Up until two weeks ago, we hadn't heard a new project from Defcee in four years. Defcee dropped his high quality album Damn Near Grown earlier this month and rather than act like the Olympics and wait another four years, the rapper/teacher returned seven days later with his friend from the Bay, Benjamin Earl Turner.
Known together as Grand Total, this isn't the duo's first time working together, but it is their first collaborative EP. Pitched as a "Novella", complete with a prologue and an epilogue, the five songs within Case Studies play out like a hip-hop audio book, one that is both rich with stories and strong narratives. Once the epilogue comes to a close, the EP provides a series of remixes, one of which ["ajuswanakno(her)"] features vocal assistance from Jamila Woods. Defcee and Mr. Turner bounce back and forth really well here, honing in on autobiographical tales over a fine selection of boom bap yet progressive production courtesy of Lanzo and Sev Seveer.
With both an EP and a full-length from Defcee is December, the fine folks over at TheseDays (that's us) hope that the talented lyricist continues this momentum going into 2016. We're certain he will.
Shout-out to Dewey Saunders on the artwork.