Virginia native D.R.A.M. had quite a 2015. The singer-rapper went from being a generally unknown artist to a featured member of Chance The Rapper’s year-ending Family Matters tour. To commemorate his astronomic jump into the greater music consciousness, he released “1 Year,” which his close musical partner Gabe Niles produced.
“1 Year” is a soulful and slowed-down boom of a cut, wiggling in woozy synths and the signature handclaps that have come to define D.R.A.M.’s aesthetic. The singer croons, “often imitated, but never duplicated, yeah!,” as the song escalates, and even manages to perhaps send shots Drake’s way over the “ChaChat”-“Hotline Bling” spat: “N***** try to do you dirty/I brush it off and understand/That in time the underdog will have the upper hand.” It hits with the self-congratulation of a victory lap, and looking at D.R.A.M.’s ascendance, he deserves that pat on the back. Luckily for listeners, it also sounds great, too.
Listen to “1 Year” below.