Last week, Ray DeeZy released a new album, Live From The Living Room. The self-produced album is the first release from the Charleston-based rapper this year, and it showcases the artist looking for a way back to the happiness of his pre-pandemic self, while also facing the challenges of adulthood.
This is something that many of us can relate with, I think, and DeeZy takes a laid-back approach to rapping about many of the associated feelings. His tone is very conversational and the beats are all nostalgic and low-key, making it an easily-accessible listen that also takes on some challenging topics such as mental health and racism.
“Like most millennials, we always find ourselves reminiscing about “the good ole days” and always complaining about how things are constantly changing, instead of simply living in the moment and enjoying ourselves,” Deezy explains.
“I think it’s important to keep up with the times and just keep going,” he continues. “I think what happens is we yearn for those childhood memories that gave us joy. It takes us to a place of peace. The living room was always a place everyone in the house came to forget about their problems. From watching a funny movie or series to looking at the old family photo album thinking of simpler times.”
This feeling of looking back to “the good ole days” also inspired many of the samples and beats that were selected for this project, DeeZy continues to explain, including the use of many samples with vocals.
“I like to challenge myself and rap over samples with vocals, most people don’t like to flow like that but I’ve found that it works for me and it also makes crate digging a bit more fun just trying things out and seeing what happens,” the rapper says. “I talk about everyday life and the ups and downs that come with it, I made it my business to show love to the streets. It’s a lot going on In my life as well as the world so I’m just telling you about it one metaphor at a time over some laid back beats.”
Track 7, “Mac Daddy”, includes the only feature on the album, with Charleston rapper R Dotta dropping in to spit a verse alongside DeeZy’s about being a “Mac Daddy”, but not in the way that you might expect. The lyrics are focused on one special woman rather than a multitude of different women, which is a sign of growing up and a clever work-in of the album’s theme.
Two tracks on Live From The Living Room that stand out for both their choice of samples and the rapping come back-to-back in the second half — “Caught in the Rain” and “Jet!”. Both of these songs are fire and make for the strongest part of the album.
“Caught in the Rain” samples the 1987 Herb Alpert song “Making Love in the Rain” while DeeZy raps about some of the most personal and real topics on the album. The lyrics are focused on trying to stay sane in a world that seems to want you to lose your mind instead, while also working in some famous rap lines from Biggie and Lil Wayne as truths in his own life.
“Jet!” is more fun and uses a sample from Elton John’s famous 1974 song “Bennie and the Jets” in a way that is well-suited to the rapper’s flow and personality. While “Caught in the Rain” is about the deeper side of Ray DeeZy, “Jet!” is about the side of him that likes to have a good time and cut loose.
Overall, Live From The Living Room is an enjoyable listen that will appeal especially to those who are working through growing pains on the other side of the pandemic.
Listen to Live From The Living Room by Ray DeeZy below.