Detroit hip-hop collective DREADSPERADO stands up on the lo-fi and gritty projects Action Bastard and W.C.H.B.M.
Fronted by Cel-Man Iller, the collective is packed with a variety of artists, all adding their unique artistic spirit to develop a new style across both projects. At first glance, the projects are both heavily inspired by video games, trap beats, and grimy lo-fi bars. Each track is also a showcase of the talent and chemistry coming out of the Metro-Detroit area. It’s time to stop sleeping, give the projects a spin, and get familiar with the DREADSPERADO collective so you can say “I knew them when.”
Looking first at the album, Action Bastard is described as the “more live side” of the artists, and it definitely sounds little more reckless than W.C.H.B.M. From the first track we are hit with a video game reference, a menacing raspy voice, and a wild winding beat. Cel’s verse on this track shows off his technical skill, with him landing in the slight spaces of the percussion. His verse could go bar for bar with any other up-and-coming Detroit MC and knock them out. The intro track is the perfect showcase of what’s to come: solid songwriting and solid rhymes.
Other standouts on this project include “Knot Used to This,” where Cel plays with the spaces on the beat to add some swing. The verse is airtight, as to be expected, but vocals on this track aren’t your typical straight-forward rap vocals. In fact, for most of the album the collective sound like they’re extra-terrestrials as their voices are mixed in and out of the beat. It’s the alien sound of the vocals and varied beats across the project that give Action Bastard an experimental and definitive edge.
By contrast, W.C.H.B.M is a free project with a more cohesive sound. The project still features the alien sound of Action Bastard, but with more nods to noise rap. “Conscious” features a pulsing industrial beat and some wild vocal manipulations to help build the noisy atmosphere of the track. This project really goes all-in with the grimy lead melodies. The ricocheting siren on “Tiger Shark” adds swing, propels the track, and acts as a good base for some seductive raspy vocals. W.C.H.B.M does a good job of occupying the sonic space of both horror and intrigue. It’s a spooky sound, but I want to know more.
Both of these projects are fantastic looks into the local scene of the Metro-Detroit area. The sounds on both projects innovate on the staples of Detroit hip-hop, carving out a new space for the DREADSPERADO collective to make their mark in their city and in the genre overall. Between the variety on Action Bastard, and the developed sound of W.C.H.B.M, there’s something for every hip-hop fan on these two projects. So stop sleeping and get to know the new voices coming out of Detroit.