If an MC has put in enough work that they can wrap a verse around a beat so tightly you can’t separate the two, then the odds are good they’ve accumulated a trunk full of unreleased material in the process. Englewood’s CantBuyDeem is just such a rapper, and he’s strung together a handful of those loosies into a new self-released mixtape called CDs, DVDs, Loose Squares, in homage to the hustlers who’ll sell you anything you need, illicit or otherwise. The mixtape’s tracks address a grab bag of topics, appropriately, such as finding romance (“I Like Me Too”), keeping his head above water (“50 Cents for Extra Sauce”), and looking for luxury wherever he can (“On LSD Not the Drops”). But several skits reflect the title explicitly, as does the song “CD Man,” where Deem stitches the hustlers’ silver-tongued pitches into vignettes sketching their unexamined lives. Deem’s voice flits between solemn and flamboyant as he evokes the emotional high-wire act of making a living by hawking loose cigarettes and bootleg movies. He switches up the speed of his flow as he switches his tone, and that rhythmic playfulness spills out from “CD Man” into the rest of CDs, DVDs, Loose Squares. Deem likes to get people excited about something mundane that they’ve never considered before, and no matter what’s on his mind, he brings the same spirited engagement to it.
CantBuyDeem’s CDs, DVDs, Loose Squares is available through his website.