Andy MacKay taught the Cali Swag District how to Dougie.
Six months after “Wild Turkey,” Dallas’ best exports since Dirk have returned with “Highs and Lows.” The first single from upcoming album, Down By the Trinity (which drops November 18th) is as captivating as it is urgent. The lyrics tell the story: “This lack of sleep, got these night gremlins attacking me/Trying to pull me down lower.”
The beat sounds like a bomb about to go off in a submarine. Mel Kyle’s maniacal energy paired with Jayhawk’s hypnotic rasp invite you into their unsettling world of sin.(The third group member Dorian doesn’t make an appearance on this particular song). They’re dissatisfied and exhausted, unable to steer clear of what they should know better to avoid.
Shot in black and white, the video glows with a Southern Gothic vibe feel. With flashes of burning crosses, Confederate flags and church fronts, “Highs and Lows” displays their anger in search of meaningful answers. It feels particularly immediate in a post-Ferguson climate where racism still remains a constant threat.
You can hear the slight influence of Southern legends like 8Ball & MJG, UGK, OutKast and the Geto Boys, but The Outfit, TX are well on their way to creating a singular lane with their synth-heavy and skeletal beats, brutally honest stories, and Richter bass lines.
Earlier this year, the group’s Deep Ellum, put the spotlight on their Dallas rapper comrades like Crit Morris, Lil Ralo and Diego Money. It’s great evidence of the talented artists coming out Dallas’ blossoming rap scene. There have been a few rappers from Dallas that’ve made some noise like Dorrough and most famously The D.O.C., but the current talent pool and the camaraderie they share is pretty special to watch unfold. The album figures to be one of the year’s best. Don’t close your lists just yet.