Photo courtesy of Shakes O'Meara/Rhymesayers

Up-and-comer of the month: deM atlaS

A new feature to Rhyme Junkie, we’ll be looking at a lesser-known artist that seems to be on their way up. To start, we’ll be looking in the editor’s back yard.

I first saw deM atlaS at an Atmosphere show when I visited my alma mater in Mankato, Minnesota. He blew me away. His energy and intensity on stage, and his fresh yet classic had the crowd instantly interested. Upon leaving Mankato’s Verizon Center, people were passing out his Charle Brwn EP. The intensity, the classic sound, and the fresh youth that Rhymesayers (the label he’s signed to) has to be enjoying.

The short EP stays true to his Minnesota ties. Peanuts/Charlie Brown creator Charles Schultz is a fellow Minneapolis native, and apparently atlaS is/was a fan. On top of that, the EP’s title track is filmed with the Minneapolis skyline in much of the background.

The remainder of the EP has a similar sound, in that the beats are generally mellow in nature, but deM atlaS has a delivery that makes the listener want to turn into Pete Townshend: get on a stage and break stuff. It also gives off more of a city (Twin Cities, even) vibe than most other hip hop tracks I’ve heard in recent years.

What I mean is, when you listen to deM atlaS, you know he isn’t from Atlanta. You know he isn’t from Los Angeles. You know he isn’t from Dallas. One wouldn’t necessarily assume that he’s from Minneapolis-St. Paul, but hearing upon listening to his EP wouldn’t shock anybody.

Since the release of his EP, his work with Rhymesayers got more serious. He has since released his first single as a member of the Minnesota label, titled “All We Got”.

The song shows off his ability to change styles on a dime. The song is more of a head-bobber (sidenote: is head-bobber a term? I’ve used it for years, but I think I’m the only one that uses it) than just about anything on the Charle Brwn EP, perhaps excluding the title track. More than anything, the song puts people in a good mood. It’s a fun song, and an easy one to get into.

Rhymesayers did not make a mistake with this guy. If things go right, he’ll get somewhere. Things don’t always go the way they should when it comes to national exposure, but he has the content to get it done. I’m not a signed musician, but I’d have to imagine that skill and luck are both of importance. For that reason, best of luck to deM atlaS.

Check out some more of his music, with free download options here.

Tags: Atmosphere Charlie Brown Dem Atlas Minneapolis Rhymesayers Soundset St. Paul Toki Wright Twin Cities

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