The Lobby – [Doley Bernays]

New York City has always been an absolute hub for all things Hip-Hop and Rap related, of course, and it is even considered to be the birthplace of Rap music. Since its early days, fans have always kept a close eye on the constantly blossoming scene to see who just might be up next and who is making music by their own rules rather than by somebody else’s. Although the NYC music scene is clearly much different than it used to be, there are a plethora of artists who are making sure that they’re not being boxed into a certain style or subgenre simply because of their geographical location, and Doley Bernays is the perfect example.

Although I’m not overly familiar with his previous work, when I found out he was gearing up to release a project that had features from artists like Maxo Kream and 03 Greedo, I had to find out what a New Yorker would sound like with such unique artists like them. Luckily, he just released a video for the upcoming project’s title track “The Lobby”, and I totally see why he reached out to the aforementioned talents after tuning in.

Ambient noises pair with West Coast-inspired synths, consistent claps, and powerful drums to bring the two opposing coasts together and provide a perfect bounce for Doley to not only vibe out to but also to share his very emotional, truthful story with the masses. Doley’s delivery is accentuated and his disposition is impassioned, subconsciously telling the listener just how meaningful and emotional he is about the story he’s telling. He almost sounds similar to Eminem during certain portions of the song because it appears as if he’s yelling, not because he’s angry but rather vehement.

During the hook, he speaks his lines in choppy segments in order to emphasize the message he’s expressing, stressing the meaning behind his lyrics and proving that he’s not just mentioning these things simply to get a rise out of people but rather to clue you in on experiences he’s had throughout his life. In his second verse, Doley switches his cadence to a much smoother, less irregular flow that just rides along with the beat in such an appealing fashion. To round out the offering, the beat simplifies, and a filter overtakes Doley’s vocals as he subdues his enthusiasm, blatantly stating his experiences one last time in a way that might not be as spirited, but it seems to reminisce with you even more than ever before.

The video utilizes a Lo-fi aesthetic throughout as he takes us to various different locations within his city. Opening up, he takes us to a corner store where he grabs a bottle of liquor before meeting up with his homies in a parking lot by a park and eventually takes us to the dimly lit hallways of a building that looks almost like they could be considered the projects. Some of these settings might be even more important to the video because he seems to visit areas and look off into the distance while talking about moments where friends have gotten shot and killed, so although this is simply speculation on my part, these locations might hold even more weight than the average viewer would expect. Eventually, he takes us quite literally to the lobby of the building where he was previously inhabiting the hallways, and during this scene, his entire group of homies joins him to back him up while he spits his bars. At one point, the song even cuts out as they continue on rapping a certain line, going crazy and yelling the lyrics at the camera along with Doley. Other than the Lo-fi filters and borders that are used to give off a granular, homemade look to certain shots, this visual does a great job of taking us throughout Doley’s life and brings us to some important landmarks in his city as he mentions them in the track.

I definitely enjoyed hearing this track because it is a completely different sound than we’re used to hearing come out of New York. While NYC Drill has taken the entire country by storm thanks to the late Pop Smoke and the XXL Freshman Fivio Foreign, that just seems to be expected from emerging artists in the city. That’s why, when I turned this track on and noticed the wavy West Coast-inspired instrumental, my attention was captured right off the bat. Then, Doley’s passionate approach and eye-opening stories kept me enthralled throughout, which isn’t always easy to do. I feel like he used the best of both coasts, utilizing the bouncy beat with the emotional story as a sort of one-two punch that is much appreciated by me, personally. While I’m not entirely sure when his upcoming project The Lobby Tape (Side A) is set to release, I’m definitely excited to see his work with Maxo and Greedo because I think they’ll sound amazing alongside the rising NYC talent. As for now, though, be sure to familiarize yourself with Doley Bernays by checking out his brand-new single “The Lobby” along with its associated music video.