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Single Review: “Vacations Matter” D3X

To say there’s been a lot of interest in classic rap concepts this year might be too great an understatement for a critic like myself; in all reality, the retro-rap trend has been hard to ignore on all fronts, and this is especially the case in indie circles. Rappers like D3X are drawing inspiration from the past to craft something very special for the present, and in the new single “Vacations Matter,” it becomes quite difficult even for skeptics to argue with the results these players are getting. D3X is among the best I’ve heard lately, and this just so happens to be his best work thus far as I see it.

The passionate vocal this artist puts out not long after we get started in “Vacations Matter” is enough to steal the show out from under just about any instrumental element, but being that it overtakes the subtler elements in the hip-hop framework D3X is working with in this single, it’s all the more impressive. He’s got a captivating way about him even without these kinds of tests, and in this setting, there’s no mistaking what he’s capable of producing – even when the pressure is as high as it gets.

Most of the instrumental complexities within this song are overshadowed by the ease of D3X’s delivery, which is quite possibly the smoothest you’re going to hear from an upstart recording artist in all of 2023. He’s just so natural in his management of the verses here that it’s occasionally hard to keep up with the grinding of the synth and the bass the same, not to mention this swaggering beat, all of which are colliding together to make beautiful grooves and harmonies you typically don’t hear very much of in the mainstream half of pop/rap anymore. It’s a talent he was born with, and that’s made clear to us in “Vacations Matter.”


The growl of the backdrop in this single would probably be even more scorching live than it is in this studio version of the song, and though a lot of critics might argue that this is true of most hip-hop releases, I think it’s a little different with this specific work. There’s an angry undertow in D3X’s sound that seems just itching to come undone here, and while he never allows for it to come ripping through the seams, there’s evidence to support the notion that it could do as much in a future composition bearing his name in the byline.

You’re probably going to hear a lot of really great artists across all of pop music in 2023, but if there’s one rapper you need to be looking in on before the summer season gets into full swing, it is undeniably Mr. Jordan Adair, better known as one D3X. His charisma is of the rarest variety in this genre, as much as it pains for me to admit it as a fan of true blue hip-hop music, and perhaps his success outside of his scene will have a positive impact on other rap acts trying to get something started in the 2020s.


Melissa Fossett


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