Bar Exam: Dru Bex – Sindy V Victoria (First Listen Review)
So stoked to share my thoughts today on the newest project by Dru Bex, Sindy V Victoria. Dru is a super versatile artist who isn’t scared to bust out a few melodies and still punch you in the face with a crazy flow. At first glance this artwork is clean, and the features are intriguing. I’m excited to go on this journey he’s laid before me.
Sindy Intro – Piano droning creating a dark undertone. Sounds like something evil is happening. Who is this female voice? Are these samples from somewhere?
Solid Ft. Datin, Xay Hill – Dru starts out with a melody. Surprising with Xay on this track, he usually would’ve come in like that. The beat stays connected to the vibes of the first track, rhymes are super tight. Really dig this sound. Datin comes at the beat the same way Dru did. I feel like the more I listen to Datin I appreciate what he can bring. This is about having a solid foundation regardless of what’s happening in life.
Xay comes through with just a verse. The beat is pulled back and the textures change throughout this verse. It’s dope. This beat morphs a bit and moves into a soundbite from an interview. Interlude here, makes me want to click next pretty quickly.
Right Hand Ft. Signature Nation – Weaving his voice in with Signature, is cool. He’s got some island vibes here. Biblical bars. Short verses. Dru has a steely EQ on his vocals that is distracting a bit. I wish the vocals were bigger on the chorus. More layers, please.
Favour Chaser – The first verse seems easy as far as delivery goes – easy rhyme, easy flow. But I will say I dig the ad-libs in the background. I also like how the song seems out of the box. The hook is concise and memorable. He’s trying new things here.
Too In Ft. Kay Sade – They’re back together. Dru really rips it up here at the top. The beats feel like we’re in the future. He’s definitely in tune with the modern sound of hip hop. These flows are magnificent. Where does he breathe? Kay slows it down a little to give us a break and then lights it up. Once these two catch a beat they just go. This track is bonkers.
Tony Ft. DJ Mykael V, Legacy, Selah The Corner, Rigz – Posse cut. Really sounds East Coast here. Dru starts off with some tenacity. Just really spittin’ and setting the tone for the song. So much room in this beat it feels like a diss track. Legacy (he’s really leveled up this year) tucking heat like Eric Spoelstra. Selah just floating on his verse. Rigz takes the baton beautifully and doesn’t miss a step. Insane bars on this one.
No Safe Ft. Not Klyde – I dig how all the samples work together. I never lock up my faith. Jesus all up in your face. “I feel like Jermaine O’Neal when he was a Pacer.” This flow is fantastic. Klyde changes the pace a little and the tone with the ad-libs gives our ears something else to latch onto.
So Easy Ft. Gabby Callwood – Smooth R&B vibes straight out of that. A change of pace. The samples and the transition into this one made the listening experience not as jolting as you’d imagine. A lot of intuitive hooks on this project.
Personal Ft. Quinten Coblentz – This melody at the top sounds similar to something we heard earlier. This beat slaps and I enjoy how it peels layers even as Dru changes up his steez a bit. This performance is terrific. This melody keeps me guessing at every turn. The production doesn’t just loop and drone on and on, it’s all so musical it works well. Now it’s a worship concert, honestly getting some Justin Bieber vibes.
Victoria’s Interlude – I am dense. Sorry to be so slow on the uptake, but I just figured it out. Victoria = victory? I think the concept has been there all along but I really didn’t connect until this last song. Sindy is the temptation, the distractions from what we’re called to be. Victoria is the turning away and walking into a better life, the redemption.
Did It Again – Video game-like sample in the background. Big bass once more. It’s a celebration. “You shoulda seen what I was doing when he found me.” There’s so much emotion in that one line. I love how well he voices his experiences in a way that the listener can grab on.
Reverse Christology – I like the effects on Dru’s voice here. Again the beat changes up a lot. Storytelling. More biblical bars, telling about Jesus but with a modern lens on it. Christology is the nature of Christ, so we’re hearing this from the perspective of someone who personally knows him. It’s dope. I didn’t catch the meaning of the “Lecrae is too ratchet, besides… Bryson Gray makes better music” line. Is he being sarcastic? This is my first listen… I think I need to go back and listen to that again.
Hezzie Ft. Scribe Music – Grime?! This is crazy. I don’t know if it needs the melodic part in the hook. This “I ate lunch already” section is sufficient. Scribe is lighting it up! Man, we need more beats like this in America. So dope.
Diaspora Ft. Alaina & Eshon Burgundy – Seems like an off the dome flow from Dru here. Just raw. His vocals are pretty dry here too. Just makes it come off harder. “Letters from apostles always put me in a good mood.” The beds behind the chorus here are very different from what you hear in the rest of the song, with some clapping and horns, but somehow it works. “One time for the memory of Chadwick”
Witnesses – Witnesses cheer us on. Definitely referring to “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses” from Hebrews 12. This melody seems similar to something I’ve already heard on here as well. While this song gets more interesting as it goes on, honestly the last verse of “Diaspora” should’ve been what we were left with. I feel like this track is throw away.
In conclusion, Dru Bex is so incredibly talented and continues to grow with every project he shells out. I really feel like he’s under-appreciated because all I heard on this album was someone who was willing to push boundaries of what his music can sound like. The end result is beautiful. It’s not a perfect project, my favorite project of his is still In God’s Good Time, because I thought the entire scope of what he was doing felt like it all belonged together into one piece of art.
SVV is multi-faceted and takes you on a journey in different ways. He’s in touch with how to incorporate the new sounds of hip-hop without forsaking his brand or his fan base, and that is really hard to do. There are some absolute bangers here, and it’s an overall solid album. I think I was just hoping for more cohesion throughout.