Evan Nabavian only drives drunk on Wednesdays.
On “The D.U.I. Song” Starlito narrates a night that begins with a few beers and ends wrapped around a telephone pole. He makes the Saved by the Bell reference before you can, and the characters, plot, and setting reveal a deft storyteller with a firm grasp of narrative.
Starlito gives just enough detail to make the story feel authentic, distracting from teen drama cliches with superior writing and wordplay. He bobs between first and third person when he feels inclined and comfortably stacks assonant rhymes (“But Darryl was seeing a pair of Kara’s, his vision impaired, apparently”). He makes the ride seem so light that it’s near jarring when the beat turns somber amid ambulance sirens.
For all Starlito’s subtlety, the hook sung by Nashville rapper oFISHal is drunkenly direct. oFISHal’s morning-after croak of “Thought that we were supposed to die when we old” packs the gravity of lessons learned from youthful transgression.
The alternate version features a verse from Danny Brown. He tempers the carnal and hedonistic with intoxicated lane swerving and possible trips to Maury, cementing his role as the D’s foremost rapper turned relationship counselor.
In sum, “The D.U.I. Song” is another gem in Starlito’s oeuvre. His accolades seem to come from a vocal minority who will tell anyone willing to listen about his latest lyrical feat. He might be a project or a deal away from the ubiquity of Danny Brown or Action Bronson. Or maybe he’ll just continue to slowly cultivate a core audience that guards his legacy.