Another day, another dollar. Or rather: another month, another stellar hip-hop release that’s come out of the city of Indianapolis. I suspect I sound more and more like a broken record when discussing the local music scene. Perhaps I’m going crazy, or getting old, or maybe it’s a combination of both. All I know for sure is that there is a “top tier” of hip-hop artists from the ‘Nap, and if he didn’t belong in that top tier before, with The Feeling: Kuro, DisTinct definitely belongs there now.
What sets DisTinct apart from other hip-hop artists from the Circle City (or anywhere really) is the unique, or rather, distinct (sorry, I had to), flow he employs on his tracks, a kind of flow that is undeniably rhythmic or “rapping” but is melodic enough to where it feels like singing. This is especially the case on cuts like the opener “Eye of the Storm” and the brief “Feel,” but at points it even peers through on the least “melodic” of songs such as singles “Level Up” and “Battles.”
Sonically, The Feeling: Kuro is kind of all over the place but in all the best ways. DisTinct pulls sounds from trip-hop, indie pop, synth pop, EDM, and trap music. Yet he somehow also simultaneously pulls off having one of the most cohesive-sounding efforts to come out of the Hoosier State in recent memory. Perhaps the best example of this is the phenomenal opener. What starts out as an electro-infused wall of alt indie quickly evolves into a synths-heavy banger that ebbs and flows right underneath DisTinct’s punctuated yet, of course, melodic delivery.
It would seem like it’d be hard for any track to immediately follow such an opener, but the solid 1-2 punch of “Oceans” and “Cruising” do a fine job of keeping things moving. This concept of “pairs” occurs more than just once though, sometimes but not always in succession—from the powerful duo of “Feel” and “Run” (which complement each other perfectly) to the booming single, “Level Up” (feeling like a distant cousin to “Eye of the Storm”) to “Elevate” and “Bigger,” which together close out the record.
Another aspect of The Feeling: Kuro worth noting is the selection of the fellow Naptown artists DisTinct chose to feature throughout. Whether that comes from Diop’s versatile rhythms on the powerful “Run,” rapid fire flow trade-offs with Double A on “Level Up,” or the smooth, choral contributions of Jeremiah Stokes on the trippy “Yin Yang,” every guest feature has its place and feels like it was chosen intentionally to fit the vibe and headspace of that particular song.
The bulk of the highlights from The Feeling: Kuro come from its most melodic moments, from “Eye of the Storm” to “Feel” to “Run.” But even elsewhere, DisTinct does a mighty fine job of including different sounds and moods, combining all of them together into one clean, cohesive collection of quality cuts.
Go purchase The Feeling: Kuro on iTunes here.