Dontel – Zero One

Written on

August 10, 2011

Attention! If everyone could stand around and let me explain the situation at hand, please. First off, I would like to thank everyone for coming and viewing what we like to call “Zero One”. Today is a special day at Blood or Love because for the past several years we’ve been in search of a record, mainly a hip hop record, that speaks to the people and makes those people want to start doing something with their life. As you may notice at first glance, Dontel is a young Detroit rapper that has been grinding hard since 2005 and with little buzz, he’s still making things happen in ways that anyone can look up to. Recently Dontel got in touch with us via Facebook and presented me with his debut mixtape that he seemed to be very proud about. Honestly, the positive energy was contagious because just from the small conversation we had on Faceook, I was ready to hit play and see what kind of talent this kid really had. So, wait no longer and let’s enter the world of “Zero One”.

Welcome to the world of Dontel and “Zero One”! First off, let it be known that with being a debut mixtape, things could go wrong and probably will for most artists but with Dontel, things seem to be running rather smoothly in the direction of blasting off into outerspace. Dontel brings real life situations with some fiction into this mixtape but it all mashes together with ease and feels very comfortable, a little too comfortable at certain points actually. The points that begin to show signs of comfort are easily the tracks that either have features or that have more of that “let’s lay back and just roam each others bodies as we make some fireworks explode” moments. The second track, “I Know”, could easily be a single on the radio but at the other end of the whip it still brings that comfort level that most emcees can’t bring to the table with a track like this. It’s just real emotion and you can tell from the way his flow just glides, all of this is natural and not difficult for Dontel at all.

Next, we’re gonna send it to my left and talk about the features on this mixtape as well as get more coverage on Dontel himself. In the past I’ve learned that Detroit is really a place for hit or miss rappers but I’ve also learned that the ones that make it out of Detroit really do deserve everything they have. With features from the soon to be R&B mastermind Kevin Jackson II and heavy spitters that show no mercy such as Big Jake, Pretty Tony and Gully Castellanos, you can’t help but think that this mixtape will eventually make certain people turn heads and understand that these dudes really love doing this. The ninth track, “Caught Up In The Game”, showcases the talent of each artist mentioned above but with only four minutes to showcase this kind of talent, it’s kind of hard to understand and grip onto what I’m talking about. Each artist brings something to the table, with Kevin Jackson II really bringing that R&B feel out on the track and Gully Castellanos ripping through the weeds and fields of street life in general, Dontel had to bring the heat with his verse and believe you me, he did that and more.

Nearing towards the end of this meeting, let’s make it clear that this mixtape overall is not perfect nor should anyone think that is it, considering it is a debut and Dontel still needs work in certain areas but don’t let that fool you because the kid is doing what he loves and doing it well. “Zero One”, overall, has a gang of hits along with tracks that remind me of old Mobb Deep, Biggie & Big L. Lyrically, Dontel isn’t on that level but with time I do believe he could be with practice and an open mind. “Cassette Music”, “Exhibit D” and the lonely track that I loved the most titled “Popular Demand”, really bring out that old school hip hop feel of the mixtape. When you combine the two, it’s a mathematical problem that equals success.

I would like to thank everyone for showing up and listening to the coverage that we had on Dontel for the time being. “Zero One” is officially out and about all throughout the interwebz so make sure you discover this kid and make it a point to listen carefully when the guy drops new material. Dontel – He may not be the “hottest” thing in Detroit as of right now but keep an eye out because in due time things do change and he’ll be tearing through these fake kids with that pussy rap. Again, thank you for coming to this news conference and make sure on your way out you download “Zero One” from the link below.

Listen to “Caught Up In The Game” below:

Official Facebook. Official Soundcloud. Official Youtube. Official Twitter. Download the record here.

[Retired] A cool kid with no talent but tons of heart! A passion for grindcore and writing in general pushes me onward to reach new heights within music journalism.