Don’t Sleep | Hajino & Duncecap – Go Climb a Tree

Don’t sleep on this new collaborative album from MC Duncecap and producer Hajino. It was released on February 25th this year. I’ve been a fan of Duncecap ever since I heard his 2020 album, Resting Dunce Face. I also went on to enjoy his collaborative Nerdcore project with Vinny Vinny Video, I Love Vidja Games. On the other hand, I actually wasn’t familiar with Hajino’s work at all before hearing this production. I thankfully really enjoyed what he did here though.

I’m just gonna be writing about a few highlights since this isn’t really a full review, but it should be noted that there’s not a single track on the album that I don’t like. The album opens up with the title track, which is a pretty cool collage of sounds. Duncecap doesn’t rap on this track, but Hajino does a pretty great job of keeping things interesting. It transitions really smoothly into the following track, Tantrum, which I like a lot. The kind of electronic-sounding production is really damn cool, and Dunce sounds great over it. His flow and delivery sound as good as ever, and the lyrics are pretty cool too.

Shoutout to the suicidal, shoutout to the anxious
Shout into my pillow when I'm buried in my blanket
Hajino, God bless 'em, please, lord, thank 'em
I let the beat breathe, hoist up the anchors
I rarely talk shit, when I do it's an anthem
My time is running out, don't throw a tantrum

The whole song is pretty much just one verse, but everything about it is just really well done. It’s a dope track. The next song I wanna talk about is called Scurry n’ Leave. This song stood out a lot to me just because of the weird, glitchy production. I love the kind of ominous percussion, and Dunce sounds great rapping over it.

Old rats holdin' the truth, scurry n' leave
Smoke like ghost in the breeze
Degenerate on nights, I push how open I be
Road rage on foot, hog the road like a jeep
Piss, piss, made a molotov, hurry and leave
They let it slide once because the jury's asleep
And slither away, jaded by the stories of grief

I really love that closing couplet. This is the shortest song on the album, so there’s really only time for one verse, but I think it’s really great. The song’s dope. The next highlight for me comes in the form of Posted Up Vibe, which features AKAI SOLO. I think this track features one of Dunce’s most aggressive verses on the album, so it stood out a lot to me. The melodic, kind of glitchy production is really cool to me too. I’ve hitherto been kind of averse to AKAI SOLO’s work, but I actually somewhat enjoyed his performance on this track as well. I mean, I definitely think Duncecap had the better verse personally, but it’s not like AKAI SOLO didn’t add anything to the song himself. The track is dope as hell. The penultimate track is called Idiosyncratic, and it’s my favorite song on the album.

I just love the mellow, melodic production from Hajino so much. The beat is phenomenal here. That’s easily my favorite instrumental on the album. I also think this track has some of the most captivating lyricism on the project from Duncecap.

Your every tremor is your swagger
Embrace your ignorance, fuck the world while you're flaccid
You have the power, I know you're all the way out there
Idiosyncratic, fuck the betas and the alphas
Food chain gang, the digits never matter, you got it all backwards
Do not fight with your prowess, you always were a master
Every hero has a plan, every mission goes south, you are christened with your damage
'Cause you're different, and you're out there, idiosyncratic

The song was already fire, but then Rich Jones’ sweet vocals came in as the icing on the cake. I think this is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year to be honest. There’s not a single aspect of it that I don’t like. I think it’s dope af. The last highlight I wanna talk about is the closing track, I Can Tell. This track has a pretty weird beat to me, but in a good way. I think the production is really cool, and the guest feature, Quelle Chris, sounds really nice over it. Duncecap rapped really well on that first verse too.

Social interaction too
A hello can make me backflip, a friend could make me learn the flute
A wink could make me floor the roof, all vaguely sort of true
Tasty like a crescent moon or bakery making vegetables
Chicken that is feeling cooped, Scooby Dooby Dooby Doo
I do not give a fuck, I can tell you really do

His flow was really nice. I actually don’t know whose performance I prefer. Quelle Chris just fits over this beat like a glove. If you put a gun to my head and told me to choose, I’d probably say Quelle Chris, but they both rapped well here. The song is dope as hell, and probably my second favorite on the album to be honest. I can see how some listeners might find the repetitive production kind of grating, but I personally really liked it.

This album is great. I really dig the weird, somewhat experimental production from Hajino, and Duncecap’s rapping is as good as ever. There really aren’t any consistent gripes that I have with this project. I think the last quarter of this record is probably the best part since it has the most highlights, but this is a very consistent project. Like I said, I enjoyed every track. All of the features really came through as well. This is definitely one of the best albums I’ve heard from the month of February. I don’t love it quite as much as Duncecap’s last solo album, but it’s honestly pretty close. If somebody said this was better than Resting Dunce Face I wouldn’t think they were crazy or anything. I think this shit is dope. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Favorite Song: Idiosyncratic
Least Favorite Song: Naked!


Grade: B+

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