Vulnerability, Virtue, and Victory: An Exclusive Invitation to Javah’s “Dead Kidz Klub Only”

Dead Kidz Klub Only! Album Cover

Dead Kidz Klub Only was one of the best projects I’ve heard to close out 2022 with an upper echelon of vulnerability, dexterous storytelling, and more clever than anticipated wordplay in ways different from a vast majority of modern rappers. I found myself frequently enthralled by how damn good the brother was rapping; the wonderful ego making for some damn good rap and high-vibrational song compositions that kept me energized throughout the project.

“If I Say So (I DIDN’T KNOW)” kicked the project off with a wonderful flair. I didn’t have any expectations with this project, but peeping it ran 40 minutes with 12 tracks made me realize the rapper I was dealing with was not typical, as rappers are known for notoriously short tracks in this age as compared to past rap tracks in former eras: I think it boils down to a few factors, but especially a main culprit being modern rappers not having the capacity to deliver multiple quality verses besides just one and a couple of catchy hooks. Javah is not such a rapper. Given that, the first track exceeds expectations as I realize the brother’s good rap is intentionally meticulous. 

“Sorry I flex when I talk, pretty abstract calling me art, painting her face and it comes from the heart, she loving my name baby this how it starts”

Spiraling and toxicity have never sounded so cool. Javah continues to make this a hell of an opening track by flexing his bilingual rapping in Spanish during this track. With a good hook and good verses, Javah made a hell of a first thought and first impression. 

“Pathetic” commences ominously with a prayer. Javah is obviously still in banger mode at this point but never compromising his lyricism one bit. He has a must hear dragon bar in there that deserves a rewind and a scrunched up face reaction (in a good way). His feature Paiddro is chaotic and problematic but adds perfectly to the chaos of it all.

“Manic Rambling” is another banger where Javah wonderfully flexes his versatility. His flow switches up in the best ways at different points of the track, with him incorporating a lower grumbling voice within the track, adding to the title track’s theme. In a past life, Javah was certainly a marksman given that he simply does not miss at this point. Like damn, it’s giving a rude, womanizing, shit talking star on the rise with every bar but it sounds all too damn good and superfly with the spiral to ever turn you away. Like you HAVE to hear this. You have to see him. You have to experience the Dead Kidz Klub Only experience for yourself in all of its beautiful ugliness. The voicemail at the end of this song adds a wonderful comedic element as well.

“Manic Rambling” Key Visual from #DKKO Photoshoot Series by @d.a.r.c.visuals

“All Day” arguably touts the best hook of the album, providing versatility in not only replay value but an apparent overall composition that would definitely be great performance/dancing music for Javah’s current and future fans. The 2nd verse is lyrically nuts and one of my favorites of the album, which is a grand statement to make given how the album has sounded so far.

“Fair weather can change with the seasons, I don’t bet all in for that reason”

“Dandala” was an interesting listen. Siji Rei had a good intro verse and although this track was not a personal favorite, Javah never diminishes in lyricism and great strings of bars, something his peers nowadays can’t say about their own rap techniques.

For every dip there’s a high and my God do I smile retelling the high to anyone I know who has also listened to the album: “Sugar Rush” was this super high of the album. Bubblegum pop-like, but childishly galvanizing and energetic in its composition, the lyrics of Sugar Rush matched the theme completely. Great editing, mixing of the autotune, and dexterous flow switches resulted in a track by Javah that would make even Playboi Carti jealous that he didn’t think of it first. Rather, Carti could never! There is even a slowed down portion of the track exhibiting Javah’s mastery of flow once more but symbolizing the crashing resulting from a sugar rush. 

“Sugar Rush” Key Visual from #DKKO Photoshoot Series by @d.a.r.c.visuals

Replay value is exceptionally important for any musical project because it’s how a musical artist gains longevity, and Javah’s “The Day is Almost Over” does an excellent job of having high replay value. Since hearing it and first starting my review, I have replayed countless times throughout my playlists because of its great orchestration as both a standalone song and in context of the album. “The Day is Almost Over” brilliantly continues the story of a crash, continuing from the previous songs. Javah’s beat selection is once again as fire as his rapping. The lines that stuck to me were “You in my sights like a mantis I’ll pray” and the hilariously placed Prague line–word to Nicki Minaj. “The Day is Almost Over” is Reminiscent of “Coming Down” on The Weeknd’s debut mixtape, in that it is a cry for help and confession of problematic behaviors, showing Javah’s growth throughout the project.

“Runaway” features a smooth vocalist named Virg who is poetic and smooth as the track pushes a sad and melancholy tone, articulating the romantic results of a generation who are simultaneously concerned with wanting to be loved unconditionally by romantic interests and be devoted to while screwing over as many as they can in pursuit of romantic pleasure. “Robostein” is also a great alternative title discussing the cold and mechanical aspects of the game of love and what it does to the heart. 

“Klub Breakdown, Please Sit Down” shows an attempt to showcase Javah’s diverse portfolio of subject matter—spoiler alert: he succeeds. Javah harps on a range of eyebrow raising subject matters, such as lamenting over his dead brother, how writing raps become a medicine in making him feel better, and much more. The hook beckons the listener to truly take a seat from the hype energy of the first half of the album to learn about the deepest parts of Javah. He marvelously displays at this point that one does not have to compromise being an artist or a rapper, and the two are married innately, especially if you are indeed as good as this rap shit as you say.

“Tell Me” and “It Isn’t” also give this feeling of tapping into something counterculture from the energy displayed in the beginning of the project. The Silhouette and Juillet bar on “Tell Me” stood out, while “It Isn’t” was a nice love ballad showing Javah’s romantic feelings outside of his womanizing raps.

“It Isn’t” Key Visual from #DKKO Photoshoot Series by @d.a.r.c.visuals

“A Grave Mistake” leaves the listener wondering what type of project they expected and first heard as juxtaposed to the energy they’re finishing with. You realize that as talented as Javah is, he has a lot of issues in his life. His music and lifestyle can be an escapism for the individuals he has lost in his life and other things he has lost in the pursuit of happiness. In many ways, the flux of Javah’s euphoria and sadness are reflections of the listener at points. This Klub was an exclusive sneak peek into a wonderful artistic mind, and I’m grateful for that to a higher extent.

To further inquire about the mind behind the music, I actually followed up with an interview with the Virginia artist himself.

MV: How old are you??

J: 25!”

MV: When did you get started with rap?

J: I used to write raps once in a while but [went] oh it’s just a hobby forreal.”

Javah states that a year after graduating high school, music just clicked for him with rapping, writing, and performing. 

MV: What was the reason for Dead Kidz Klub Only’s title?

J: Anyone can be a part of this, you have to admit to the part of you that is dead.”

As he gets older, Javah raps about how he feels rather than what he desires to have. He could have been like other rappers and sold a superficial and lavish lifestyle with his rhymes, but felt that path was not genuine.

I jokingly asked next how the women were given the stories told on his album. Javah laughed for a while as I began to understand the persona in earlier songs of the album were for storytelling purposes, as he does not dog women out as advertised. As stated through “Grave Mistake”, Javah said nowadays attachment is always started by fun. He got super candid by describing the weird vicious cycle of opening up to new women friends and unintentionally going beyond friends with the level of emotional intimacy experienced, and how he did it with others, to the point where his genuineness was projected upon as something else. 

MV: What were some of your favorite songs you made for the album? I loved ‘Sugar Rush’ and ‘The Day is Almost Over.’

J: ALL DAY, MANIC RAMBLING, RUN AWAY–[All Day] captures that kid feel without being cringy. [‘Sugar Rush’] is the reality blur. ‘Hey Ya’ was the inspiration with it and all the nuances. 

MV: Describe how Dead Kidz Klub Only affected the newest project?

J:  [DKKO] was a transitional period where I tried to stray away from those childish mindsets. It’s a sendoff.” 

Dead Kidz Klub Only was a great full project and an even greater intro for Prelude 2 Degenerates. Listen to both projects on multiple streaming platforms, and follow Javah on his social media platforms @realjavah on Instagram and @dragonchasejav on Twitter.


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