There’s a certain duality that comes into play when creating music. An artist is tasked with balancing artistic integrity and the listener’s expectations; telling a story without going too deep or not going deep enough.
What’s impressive about Death of a Martyr, Birth of a Phoenix from Diez De León is that the album occupies two worlds simultaneously. It’s thoughtful, introspective and authentic, and effortlessly pairs it with the best qualities of modern hip-hop: catchy hooks, head-nodding grooves, and addressing the all-important question, “but does it slap?”
Formerly known as B.B.T.U.C. of Colorado rap trio Soul Brothers, Diez De León showcases a high level of artistic maturity on his debut album. Death of a Martyr, Birth of a Phoenix displays a degree of lyrical finesse that’s refreshing in today’s musical landscape.
Throughout the album, Diez De León covers myriad themes, giving listeners introspective looks into mental health, love, heartbreak, and overcoming adversity.
The album kicks off with the infectious “Help-1-1 (ft. James Not Jim),” a tune with a hook so catchy that it takes a few listen-throughs to realize it’s a call for help. “Stop Selling Me Drugz,” on the surface, is a song about overcoming addictions, but deeper down serves as an examination of the complex inner push-and-pull that accompanies most things in life.
Diez De León touches on both sides of love too, with the breakup anthem “Goodnite Txt (ft. Izzy Luc)” and late night cuts “Timeless,” “Vices (ft. Grimm Tha Kid)” and “Break U Off.”
The production (provided by Grimm tha Kidd and Skipdogg tha Soulja) on Death of a Martyr, Birth of a Phoenix impressively toes the line between soulful musicality and subwoofer-friendly trunk music. On the whole, the album doesn’t sell-out, and by no means does it sell itself short.
Death of a Martyr, Birth of a Phoenix (out September 2) is available everywhere – cick here to buy it directly from the artist. Diez De León will make a guest appearance with Jay/R and Dyrty D Gun at The GT GARZA show Sept 18th at the Moxi Theater in Greeley.