Album Review | Duncecap – Resting Dunce Face

This album was released on October 2nd this year. Duncecap is a rapper from New York whose work I was first exposed to last year when one of his music videos was uploaded to Backwoodz Hip Hop’s YouTube channel. I loved the video, but I wasn’t really crazy about the song itself. I hadn’t really made up my mind about Duncecap as an artist just based off of that one song though, so when he released the lead single for this album, I gave him another shot and thankfully ended up really enjoying it. I think he’s more well-known for his work as a music video creator. He’s done shit for a lot of artists I really like, including Mega Ran, Von Pea, Quelle Chris, Elucid, and more. Anyway, I didn’t really have any expectations going into this project since I’d only heard two songs from Duncecap, but I knew that there’d at least be some material that I enjoyed. The entire project is self-produced.

There aren’t any songs that I dislike on this album, so I’ll write about the whole thing in the proper order of the tracklisting. It begins with Boiling Frog, which is a highlight for me. Right off the bat, the bizarre production immediately jumped out at me. It sounds like a pirate ship in the form of music. The whole album has this really weird, almost ambient-sounding at times, glitchy, Electronic inspired production style, and it’s really goddamn cool. It’s weird as fuck, but in a good way. I really love Dunce’s writing here too. I’m pretty sure he’s rapping about labor.

The days drain like poison does
Dunce stay freaky like Deutschland clubs
This whole wide world on a ploy for bucks
I called my shitty job the toilet brush
Grapple and sap me, slowly combat me
Deplete my energy, go call a cab please
Dandruff and acne, my ass hurts from sitting
I feel much older, but I got no wisdoms

The song is just one verse, but I love it. As you can see from the excerpt I just quoted, he’s rhyming his ass off. One thing about this album is that it’s 13 tracks long but only about 21 minutes in length. The longest track on the album is a mere 2 minutes and 13 seconds. The brevity is obviously intentional, and rather than feeling incomplete, it just makes the whole project feel very adventurous. You never have time to get bored of a sound because it’s constantly evolving. Anyway, I love this track. The weird production and great writing had me excited to listen to the remainder of the album. It’s dope as hell. It’s followed by Crazy Mike, which has a much more chaotic, more danceable beat. I think the production here is fucking awesome. It sounds super wonky, but also melodic and groovy 😎. The somewhat emotional content of the song had me hooked too. I think the verse here is awesome.

Back in the day I was soft and simplistic
Taking aggression, directing it inward
Pissed as fuck, but I'm glad that I get it
I was depressed 'cause I never said shit
'Til I was shit on in more than one instance
Devil's advocate just cost the friendship
Tie my laces, why you trippin'?
Tagged my base in, now it's distant

The subject matter definitely resonated with me. I think the verse is great, and I of course love the production. The song is dope as hell. Track 3 is called Kiss Goodbye, and the majority of the rapping is performed by Quelle Chris. Once again, the production here was really awesome. It evoked the image of a dusty canyon in the middle of a dessert with a bunch of cowboys riding horses. Basically, it just made me think of Red Dead Redemption. The Quelle Chris verse is dope too. His signature monotone, reserved delivery did make some of his lines difficult to decipher behind the beat, but overall his verse was really dope. Dunce comes in at the very end to spit like four bars, which were nice. It’s a pretty dope track. It’s followed by Chicken, which features an act named Big Breakfast, who I don’t think I’d ever heard of before. Anyway, the production on this track is really woozy and bizarre sounding. I love how he incorporated the sound of chickens clucking. That was pretty funny. It’s not one of my favorite tracks on the album overall, but I do still enjoy it quite a bit. I think the writing from Dunce is pretty cool.

I was scared every time someone told me I was brave
And proud of the times that I’m respectfully frank
Don't intellectualize emotion that work is in vain
Use the pressure like barometers and then preparé
Strike out or strike the iron when it's toasty
Baby steps add up like loose change, don't they?
Get held accountable too bad and good job
If you’re takin the L at least your not a bacock—chicken

Unless I’m somehow just completely missing it, I’m pretty sure Big Breakfast’s contribution was just them saying some random shit at the end of the song. They didn’t rap at all. That’s cool though. If I was a big fan of them I might be kinda disappointed, but since I don’t even really know who they are I can’t say I really have much of an opinion on their presence here. The song is pretty good overall. It’s followed by Used To. This one easily has one of my favorite instrumentals on the album. It’s a lot less quirky than the preceding instrumental, but it still sounds pretty weird. It’s more melodic, but kind of Electronic sounding. The way it kinda switches up after the first 8 bars from Dunce is really nice too. I don’t know why, but I kept thinking of MF DOOM as I was listening to this track. I feel like he would fit perfectly over this beat. Anyway, the actual rapping from Dunce here is really dope.

I used to smoke right 'round the mini mall
You can't touch this like misbehaving kitty paws
High as balls, and off a teeny blunt
Coughing up lungs, death by Houdini punch
Put off sleep like reverse snooze-
Buttons, buttoned wrong I talk shit with poop tooth
Duncey dude always sport his fly down
And rock jorts on the funky side of Chi-Town

I also think Torito would fit on this track nicely. I really like the hook on this song. It’s somehow melodic and monotone at the same time. Dunce’s flow on the second verse was pretty awesome.

I feel most on my shit when I'm too kinda lit, fuck
The drink is a drug
I deal with all my piss bottle from a fifth, such
A cringy disgust
Now I'm out there, episodes like a pilot
Drown in what's wavy, shoutout Poseidon
Sisyphean problems, bolder-sized mileage
Indiana Jones, get stoned and ride it

This is definitely a highlight for me on this album. The next song is called I’d Like to Be a Star. I really love the relatively mellow beat here, and the reversing percussion is pretty cool. I’ve noticed that a lot of the beats on this record kinda sound like they’re playing in reverse, so that’s cool. Anyway, this is easily one of the chillest songs on the album, but not in a boring way. It sounds like it’d be perfect to get stoned to. I feel like I’m just sinking into a couch while being soaked in sunlight. I think the relatively downtempo production sounds great, and the weird, astronomical lyricism on this song is pretty cool too.

I cannot tell a lie, I'd like to be a star
Maybe not at all, I feel like a black hole
Time dilation, your now is my tomorrow
I'd like to know a planet, see Googie at a quasar
I'd like to have everything, I'd like to be a star

There are some additional background vocals from Googie, which sounded pretty nice. The song honestly sounds like a dream in the form of music. It’s dope as hell to me. The following track is called Face Palm, and I think it’s even better. The production here is far more chaotic & uptempo. I feel like if I fell asleep on an airplane, I’d Like to Be a Star is what my dream would sound like, and Face Palm is the sound of me being awakened by extreme turbulence. Dunce’s performance here is much more lively, and I think this track has some of the best lyricism on the project.

I've been exhausted like I have no other options
Dead tired like a coffin in a car bed
Spent a lot of time struggling between seeing the truth and being honest
I can't be the Adonis for every Madonna
The product isn't worth what we're charging
At a certain point it's common sense, "Do we have problem?"
I don't think so, I'm the startled one
You wear the pants, I wear the ones I sharted in

He killed this shit. The song is dope as hell. The next one is yet another highlight entitled Skip Stones (Like Songs). The dream is for a remix of this song to come out with a Darko the Super feature. Him and Dunce are honestly a no brainer as far as collaborations go. I feel like they’d click really well stylistically. Anyway, the heavy, watery beat on this track is really cool, and same goes for the hook. The dripping sounds that come in and are panned to the right during the verse sound awesome, and he killed this shit.

How many skips do you get on the daily?
Many, honey; fling a pebble 'til it's running
How many skips do you get on the daily?
Me say "many, honey," nobody play me 'cause I'm funny
One with each stream like a tally on Park map
1 step for mankind, one step for art rap
Wanna see a magic trick, wanna level up the stats
Streams like a countdown, numbers only going back

The song is dope as hell to me. Track 9 is a major highlight for me. It’s called No Time for Love, and I think it’s boiling hot fiya. Coincidentally, it’s the longest track on the album, but I don’t think my affinity for it necessarily has anything to do with its length. I love the production here. It sounds like a bouquet of flowers to me. I guess this would be considered a love song, and I find it genuinely romantic.

Let's call it like it is, we're both independent bozos
Frantically adjusting to a fantasy we both don't
Need for sure, but seek like a fiend with a coke nose
Reviewing our wants, we probably shoulda co-wrote them
Being clear up front and avoiding moving goal posts
Saw hearts in the clouds, now protected by my ozone
All clear now, so healthy I could yodel
Life's like that "no time for love, Dr. Jones" quote
Sometimes I admit I still feel alone though

I don’t really know why, but for whatever reason this feels like the most relatable song on the album. The way the beat kinda evolves for the second verse is amazing, and the writing just gets more beautiful as the song progresses.

Every single second I spend trying to
Put a bandaid on some baggage then ghost ride it
I don't address what's inside, so I won't find it
I walk a day in my own shoes, but a new style
Out of touch with myself like I won't climax
The mirror uncracks when my souls shining
Take a swing with a bat, the donut primed us
Weight that I drop such my own mind is

I think it’s an amazing song to be honest. This shit is dope af to me. The next song is called Resting Smile Face. It has another one of the coolest beats on the album in my opinion, and the scratches from Samurai Banana are a nice touch. The rapping here from Dunce is clearly not the selling point of the song. It kinda takes a backseat to the production.

Cross those T's
Watch those eyes
Big league chewed out

The rapping didn’t really add much to the song for me, but I think it served its purpose. I guess the song would’ve felt a little too empty without it. It’s a dope track overall. It’s followed by Receipts, which features an MC named Lil Frex, with whom I was totally unfamiliar prior to listening. Anyway, I think this track has one of the more traditional sounding instrumentals. I mean, on any other album I would think it was weird, but it’s relatively tame compared to the other material leading up to it. Lil Frex’s voice kinda reminds me of Lucy Camp. I enjoyed her performance here. She only spit like 6 bars, and it’s not the most amazing verse ever or anything, but it was fun. Dunce’s verse was definitely more interesting lyrically.

My wish list is trash
I'm tryna learn to be whole, while being empty handed
Rotoscoped closure flow, put me in a stance
Where I'm in a better spot, they got deals out the bag
My whole ego is a fad

Overall, it’s definitely not one of my favorites on the album, but I still think it’s very good. The penultimate song is Rocks in Your Shoes, which I wrote about a few months ago when it originally dropped as a single.

I believe this is the lead single from Duncecap’s upcoming album, Resting Dunce Face, which is scheduled for release on October 2nd this year. I’m not super familiar with Duncecap’s work. I’m pretty sure I’d only ever heard one song from him before checking this one out. I remember not really being into that song, but loving the music video. As a result, I ended up being surprised by how much I dug this one. I really like the faded, glitchy, Electronic, kind of woozy sounding beat. This is a super weird comparison, but the first thing that came to mind when I heard it was Travis Scott for whatever reason. I like it though. The beat is dope. Duncecap’s actual rapping is dope too. This has me wondering why exactly I didn’t fuck with the first song I heard from him. I don’t even remember what that one was called. I guess it don’t matter. Anyway, this song is pretty goddamn short, but it doesn’t feel skeletal. There’s enough happening to prevent it from feeling incomplete. I love the dynamic production, and Dunce’s lyricism had me interested throughout the entire track.

Tragedy is comedy, not every lens zooms
Post up in the shop and fix what troubles you
I like the way my mouth dances when I spit a tune
My bars are choreography for my lips to move

The song is really dope. I’m glad I gave this dude another chance because he’s talented. Also, Duncecap is a cool name. Let me know what you think of this song.

The closing song is entitled Already Home. The production here sounds a lot like a soundtrack for an old NES game. I like it a lot. The song is just under a minute long, and Duncecap doesn’t really rap here. The beat is awesome though. I love how he included audio of Owen Wilson saying “weaow!” That was dope. The song ends with AKAI SOLO talking about how “you” can take a shit wherever you are “because you are the toilet bowl, you feel me?” I don’t know if it’s just supposed to be funny or if he’s actually trying to be deep here, but I don’t really care. The song is dope.

This album is pretty great. It’s definitely one of the weirdest albums I’ve heard this year. Duncecap, zeroh, and Celestaphone form the trifecta of artists who have made super weird Hip Hop albums in 2020. I’m sure there are some that I just haven’t gotten to yet though. Anyway, I’m really glad I gave Duncecap another shot because he’s a great writer, and I love his wonky production style. As I mentioned in the body of this review, every song is super short, so you don’t really ever have time to get bored. Just when you think you’ve figured the album out, it throws a new sound at you. I imagine this will be a double edged sword for listeners. Many of them will likely yearn for more traditional song structures and catchy hooks, but if you like more experimental stuff I definitely recommend this. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. Since the album is under half an hour in length, it’s not too much of a commitment to at least give one listen to. I think it’s really dope. Check it out.

Favorite Song: No Time for Love
Least Favorite Song: Chicken


Grade: B+

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