The record that introduced Doseone (aka Adam Drucker) to the world, Hemispheres is a hip-hop album that sounds like early-'90s New York channeled through William Burroughs. Doseone is less Native Tongues than beat poet, feeding his stream-of-consciousness rhymes into sparse, hollow beats that evoke images of empty urban landscapes and darkening skies. The production borders on dirty, with fuzzy bass kicks and eerie synth arpeggios, occasional scratches, and voiced, vaguely spiritual chords entering for added dramatic effect. And Dose, with his trademark nasally quasi-sneer, flips and jolts his way through the 11 tracks on Hemispheres like a gymnast. He's a gifted rapper, able to change his delivery and flow depending on the mood of the song and what he wants to convey, and while often it's hard to understand what exactly he's saying (mostly because of the sometimes non sequitur, or at least esoteric, nature of his lyrics, which seem to focus more on big words, rhyme scheme, and abstraction as opposed to actual sense), the overall effect isn't lost among syllabic ramblings. He does, of course, display some of the typical braggadocio associated with hip-hop, like "Self Explanitory," in which he impressively goes on for a good 12 bars using the same rhymes, including the line "MCs be all tongue and anus/Needless to say, brainless," but it doesn't seem that he's trying to come off as "better" than other MCs. However, his occupation with asserting his lyrical skill (either overtly or indirectly) can still tie him down some, rendering him less accessible to all but the most patient of listeners. Hooks and choruses are practically nonexistent, and with Dose's intangible delivery style, the only thing to grab onto is the album itself, as a whole, which is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it's an ambitious undertaking, and while it's obvious that he's a talented artist, it all might get lost a little among the verbiage.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown
feat: Mr. Len