Devin Burgess is flying high after the release of what he knows is his most well-rounded project yet. That’s Unfortunate, Devin’s latest full-length album, arrived last week complete with 20 songs, a handful of features, and a multi-faceted display of the Cincinnati rapper/producer’s far-reaching skills.
After losing his job last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Burgess says, “I had all this free time, and I could finally sit down and work on music. That’s Unfortunate is a product of that.”
With the newfound time to dedicate toward his craft, Burgess has been firing on all cylinders. So far this year, he’s shared Swooty Mac collab Sunday Morning, his solo EP 2018 and his alter-ego beat tape Kei$ha, not to mention co-producing Brandon Isaac’s latest album, The Sketches of Healing 2020. However, That’s Unfortunate stands apart from Burgess’s latest projects for its versatility. The LP balances vibe-y cuts, party tracks, love songs and bangers, and hears the MC switch up his flow between melodic anthems and hard-hitting raps.
“I always feel like people want to put me in a box or think that I’m one dimensional – that I can’t tap into different things,” he tells Audiofemme. “So, I wanted this to be the fullest representation of me. Like, if no one ever heard me before, this project is the best way to introduce everyone to me and what I have to offer.”
That’s Unfortunate opens with a powerful spoken word by B.A.D. (Be A Difference) and snippets of poetry are woven throughout the effort.
“I’ve always gravitated toward B.A.D.’s poems,” Burgess says of the Cincy-based poet and songwriter. “I thought it was important for a Black woman to be the first voice people heard on my album. I wanted it to be something unexpected. And Black women are the reason I am the way I am today. I was raised pretty much by my mom and my aunties and my grannies, so I wanted to show some love.”
Other highlights include a well-placed sample from The Lox and Dipset’s August Verzuz battle on the outro of “Peace,” as well as a feature from Pink Siifu.
“That’s the homie,” Burgess says of the Cincinnati-bred Siifu. “We were listening to different beats, and he’s always eager to make music. We got the beat from demahjiae, he’s an Oakland-based producer, and I think Siifu wrote his verse in like ten minutes!”
“I had never gotten a verse like that from him,” he continues. “The tracks we’ve done in the past have been more vibe-y, more personal, but on this one he was just going off. So, I knew that I needed to show up, because I’m not trying to get washed on my own record. I wanna make sure that if he’s up here, I’ve gotta match it or be above it. I think it’s healthy competition – it keeps everyone on their toes.”
Burgess has already released clips for That’s Unfortunate cuts “Everlasting” and “Baritone,” and says he has a third video on the way. “I’ve already reached a personal best for videos since I’ve [filmed] three, and I’m definitely trying to put out as many visuals as possible,” he says.
“The energy around this project has been so different, but in a good way,” he adds. “I’ve never felt this way about a body of work before and I feel like I really applied myself in every way, shape and form. I feel like this is the most cohesive, most consistent body of work I’ve ever done.”
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