Deca is a rapper, producer and visual artist originally from Denver, CO who now resides in New York. His lyrics touch on universal truths that take us on an introspective journey through vividly painted physical and psychological landscapes. Dabbling in the spiritual and ephemeral, he navigates easily through classical literary tropes and mystical parables, presenting an enlightened allegory of our struggles with human existence.
Following the success of his last album, ‘The Ocean,’ Deca takes us on a new journey in ‘Forest Agates’ which just released this week. We asked Deca his top five most influential albums. Margaret Tra writes.
De La Soul - Stakes is High
This album probably influenced my production more than any of the other music I grew up on. Dave's verses throughout are the reason he's one of my favourites of all time, particularly on "Stakes is High" and "Itsoweezee". The first verse of "Salome" off of my album The Ocean is a tribute and nod to their influence on me.
It can definitely get a little preachy, but they were just doing what they've done throughout their career which is rail against popular currents and offer an alternative.
Favourite songs: Itsoweezee, Stakes is High and Dog Eat Dog.
Nas - It was Written
Nobody was on Nas's level at that time. I remember I was on my porch with my friend Site, and we were listening to "Beats Rhymes and Life" which had just come out. Then he put on It Was Written and it probably changed the trajectory of my life. It was a revelation for me. I had never heard anybody sound that good over a beat. I must have listened to "The Message" twenty times in a row.
"I Gave You Power" is conceptually one of the greatest songs ever. Doing a song from the perspective of a gun is genius. When I'm reading or listening to music I want to see everything in my head and Nas does that. To me he's the illest of all time.
Favourite songs: The Message, Suspect, Affirmative Action, I gave You Power, Shootouts and If I Ruled The World.
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Flawless album. Doom's humour, imagery, and word play was next level and Madlib's production is perfect. There's all these unwritten dogmatic laws about making music and they threw them all out. I heard the leaked version before the album came out and my only qualm is that Doom didn't keep the original recordings of some of the verses. "Wasn't even tweaked and it leaked into cyberspace".
Favourite songs: Money Folder, Meatgrinder, Figaro, Great Day, Rhinestone Cowboy, Supervillain Theme, All Caps and Accordian.
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
Midnight Marauders is as close to a perfect album as you can get. First time I heard it I was at an apartment complex above a strip club in downtown Denver called the Bradshaw zooted out of my fragile young mind. I used to skate all day every day and Midnight Marauders was the soundtrack to that whole summer for me. There's not a dud on the entire album. Countless quotables and the production is incredible.
Favourite songs: Electric Relaxation, Sucka Ni**a, Award Tour, Oh My God and God Lives Through.
Lyricist Lounge Volume One
So many joints on this. This introduced me to a lot of rappers. Thirstin Howl, Pharoahe Monch, O.C., Ras Kass, Last Emperor, El-P, Wordsworth, Talib, the list goes on.
Prime's "No Matter" is my favorite track. I was always searching for more from him but as far as I know that's the only thing he ever released.
Favorites songs: CIA, No Matter and Action Guaranteed.