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Single Review: Shaheed and DJ Supreme “The Art of Throwing Darts”

Less than a few minutes; that’s essentially all it takes to go from underground sensation to international superstar, and up-and-coming rappers Shaheed and DJ Supreme have a juggernaut just that size in the new single “The Art of Throwing Darts” meant to set off as much this season. “The Art of Throwing Darts” has a clandestine aggressiveness to it, meaning that while it’s sporting a very angst-ridden, urgent pace, its tempo is a bit restrictive and hesitant in comparison to the tone of the lyrics.

The contrast in this track is everything – it both cues us into the skill Shaheed and DJ Supreme have in a complicated arrangement and creates pressure on a hook that was already as heavy as a ton of bricks. What we wind up with at the climax of this song is steeped far more in physicality than it is the overblown surrealism a lot of other artists have been designing entire EPs around, and in my view, that’s enough to elevate this player’s sound above the competition this June. They’ve got their way of doing things, and this release celebrates their originality while hinting at an influence unreachable by most indie players in their scene.

There’s an argument to be made that the bassline in this single is a bit too minimalist for what the percussion is producing on the front end of the mix, but I understand the angle Shaheed and DJ Supreme were going for here. “The Art of Throwing Darts” utilizes a very rigid groove, and because it isn’t as shaped by the bass parts as it is the raw drumbeat in the center of the lyrics, we’re not left feeling like we’re listening to a trap rhythm simply recycled from another source.



This act doesn’t come across to me as someone who wants to dip their pen in another’s ink, and though they embrace some old-school influences in terms of structure in this track, they aren’t ripping any of the facetings from their forerunners. There is something really special about a rap outfit that isn’t addicted to the model, and in this particular climate for the genre, it’s probably going to bring this performer some of the coveted mainstream spotlight their peers have had such a hard time scoring – and keeping – for themselves.

Shaheed and DJ Supreme are very provocative new faces in the hip-hop game today, and considering how busy 2023 has kept them, I’ve got to wonder how wild their schedule is going to get when things hopefully get all the more hyped up in 2024. The live circuit is hungry for someone of their caliber to sweep through with some fresh vitality removed from the decadence a lot of the establishment has been wallowing in over the past ten years or so, and everything about the moxie they bring to the table in “The Art of Throwing Darts” suggests they’re ready to answer the call. This isn’t the lone example of sleek composing on their part worth pointing to, but I’d still tell you to start with its beats before exploring the others in Shaheed and DJ Supreme’s discography.


Alisa Garza



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