Darc Mind - Darc Mind Wuz Here

Drafting questions for my bucket-list interview with Darc Mind MC Kevroc and producer X-Ray Da Mindbenda, I briefly considered then quickly dismissed the idea of asking when their next project was coming. After all, 13 years separated the duo's 2nd and 3rd albums. So, you can imagine my surprise when, after I asked at the end of the interview if there was anything else they wanted to talk about, X-Ray volunteered that they had another project, an EP called Darc Mind Wuz Here, nearly completed. 

The coda on a brilliant if abbreviated body of work spanning multiple decades, Darc Mind Wuz Here landed at the top of 2022 true to its name; the writing on a crumbling wall, its section still standing strong even if destined for the rubble pile. Kevroc has one of the most marketable voices in the history of Hip-Hop; that it's never been "successfully" sold as such by the music industry is as much a testament to the genius of his lyrics as a casualty of '90s label politics. Simply put, he's not writing for the masses but for himself and those he might inspire. In liner notes and interviews, he cites as his major influences local MCs who never put out records and whose names virtually nobody else would be able to recognize today except maybe for their former neighbors and collaborators. Widespread recognition is not, has never been the point. 

Darc Mind's catalog is essential rap music, an ever-evolving oral tradition. Thus, even the bitter-sweet finality of this exclamatory installment comes with an unambiguous belly laugh. Its final song-proper is unironically titled "Now That I've Arrived." Its last track, "Phantom of the MLK Center," is not so much a rap song as a spoken-word lamentation, a love-hate letter from artist to art. Even after the tag fades from the broken bricks, after the last rhyme is done and the last boom bapped, this never ends. Its very existence is one of continuous advancement. That's what manifested it. That's what it manifests.

Whether or not there's a document to show for it, Darc Mind Wuz Here. "Cats who lived there will know what I'm talking about."

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