Deante Hitchcock Raps Love, Lust, and Heartbreak on New EP Just A Sample 2
If every rapper was as hungry as Deante Hitchcock, the world would be a better place. Period. Hitchcock, who has a knack for crafting hard-hitting, comical, and oftentimes vulnerable lyrics, spits every rhyme as if his life depended on it. He never takes a verse off — and not many rappers can say that. The Atlanta rapper works tirelessly and shows no signs of slowing down. Since late last year Hitchcock has toured with 6lack, reignited his #NewAtlantaTuesdays freestyle project, released music videos with Goldlink, released singles, and has now released a new project: Just a Sample 2.
JAS2 is a follow up to Hitchcock’s 2017 effort, Just a Sample. This new installation is the rappers first release since So Much For Good Luck in late 2017 and again finds him paired with producer and frequent collaborator Brandon Phillips-Taylor. The growth from JAS to JAS2 is noticeable immediately. Hitchcock utilizes more intricate flows, more dense lyrical schemes, and is more experimental on the sequel. Thematically, JAS2 represents a shift in Hitchcock’s recent efforts and stands in stark contrast to the first installment. This EP deals with issues of heartbreak, loss of trust, and the ills of love and lust. This acts as a complete juxtaposition to JAS since the former dealt with budding romance, and relationship building (So Special, Thinking ‘Bout You, Do Not Disturb). The EP reaches a fever pitch on the standout track Never (Let You Go) where Hitchcock chronicles every time he’s experienced love and gives a brief summation of how it felt and ultimately, how it ended. The song has a playful vibe until he reaches his most recent relationship where the beat switches and the mood changes. It is here that Hitchcock raps:
“Don't worry 'bout it, I'll be straight, it's whatever/
Maybe it's really no such thing as forever/
Whoever said lovin' was dead would seem right in my cerebellum/
Readin' my mind, tryna keep it together/”
These are the most telling lyrics on the project and serve as a sort of thesis statement. At this moment, Hitchcock drops the veil of separation between artist and listener and tells his audience exactly how he feels. The sadness in his tone and the frank manner in which he delivers every bar makes the track feel more like a public therapy session than a rap song. His expressions of grief over lost love is something most people have experienced and add a layer of relatability to the project.
Sonically, the project is solid. Hitchcock’s beat selection, as per usual, is top notch. His affinity for tracks containing sharp snares, tempered bass drums, soul samples, all accented by intricate synth bass lines is still strong. Although these are expected elements from Hitchcock, they still work. Melodically though, the Atlanta born MC treads new territory by lacing more lyrical components throughout the project. Several times throughout JAS2 (7:45, Never (Let You Go), etc.), the rapper switches gears and includes sections of him full out singing (with the assistance of auto-tune).
Hitchcock wastes no part of a track as he fills almost every possible syllable on each song. Despite this, it never feels as though he is fighting a beat or twisting phrases to fit a track. Hitchcock’s penchant from combining rapid fire flows with more sparse broken up syllables never takes away from the calm, ever cool persona he portrays throughout his music.
The 6 track project features Childish Major, Kilo Ali, and recent Grammy award winning songstress H.E.R. Each feature adds to the project organically and feels like a genuine collaboration between artists rather than having features for the sake of features.
With each new project Hitchcock adds more to his lyrical toolbelt. Just A Sample 2 marks growth for Deante Hitchcock both musically and personally. If this project is any indication of what’s to come, 2019 will surely be a career year for the Atlanta rapper.