You can’t put a price on natural charisma in the music business; hence, when an artist like DICI comes along, there’s going to be a lot of buzz surrounding the Midas touch he has in the recording studio. Rather than having to fluff up this young man’s sound with a lot of synthetic filler and collaborative smokescreens to mask a lack of birthrights, DICI unleashes everything he was born to deliver in a song like “Five Rings,” charting a course between melodic indie pop and sterling hip-hop so few of his peers have been able to follow in their own content lately.
The execution we find in “Five Rings” has a softness that when juxtaposed with the gruff textural elements in the percussion creates a chaotic fizziness in the mix impossible to achieve otherwise. It never devolves into white noise, but its presence undeniably enhances the pristine color provided to the song via the piano harmony, which is perhaps the most organic point of interest in the melodic half of the mix. Layers of cerebral aesthetics run together and make even the subtler parts of this track sound larger than life, which is much more acceptable than inviting anything artificial into the fold.
This bass component is so clandestine that it almost feels nonexistent in a couple of significant junctures between the start of the song and the conclusion, but I really don’t think it needed to be any more prominent to contribute something evocative to the bottom-end of this track. DICI has already learned that moderation is going to be the most important ingredient in his recipe for finding success, and if his efficiency-first attitude carries over to the complete tracklist of a proper LP, he’s soon going to issue something his rivals won’t likely be able to top anytime in the near future.
The percussion is perhaps the bread and butter of the backend in “Five Rings,” but even if it didn’t have the boost it gets from some of the more intricate parts in the instrumental arrangement here, I think its tonal offerings are potent enough to earn some recognition in this review. It says a lot when a rapper can work an abstract beat into a consistent, steadily enrapturing pattern of poetic verses as DICI has in this performance, and if there’s anything we can take away from the groove in this single, it’s that he isn’t easily intimidated by mathy rhythmic challenges – in fact, he seems rather turned on by them.
Unsurprisingly to those who keep up with the American underground nowadays, Southeast Florida submits another can’t-miss artist in DICI this year who doesn’t have to rely on the trends supported by his peers to make a big statement inside of his first six months in the headlines, and “Five Rings” is the latest proof of his eminence. This hasn’t been the best start to a new decade in the history of pop and hip-hop, but now that we’re coming into the light on the other side of a pandemic tunnel, DICI has a shot at really scaling the indie hierarchy as long as he continues to rip out scorchers like this one.
by Bethany Page