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Album Review: Dream Junkies – NREM Edition

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.

TheBreax are at it again. Ruslan and Beleaf have been known to work hard and pump out music. When theBreax created the KingsDream brand, they added John Givez to their roster. He added a new flavor, but kept the West Coast feel that you get when you listen to any of their projects.

Collectively, the roster is going by the name Dream Junkies. I have been following theBreax all the way back to 2008 and one thing I have always appreciated about them is that they let their fans get to know their sound. One of their best methods has been the amount of free music they put out (most notably the “Breax Over” series of mixtapes). In classic fashion, they have released a free album to introduce fans to the Dream Junkies sound.

All three artists are incredibly talented and in this review, I want to share what made this project special.

Originality

One thing that I have always appreciated about Ruslan and Beleaf is that they are not afraid to be 100% them. John Givez fits well into that mold also. When you are confident being yourself, you can create music that sounds like you and no one else. On this project, I really loved the originality that they brought to the table.

The first track on this project, “Higher,” was a great depiction of what the Dream Junkies sound is like. It is unique, but still has the West Coast, laid back feel. Everyone in the group has their own distinct sound and adds a special element. On this first track, the listener is introduced to Beleaf’s calm, yet poignant lyricism, Ruslan’s confident and aggressive approach, and John Givez’s voice and delicately laid bars. Everyone on this label sounds comfortable in their own lane. That is what makes them special.

Content

I love what the Dream Junkies accomplished on this project. The way they encouraged the listener to pursue their dreams was infused in almost every song. The second track on this project was titled “Move” and they constantly encouraged the listener to not be afraid to make moves and look beyond the options that are placed in front of you. Essentially, they were saying to dream beyond what you may see. This theme was continued throughout the album on songs like “Dreamers,” “Higher,” “Soul Rebels,” and “Dream Junkies.”

I also enjoyed the way they let you in on their lives individually. Songs like “Old Friends,” “Mandela,” and “Oceans” come to mind when I think about this. In “Old Friends” they rapped to people from their past and shared brief stories about people that they used to know. On “Mandela” and “Oceans” there is a more vulnerable feel and you get to hear each artists’ heart cry.

Based off of the content alone, you can walk away encouraged and feeling like you know the members of Dream Junkies much more.

Lyricism

The Dream Junkies are a collective from the West Coast with flows that can hang with anyone on the East (known for having rap flooded with more lyrical content). On this project, each artist showcases their ability to man handle a beat. This made the project stand out because although there was a West Coast feel musically, the lyricism did not lack. I think “Dream Junkies” was a great song where each artist showed what they had to offer. There were songs where one artist stood out more than the others, but I thought they all brought it on that song.

Conclusion

This was a great project to listen to and I think those who get this project will find that the replay value is high. Many of the beats were smooth and easy to listen to. I also felt that this was a great re-branding of the team. They are no longer theBreax feat. John Givez. This project redefined them as the Dream Junkies and I thought the new sound was aesthetically pleasing.

If you are looking for a project with concert singles, this is not the project to have. However, I do not think that took away from the project. This project will leave many looking out for what is next. Based off of the voice-mail snippets, it seems that Beleaf’s solo album may be on the way, but I may be reaching with that.

Dream Junkies’ NREM Edition is set to be released Tuesday, March 18.

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Branden Murphy has served as a Campus Missionary. He loves Christian hip hop and uses it within his ministry to reach and converse with many different students. He plans to use his heart for music and ministry to write album reviews on Wadeoradio.com. Branden is also married with two children. You can follow Branden on Twitter: @Bmurph633.

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