Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Derrick B. Harden (Dear Derrick & The Band) - Born 4 Porn

If Derrick B. Harden was a student of New York city, then his latest project "Born 4 Porn" is his Senior thesis. Ironically enough, having never graduated from high school, he is a well-poised soon-to-be Renaissance man who graduated through life motivated by his will to self-education and self-betterment. After listening to his most prominent work to-date, the first project with his creative collective Dear Derrick & The Band, it is most appropriate to say he is as good a lyricist as a student of life. His relentless and frivolous word-play lead-in for "Ups and Downs" demonstrates the lyrical frolicking of great writers. His hook in "Capitalist Cards" exhibits his most accessible side to a more Pop-driven urban audience. Hip-hop is about storytelling and Derrick goes out of his way to narrate the full 360 of his life including the funny, the ugly, and the uncomfortable. The Funny we hear in "Drug Dealer" when he explains his participation in a farcical rat race as an eager, uninformed and illegitimate student of capitalism. The Bad is illustrated in "Song's of Sin." The imagery each speaker uses to tell the tales of their iniquities is chilling right down to its clever chorus. The Uncomfortable he touches on half-way through the collection in "Alot." He shares his toughest stories growing up as a young man in Brownsville, Brooklyn and expresses his frankest criticisms of how Consumerism as a way to freedom threatens optimism. His overall aim is the Truth at whatever unfriendly cost and we all know the Truth is an acquired taste. While Derrick's words of encouragement (and sometimes discouragement) are beneficial to most people, he finds his most devoted audience in intellectuals and young thinkers. On "Born 4 Porn," there really is a song for everyone. So if Derrick was a sort of trailblazer, "Born 4 Porn" is more like a letter to himself by which out of grace, he decided to share the contents of, with the whole world. Derrick B. Harden is Brooklyn's noble knight with the charisma of a suave orator. He is short but not always sweet and its okay because he speaks and acts with the heart of the city as his source of conscience.
Text by Shelby A Coley and Images by Anna Bloda