“Make a tape without any hooks, because what I’m doing is rap shit”: No question, FFMer Gianni Suave really likes the bars and drums. For years, the name of the “Don’t Mess With The Weather” explorer has been an integral part of the repertoires of well-informed blog boys and girls who dig deeper, who are looking for more and who want more than ready-made playlist fare. On “Dope” Gianni Suave now consistently underlines on five tracks what he is: an MC who deliberately stays out of the industry, who drives his own movie and always, really always, would put his own philosophy of music over fast clicks. “The last thing I do is something I don’t feel,” raps Gianni and adds a little later: “Nobody becomes a legend because they do things like others do. The interesting thing about “Dope” is that Gianni doesn’t sound a bit, sorry, stuck, despite all the scene criticism, which he of course doesn’t help himself to verbalize as the first artist. It’s refreshing that the Hessian underground response to mainstream German rap is not exclusively based on crackling-crackling samples and, despite Guro vocal chops, 90s East Coast aesthetics – which have already been sufficiently reproduced, adapted and reused.
Together with DMWTW producer Rio and funk father Frank, who was co-producer and checked the final sound design, Gianni created here a piece of music that, thanks to its own, never stuck sound approach, doesn’t even have to search for a drawer. What makes “Dope” a really, really good tape in the end, though, are Gianni’s shining skills as a rapper. EsUhAh prances over beat switches and a broad potpourri of drums as if it was nothing and generously tampers with the almost unlimited range of the German language without appearing too cryptic. Rather, Gianni masters it, without ever having to exclude herself, to appear extremely eloquent and at the same time authentically streetwise. At times Gianni seems like the wisest of the early twenties of the Federal Republic of Germany, only to mix in reminders of his Frankfurt socialisation among all the knowledge and nested rhymes. So in the end there remains a very good EP, whose success will certainly not be measured in streaming numbers of dizzying heights – and that’s not even supposed to happen. Because what counts is rap, is art, is your own film. Or, to paraphrase the EP’s opening line: “I drop and Prodigy makes gang designs in Garden of Eden”.