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Ray DeeZy puts Gullah culture and food at the forefront of his new EP

When it All Boils Down

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Ray DeeZy Album Release
Sat. Nov. 3
7 p.m.
$10
The Spot 47
47 Cooper St.
Downtown
thespot47.com

An artist's spirit lies in different sections of their work. Sometimes, you feel it in the hook. Occasionally, it floats over the album artwork. In Ray DeeZy's case, the aura of his music hangs in the vibe. His work decidedly falls into the conscious category, but doesn't preach. DeeZy's EPs have a tendency to chill and breathe, without letting up on the throttle.

"I try to make real stuff," the rapper says about his sound. "I want you to be like 'I had a long day, let me put this DeeZy on.'"

Born and raised in Goose Creek, DeeZy started playing music at the age of 15. "I started out writing little short stories, I was the teacher's favorite in language arts," he says. "I was just writing my poetry and stories, and it turned into rhymes because I loved music."

DeeZy carries his love of storytelling into his rap career, often conveying a message along with it. "Another night of bullshit/ that's what she's saying to herself/ she's in the bathroom, crying, praying to herself/ popping pills and drinking liquor is the only thing that helps," he rhymes on "A Diamond Named Ebony."

The track tells about a woman who starts working at a strip club, only to fall into addiction, leading to more time working in the club to pay for her coping mechanism. "Mom and Pop started tripping/ Now she got to pay tuition/ Falling asleep in class, she can't afford to pay attention," DeeZy raps on the same song.

On "Family Sh!t (Outro Flow)," he goes into the negativity he sees from some of the people closest to him. "I feel like soon as granny died, that's when my family split/ That's why I don't get excited by Thanksgiving and Christmas/ My aunties still treat me like a 12-year-old misfit/ Gossiping about my life and who I had my kids with/ My uncles understand me on some grown man shit."

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In all of his work, including his latest planned release When It All Boils Down, the songwriter attempts to put the message of his music at the forefront. "I think it's important because there's a lot of stuff out there that doesn't have substance, anymore," he says. "People just make songs just to make them right now."

DeeZy wants to use his message-relaying style of songwriting to speak about the Gullah community. "Growing up around here, you have to learn about it [Gullah culture]," he comments. "But, as I got older, I really was like, 'Wow, this is gold right here.' We need to embrace this, we need to teach the next generations about this. And that's who's listening to the music, the youth."

Different aspects of Gullah culture, including the food are ingrained into the new EP. DeeZy says that "Brown Bag, Blue Crab" is his favorite tune from the new EP. "It's real bluesy," he says. "Around here we like a lot of juke joint music, a lot of blues music, and hip-hop."

And, like several other proud Gullah promoting artists from the area, DeeZy wants to bring the culture to the world without it becoming diluted, saying that he loses sleep over a more commercialized culture. "I try to let people know that it's from a real place. It's from a genuine place. And I just want the world to know about us," he says. "I want them to really know what we go through and what we've been through and what we come from. That's my goal in this project."

Although When It All Boils Down is primarily about the culture that DeeZy grew up in, the Gullah influence is alive in all his work and it is expanded on in both EPs, but with a modern flavor. "I like conscious rap, I like trap music," says DeeZy. "Let's just throw the Gullah culture in there, too. Let's teach them about that, while we talk about how we grew up."

Both EPs the artist previously released, Pardon My Pimpin' and No Love Lost, represent the feeling of his music. "You know I stay woke/ I ain't slept in two weeks," he says on the Pimpin' track "Tis the Season." The song's hook uses a hard UGK lyric referencing a mugging, but subverts it with a cool soul sample. It's a mellow balance that DeeZy pulls off frequently.

"Thinking hard like professors/ Trying to give a conscious effort/ just to be out here living reckless/ You can usually find me where the check is," he raps on the stoner truth track "Go With the Flow."

DeeZy's made pretty quick moves in the last year, completing 2017's Pardon My Pimpin' and 2018's No Love Lost. Alongside When It All Boils Down, which will be released on November 3, the rapper is planning another album for next year.

The release party for Ray DeeZy's latest EP When It All Boils Down will be on a party bus. Guests will meet at Spot 47 in Downtown's East Side on November 3.

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