This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
Following up his 2018 release, #ForTheRecord, DNA Picasso has dropped another EP to solidify his place hanging with the best of Denver’s rap community. 10 Hour Layover came out in January to warranted heavily positive reviews, which is why we felt we needed to put it in our Local Listen rotation, especially since the musician fuses his songs with other local talents, such as Doobie Newton and Kathiya. The 10-track project (rumored to have been recorded in two, five-hour sessions) is sure to elevate DNA Picasso’s exposure in Denver and carve him a place as the rapper with the perfect mix of R&B to go along with his catchy bars.
The album kicks off with a beautiful intro on “Campbell’s Soup,” and as the lyrics pour in, the track does not lose any of its rhythms. The catchy chorus of “she knows the sauce too good,” rolls repeatedly and makes you want to raise your cup, even in your own living room. “Tax Season” picks the beat up with a much more hyphy vibe and the deep voice of the rapper chanting about paying the rent of a love interest. “O.M.S,” an acronym for “On My Soul,” cuts from the club track mantra and digs deeper into DNA Picasso’s emotions, but still creates a singable track to scream from your car.
The middle section of the EP cuts back on the lit direction of the first tracks and shows a softer side. “Lost” continues the collaborative vibe with more Doobie Newton and Jamaal Lynd3l, and the song takes the energy to the first real sensual sentiment of the EP. Every album needs the ballad, and “Lost” offers the breakup lyrics that everyone can relate to. “Fifa” slightly raises the tempo, but the vulnerability is still in full force, as the voice of the track seems to be trying to kick with a possibly taken love interest. “Remember Me” continues the emotional ride, with its title seeming to allude to the singer not remembering the subject, due to an excess of shots. (Haven’t we all be there?)
“Come Over” grabs us back to the pulsing beats that will turn your evening from a kickback to a sexier, winding sing-a-long. Featuring Kathiya, the singers belt a request for a late night hang with each other. “WYO?” officially turns the EP back into a club project. Consisting of a very memorizable beat and loveable lyrics. 10 Hour Layover winds down with catchy “K.O.D.,” leaving the project with a bang and wrapping up a well-rounded collection of locally produced hits.
The album brings light to a different side of Denver hip hop, one that caters to a livelier, louder and more vibrant presence than we are seeing in the other recent local releases. It is safe to say that 10 Hour Layover was definitely made to be appreciated in a club setting. With the eager consistency that DNA Picasso has proven to remain deeply committed to putting out music every couple of months, there is no reason to believe he will not remain on top. Denver will await eagerly for the next full-length album to drop so we can blast on repeat.