A very dark parallel to the mainstream rap flow of success, grandeur and higher living, Los Angeles rapper Ded Stark merges the melancholy, mantra-like flow of Kurt Cobain with a transparent, new age sound to create DED. Openly acknowledging and accepting his musical identity as a loner outside of the norm, Stark describes the lows of California dreaming and his machine-like dependence on staying afloat despite competing with mental illness and, sometimes, himself.

With a sound similar to Lil Skies and Trippie Redd, Stark is another self-proclaimed “sad boy”, oftentimes grieving about the difficulties of life and wanting to give up when things go haywire. The West Coast artist discusses his issues with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse throughout the track; a sentiment shared by a plethora of other millennial creatives struggling with codependency as they ascend.

Despite his apparent sadness, Ded Stark’s voice shines with a glimmer of hope for brighter days, praying that his love for music will guide his way to happiness. A self-directed production, DED is a visual mushroom trip with kaleidoscope imagery and funky b-roll rotating from frame to frame. The follow up to his song Friends Don’t Lie, DED is a personal record exposing Stark’s flaws and his never-ending search for acceptance as he drowns his woes in a self-medicated reality.