Dynasty Clique is the project of AC Dotterweich, Phillip Knight, Justin Dotterweich, and Joe Shute. The group is comprised of “like-minded individuals with comedic prowess and excellent acoustic deliveries.” Dynasty Clique’s latest release, an album titled “Party People”, is reviewed here on the blog; also featured below is an interview with the group.
‘Can You Feel It?’ opens “Party People” with a unique and intriguing backing track and intellectual wordplay. The initial 45 seconds are tough to make out vocally and not as clear as they could be, yet aside from that, this is a rather grand opening. The song’s big chorus is aided by a great vocal performance, one that is strong in areas where other similar artists might fail. The production, while not necessarily of the highest quality, is solid and done well. The vocalist’s delivery is on point, and the lyrical content, while predictable (depictions of the type of relationships they have with the opposite sex), is presented in an engaging way. ‘Beat 2 Heavy’ is full of truncated, 8-bit sounds, a staccato synth bass, and clever rhymes. The subject matter consists of finances and alcohol, the first chorus strong both lyrically and rhythmically and the second verse delivered rather spectacularly. The second verse was the highlight of the track, followed closely by the third verse (the latter featuring Melo Drama); the instrumentals on “Party People” are rather simple, yet they are excellent. Each does its job and is supportive, some of them showing sure signs of brilliance and excellence. ‘Ground Work’ ramped things up with more energy, a faster tempo, and more production value. The beats were bigger, the first verse was strong, and the choruses were again powerful. Dynasty Clique’s sound is very true and unique; there is no effort to sound like any other artist or act. Their witty rhymes and wide vocabulary are especially showcased on ‘Ground Work’, another excellent composition in and of itself featuring a descriptive and in-depth story line that gives insight into the artist’s life without boasting or bragging. ‘I Should Be a Star’ opened with an awesome bass line that was immediately reminiscent of Eminem. The track had a slower tempo, contained less energy, and was very well thought-out, incorporating a number of iconic cultural references throughout clever life stories. ‘Take You Home’ followed with an awesome beat and fantastic kick and snare sounds. Jersey Brown opens the track with an extremely rhythmic vocal line, and the chorus comes in shortly thereafter with a smoky, auto-tuned feel to it vocally. The second verse is extremely bright, as everything flows very well together in this excellent, lyrically strong number. ‘Eskimos (Nose to Nose)’ opens with the chorus, showcasing remarkable lyrics over a banging instrumental. The vocals are delivered well, and a great bass line progression in the choruses add a ton of depth to the track. The first verses on this record are powerful and commanding, this one being no different. This is a huge plus, as listeners would be unwise to turn off something of this lyrical quality. Another key aspect of Dynasty Clique’s material is their tendency to use more striking lyrics (that are both extraordinarily descriptive and intricate) as each verse progresses (another way to keep their listeners’ attention). Jersey Brown’s feature in the second verse continues these trends, as does the third verse and final chorus, making it is easy for listeners to bop their heads along.
‘Unceasing Resolve’ featured another Eminem-like instrumental; the production and mixing on this album has been very good, and the vocal delivery of each artist has been impeccable. This album is very impressive overall, as intelligent hip-hop and rap music can sometimes be hard to come by. Dynasty Clique pulls this feat off, and pulls it off in a sensational fashion. The chorus, darker lyrically, is good as well, relaying a message that is exceptionally positive of never stopping, halting, or backing down from anything. The story line is rife with examples of perseverance and determination and displays the group’s quest to aggressively pursue greatness. ‘Party People’ closes my review with a different style of instrumental, further strengthening the diversity of the album. This track was easy to relate to and contained lots of energy. Both first and second verse were done well; this album is an eclectic mix of very well done tracks with such smart comparisons and metaphors throughout. It is one of the more impressive hip-hop albums I’ve reviewed; it is very easy to fall into all the same cliches within this genre, yet Dynasty Clique makes sure to stray from that well-traveled path, all the while delivering a new perspective, unique song concepts, and a prepared, intelligent style.
Could you give us some insight into the musical background of Dynasty Clique? How did you meet and begin creating music together?
“Dynasty Clique was formed in early 2001 with the pairing of Chase Reynolds and AC Dotterweich in Hattiesburg, MS. The group was very big in the local club scene and even got a large amount of airtime (including radio play on WZLD – WILD 106.3). During the pursuit of their respective educations the group fell apart, only to later reform in 2006 in Seattle, WA, as members followed AC to his college years at Washington State University and then back into his professional life on the east side of the state. Current members include The Prophecy (AC Dotterweich), Trill Phil (Phillip Knight), Big Dub (Justin Dotterweich), and J-Shute (Joe Shute). “When AC came back to Seattle, we all kind of rekindled our friendships through our love of music and began having weekly gatherings where we would essentially get plastered and record a new song; as time went on some of our music started improving to the point where sharing it seemed like the right thing to do!””
What can you tell us about the music scene in Seattle? How does it compare to other music scenes around the state of Washington?
“The music scene in Seattle is really hot right now, with the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl and Macklemore taking home so many Grammy awards. The spotlight and media microscope has never been hotter on anything coming out of Seattle, especially musically-speaking.”
What life experiences or events inspired the writing and recording of your latest album “Party People”?
“All of us have been through some incredibly challenging life events, whether it was not having parents in our lives or having our worlds brought down around us, but music always seemed to bring us through everything. The feeling that I have always had is that music is like a box that you can stuff all of your emotions into, and whenever you want to address that emotion or revisit it, you can open that box and peek inside. It also helps with coming to grips with those emotions and healing at a more rapid pace. All of us have our anthems, (and while) only two of them showed up on this album (AC’s ‘Unceasing Resolve’ and Pizt Off’s ‘I Should Be a Star’), those anthems will give you a window into the most trying times in our lives and hopefully give you some perspective into who we are as people.”
What does 2014 hold in store for Dynasty Clique?
“A lot of things. This is our debut performance! We have been working a lot of shows and this is really going to be an amazing year (consisting of) spreading our music, building a fanbase, and working towards bringing some good times to the fans. We have our website up and are trying to fill in our spring and summer schedule with gigs, so keep an eye out Seattle!”