Local Hip Hop: D-Stylz shows you something you've never seen before
Commonplace mainstream hip-hop, and the general perception that goes along with it, has produced a skewed view of what hip-hop really is. Imagine what the pioneers of the scene would say now about what the music has become.
However, Fort Collins is proud to boast a new addition to the canon, a man out to change the status quo and add a much-wanted sound to the Front Range’s musical smorgasbord. Meet D-Stylz.
Once on a full-ride drum line scholarship to Adams State College, David Gittings is using his lyrical skills and ambitions to set a new tone for hip-hop. He’s shared stages with Afroman, Raekwon, Wu-Tang, Logic and Mac Miller. If you’ve never heard of him before, you have now.
To describe the sound of Philadelphia-born D-Stylz is to describe a sound that has been lost to hip-hop over the years. Thought it’s a slippery slope to use already known artists when describing a new sound, it’s safe to say D-Stylz flows like the Beastie Boys, recalls the remnant lyrical shuffle of Busta Rhymes and sprinkles Jay-Z style on top. Listen for yourself; personal interpretation encouraged.
Combining forces with established Fort Collins DJ Macy Paradise, hailing from Buffalo, N.Y., the two have made local waves with a handful of tour dates set for the coming months. And why are these two on the forefront? Gittings put it plainly when talking about current hip-hop: “I cannot listen to the radio anymore: It’s constant repeats of the same song with no substance.” The message of D-Stylz’s music is positive. Don’t think Will Smith; just music that gets away from the standards of today’s hip-hop: embellishment and grandeur.
D-Stylz’s musical influences came from his humble Philadelphia background. His grandfather introduced him to Notorius BIG and NWA. One of his earliest musical memories is being bounced on his mother’s leg as she listened to Motown with the family. Gittings said he considers family a major influence, accrediting them his with success he has had thus far in music.
DJ Macy Paradise brings a caliber of showmanship to the duo’s shows. So often the DJ is just the man spinning the track, but there is so much more to be heard from performers who share true chemistry.
“People will feel much more than the song, I want them to feel me,” Stylz says. “Every show that happens. We try to show them something they have never seen before or expect ... I go up for a performance and people are thinking ,‘Who is this random opener?’ not feeling it, but once I start rapping, mouths are dropping. Proving people wrong.”
Paradise said their greatest asset is the way they incorporate each other’s sound.
“When people go to that first live show, when you see someone get down, and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, that changed my perception and life,’ it’s because someone rocked so hard that people get that feeling.”
D-Stylz’s lyrics are uplifting, aiming to inspire and fill the void left by mediocre hip-hop; his part in hip-hop’s Renaissance is aimed at the issues facing his audience today.
Gittings’ passion and commitment to the people around him — and to music itself — is clear.
“Hip-Hop is not dead, it’s jaded,” he says. “Rap in general is negative right now. I cannot name too many artists that make me want to go out there and be somebody.”
D-Stylz does. Take two hits, go to the show and get ready to have your world rocked.
For more information: follow D-Stylz on twitter (@iamDSTYLZ) or like his FB page (https://www.facebook.com/D.Stylz). His website dstylzmusic.com is currently under progress.
"Mufasa" by D-Stylz
"What's Hat'nin?" by D-Stylz
"Freak in Me" by D-Stylz