By: Mike Scarfo
After a successful campaign for his late-2020 album Anomaly, on the surface it seemed easy to define DK as an artist: the collection of songs portray an eccentric persona through colorful production, expressive vocal cadences, and clever dry humor. It’s entertaining, yet still feels authentic. And if you ask DK himself, being an entertainer is when he’s at his most comfortable. Nevertheless, no one person is defined by a singular part of themselves.
“Reality” sees the Western Massachusetts artist in a state of vulnerability, confronting darker, repressed traumas; a side of DK that had been concealed to his fan base until now. Lyrically, DK shows a profound level of self-awareness. He acknowledges growing up with a privileged background before detailing a life-altering mistake:
“When I was twelve I had seven cops at my front door / locked up,
mugshot, front page of the news / that’s when all my trauma started / it damaged my youth / spent my childhood crying and tying belts in a noose”.
In this moment, DK suddenly becomes much more than just an entertainer. The depiction of his arrest and suicide attempt come off honest and forthcoming in its tone. The music video, directed by Jon Savona and Bobby Cannon, is an eye-opening portrayal. DK enacts himself watching his own arrest on the news, the TV representing a metaphorical mirror as he reflects on his disgust and shame for the person he sees on the other side. He identifies the immature nature of his ways and insecurities that
riddled his psyche, ultimately landing him in therapy. But “Reality” is also a rebirth for DK, an acceptance of his downfalls and finding the strength to move forward. The second half of the song focuses on manifesting his own reality, not to be defined by this one moment of his life.
The lyrical depth of “Reality” is captured by an instrumental that provides the perfect aesthetic. DK teams up with UV on production as they compose a colorful psychedelic guitar melody blended with hard-hitting snares and a slick bass-line. DK’s vocal performance may be the best component of all, as he delivers a wide range of emphatically emotional low notes and falsettos layered with modern autotuned inflections.
“Reality” is a dynamically transparent indie hip-hop/pop fusion that is both infectious and inspiring.
For further analysis on “Reality” check out an exclusive interview with DK on The Turntable Teachers dropping Sunday, February 14!
Stream “Reality” on all platforms:
"Reality" by DK on Spotify
"Reality" by DK on Apple Music