D.O.U.G.H. - Judas

Nashville, Tennessee is primarily known for its contributions to country music. The belief is that, if you’ve got an accent, a Southern twang in your voice, and a guitar (or “git-tah,” if you want to use the accent), then you might stand a chance out there. You’ll find rappers there as well, but they mostly come out of Memphis, a land where Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball & MJG both find their origins.

In 2014, Jonathan Duo dares to redraw the lines as to where rap resides in Tennessee.

The Paducah, Kentucky native, better known by his rapper moniker D.O.U.G.H. (“Driven Only Under God’s Hands”) weaved his way into Nashville’s underground rap scene officially in 2011, and has quietly acquired the accolades over the years. Fresh off nabbing a “Best Artist” Award at Nashville’s Hopewell Entertainment Showcase in 2011, D.O.U.G.H. dropped off consecutive projects – Daily Bread that year and, shortly after that, D.O.U.G.H. or Die in the summer of 2012. He’s even opened up for another acronym-named emcee who’s made his own undeniable mark on the South – a guy by the name of Big K.R.I.T. D.O.U.G.H. has been shaking things up, his rumblings along Tennessee’s local scene gradually catching the ears of blogs and nationally-known internet sites.

And now, on the cusp of dropping his biggest mixtape to date, HGHR GRND, D.O.U.G.H. has grabbed our ears, as well.

“Judas,” the latest release from the rapper, isn’t expected to appear on the final version of HGHR GRND. “HGHR GRND has a very specific theme… that this song didn’t fit,” D.O.U.G.H. insists. So what’s the purpose of releasing it? Simple – to announce the coming of something big. With TunesGoBoom handling production, setting a murky beat in motion with tinkling keys and a slightly sinister feel to it. Religious metaphors abound in the song’s nearly four minutes in length, the emcee shouting out “Amazing Grace” and “snakes” with one purpose in mind – to highlight standing up when the world knocks you down. “Okay, I get it – everybody’s a critic,” D.O.U.G.H. barks, shaking off the hate and letting his flow flourish in the moments where the beat drops.

“Judas” may have betrayed Christ but, for once, it stands for something right… and for someone that refuses to be ignored any further.

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