Dex Osama – Death On Me

Had Dex Osama not died on the verge of success, a lot of the superstition surrounding Death On Me would’ve been dismissed as cheap marketing ploy. It seems contrived, if not absurd; an attempt to rouse the superstitious side of the Memphis rap stans through recklessly nihilistic death-wishes and claims of Luciferian soul corruption. And absurd as it may be, such pervasive evil seems tangible. Dex slips into an uncharacteristic growl in the opening line (“my momma said I got death on me”), and as he slowly claws his way back to his typical proto-Lud flow he propels himself into ever-darker realms of driller nihilism (“the reason why we beef we like to kill shit//we swing them choppas and then send them home”). It’s largely emblematic of his Detroit scene: DJ Sound-gone-drill anthems filled with enough “self-snitching” to put even Ra Diggs behind for a few more life sentences. And while the tales of violence seem heartless beyond any kind of believable “reality”, there’s an imbued sense of authenticity (perhaps because so many of the scene’s big names are dead and//or spending long years behind bars) that owes itself to the streets, and the worryingly safe belief that Dex has, as he so states, “pop(ped) a nigga, in fact, just like an E pill.” Distorted gun-shots blur into acidic bass and synth string drones, meanwhile the percussion hammers away in a manner repetitive yet unfixable. Snare rolls and on-a-dime pauses appear out of nowhere, as if to interject alarm in Dex’s street-testimonial, yet for all of these little idiosyncrasies, Dex’s animated yet disaffected flow remains constant; his tale told in nothing more than a painful deadpan. It’s not a fitting eulogy for a man whose life and career was cut so short, but it’s enough of a statement to get at least a few heads turning towards the dysfunctional world of Detroit rap.

“When you doin’ that type of shit you really get to seeing shit. I remember I seen some shit, it scared the shit out of me. I called my mama… I get to researching shit… Y’know, it’s like I seen the grim reaper in front of me… My mama told me, ‘You got death on you.’”

Interview Pt. 1:

Interview Pt. 2:


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