Mixtape: Dillon Cooper – “Cozmik”

Dillon Cooper was introduced to me with an amazing and completely accurate description: “He’s some fucking swaggy ass kid who raps really fast but looks like he’s sleeping, and that rules.”

At only 20 years old, Brooklynite Dillon Cooper is quickly becoming one to watch. He showed some major skill, both lyrically and stylistically, with the “State Of Elevation” video he put out back in May. Cooper is back now with his first full mixtape, and it’s great. His sound is in line with a throwback state of mind similar to a few other MCs his age, most notably Joey Bada$$, by flowing over gritty beats instead of the newer, electronic-influenced production that has become so popular in the soundscape of recent hip-hop. Cooper’s debut effort¬†sounds like it would be most at home banging through the speakers of an oversized boom-box on the shoulder of a kid in sagged pants and a backwards hat, circa 1994.

Cozmik feels good in your headphones. His samples are bold, rapping over iconic hip-hop beats from Outkast on “Ms. Jackson” and Mobb Deep on “Survival Of The Fittest,” Cooper proves he definitely has rapping chops. Other highlights of the tape include the second track, “Every Day Life,” which has a smooth jazz-infused beat that takes you back a time before everything was auto-tuned. The more hyphy “Warning Shots” goes a bit harder, but has Cooper proving he has a handle on both a refined old-school sound, as well as the commercial end of the spectrum.

The assessment that Dillon is a “fucking swaggy ass kid” is right on the money, even if it’s not the most eloquent way to say it. He has a confidence about him that makes you feel like you’re listening to someone who’s already on top.¬†Dillon Cooper releases this mixtape in an exciting time for new MCs, with acts like Chance The Rapper and Joey Bada$$ paving the way, and it will be interesting to see the trajectory of this talented young rapper’s career. Listen and download to the tape below. Also, as a bonus, check out Cooper’s stellar video for my personal favorite track off the tape, “State Of Elevation.”