(Photo: Courtesy NWEMG)
Fresh off of hit single “Snapbacks and Tattoos,” North Carolina MC Driicky Graham could position himself for long-term success with the right moves. Like most modern rappers, he chose to officially kick off his journey with a mixtape, the appropriately titled You Gotta Start Somewhere, which introduces the 20-year-old artist as much more than a one-trick pony.
The DJ Ill Will tape is not a bad start to the budding rhymer’s career, showcasing Driicky’s versatility and eclectic tastes. You Gotta Start is not a flawless introduction, however. As impressive as Driicky can be on standout tracks like the hypnotic “Dial Tone,” there are brief moments throughout that illustrate just how much more work he’ll have to put in to reach his potential.
Friend and collaborator Yung Berg appears on “Don’t Make Me Do It,” a dreadful reach for club spins, which he also co-produced. While Driicky is certainly capable of making a career out of feel-good anthems like “Snapbacks and Tattoos,” he shines brightest on You Gotta Start when he steps out of the comfort zone his hit has created for him. “Last Friday Night” and “That’s That N---a” each find Graham on an untraditional beat that he eventually makes his own.
Tracks like “S.O.S.”— where Driicky brags about having enough swagger to take Amber, Kim and Beyoncé from their respective rapper boos on sight — are obviously Driicky’s sweet spot, but in order to continue his career with the same momentum he’s starting with he will have to keep challenging himself, and thus, listeners by never getting too comfortable in his creative comfort zone.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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