Hip hop’s newest sound is the angst fueled flows of Upstate New York artist Danny Nardini. Danny’s inspiration comes from the burning desire to rectify his family’s break up and spiral downward into poverty. At the age of 14, he was working to support his mother, younger sister and younger brother. Discovering the power of music and rhyme was the pathway out of darkness for his soul and maybe for his family. Emotions born from the harsh realities he faced fill Danny’s lyrics and rhythms with a fierce presence that can’t be denied.
Rap is a primary element of “Don’t Act” but not all there is to it. With hip hop coming in so many forms it is hard not to make that call, but this also contains a lot of melody and some good soul singing. There’s a soothing vibe to it that won’t quit, with popping beats and a spot on vocal delivery. The verses contain rapping, but it’s the chorus that leaps up and makes it a song, with some electronic enhancement which is becoming a necessary evil to dance music. It used to be done to a greater effect with actual synthesizers, but we’re a long way from funk roots when everyone from Cher to who knows who is using this vocal effect to where it has become commonplace. The cover of this single features a black and white photo with the lips painted red, which adds a classy touch to the product. And for a New York artist it’s not an easy road thus far in hip hop. This should get global attention either way, so the horizon is not just the Manhattan skyline. It kicks off with a syncopated sequence before going into the overall lyrical theme which wastes no time getting to the point. Then it’s “game time” and he calls his girl out for all it’s worth. The music is a lot of keys, samples and water drop loops done very effectively but would also be cool too hear an organic sound. That’s saved for some of his vocal prowess though. He sings and raps with assuredness, so being new on the scene still has a veteran appeal which is simply found in his roots. It’s all about a girl acting like she doesn’t like what she really does. He goes through a few vocal sequences to get the whole subject matter across. Everything hits home with the title to the content, for a hot romantic edged hip hop single. Preaching not to act is a positive thing, so there’s nothing offensive to even ponder for an explicit track. It all checks out across the board that way, and could very well garner a radio hit. Danny Nardini is going places if he keeps tracks like this coming.
The production is spot on too, and the beats and rhymes equal the quality. There’s some clever mixing as well, including the track coming to a dead stop in slow motion toward the end, and speeding back up. But there are no phony patterns to be heard in the process. This is neither your mom or older brother and sisters rap, nor is it too modern to get a good read that it could end up in the charts. It’s hard to tell anymore from a review perspective, but wonders can also be sensed this way too. Pick up “Don’t Act” and hear for yourself, or miss what Danny Nardini himself has-to offer.