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Single Review: “Shining” Kayne Dynell

2020 was a shockingly good year for hip-hop all things considered, and this is definitely evident when looking at some of the superior indie talent making big waves to kick off 2021. In the case of young upstart Kayne Dynell, a melodic take on cloud-style rapping is forming the basis for an incredibly unique tone in the all-new single and music video “Shining,” and it’s hard to picture the song coming into the prominence it is this winter without the eclectic energy of its leading man. Dynell fits in with the surreal trend bubbling over from the American underground in hip-hop and trap music over the past year, but with a distinct approach to lyrical wit that I’ve immediately fallen in love with.

URL: https://www.kaynedynell.com/

There’s an infectious enthusiasm behind the music video for “Shining” that doesn’t manifest solely in the visuals we see on screen, but through the interactions between the colorful imagery and the stoic sonic backdrop. I really like that Dynell isn’t just drawing from the same overindulgent well of money, babes and bong hits that so many of his contemporaries have when structuring similar videos on their own; this has a conceptual feel that extends from the music and into our living rooms here.

The urgency of Kayne Dynell’s execution is supreme in “Shining,” mostly because it’s clear he’s never rushing or abusing software to get a solid flow going. His natural prowess with the mic in his hands is something to marvel at, and with the rigidity of the beat in this song as his canvas, he paints us a depiction of both ambition and self-awareness made all the more organic by his refusal to dilute the track with filler. That alone puts him a cut above some of the other cloud rappers I’ve come across in the last month, not to mention the growing trend of watered-down crossovers making their way onto the mainstream stage at the moment.

I love the commitment Dynell shows to this groove around every turn in the track. The beat is always made to be one of the primary sources of chills in “Shining,” and he wisely preserves its thrust and tonal integrity by constantly pushing our attention back towards the percussion instead of focusing everything towards his vocal. That kind of selflessness is what gets you to Rolling Loud and, more specifically, facilitates a connection with fans of a more discriminating taste in contemporary hip-hop.

Kayne Dynell highlights some genuine talent worth taking note of in “Shining” this month, and whether you’re a big fan of rap or not I would recommend taking a peek at what he has to offer here just the same. He’s making a strong case for his being ready to hang with some of the bigger names in his class right now, and if even a fraction of the presence he has in the studio translates well in a live performance, he’s going to be in amazing shape coming out on the other side of the pandemic.

Blaine Calhoun

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