he’s best friends with some of the biggest names in rap right now, he is clearly taking things slow and ensuring that “Roses” meets his fans’ expectations. This mixtape serves as a meaningful prelude to a highly-awaited full-length release.