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Rapper Dorrough’s mixtape, Gangsta Grillz: Silent Assassin, features hard-hitting beats and powerful yet personal lyrics in his “attack on the hip-hop community.”
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, the 26-year-old rapper Dorrough began his music career in high school by distributing mixtapes during basketball games where he was captain of Lancaster High’s team.
His first single, “Walk that Walk,” charted at #12 on Hot Rap Tracks while his second single and unarguably his most popular, “Ice Cream Paint Job,” reached #27 on Billboard’s Top 100. Both were released in 2009 through E1 Music, the U.S.’s top independent record label, as part of his first studio album, Dorrough Music. At its peak, the CD reached #36 on The Billboard 200.
Although less well-received, Dorrough’s second and most current album to date, Get Big, was released in 2010.
For the past three years, Dorrough has created four mixtapes, three of which are part of the Gangsta Grillz series featuring DJ Drama.
Gangsta Grillz: Silent Assassin surfaced on August 9, 2011. The mixtape consists of 17 tracks, beginning with the title song, “Silent Assassin.”
This album is definitely not recommended for the faint of heart. The first track opens with a woman shrieking to symbolize Dorrough’s “attack on the hip-hop community” as the silent assassin. Moreover, all of the songs are labeled expletive for a reason.
However, the entire mixtape revolves around a common theme: independence. Dorrough does not need drama, clingy women, nor the superficial ideals of the entertainment industry.
Three tracks are personal stand-outs: “Real Love”, “Nightmare,” and “Head Rocked.”
“Real Love” featuring J-Dawg, has a brilliant message. Dorrough prioritizes friends and family- especially his longing to be a larger presence in his sister’s life- over money.
“Nightmare” is one of the few slow jams, and could be a chapter taken directly out of Dorrough’s diary. It has a very vulnerable and raw feeling as he documents his internal strife via his music, living in a “nightmare” despite possessing all of the finest luxuries in the world like cars and women.
Finally, “Head Rocked” is the perfect track to use to get pumped up, whether getting ready to go out or at the working out at the gym. An addictive background beat blended with Dorrough’s impeccable flow, deep voice, and confident, strong lyrics send an adrenaline rush throughout your body.
Despite some clichéd subjects, Dorrough offers something unique to the rap scene: emotion. The majority of the songs showcase the rapper struggling against following the mainstream to make sense of fame and discover his place in society.
Take a listen to one of my favorites, "Head Rocked," to get a feel of the Silent Assassin's vibe.