Dillon Vaughan Maurer: Dillon Ain't Playin' 

Eatin' Records

Dillon Ain't Playin', the latest nine-song EP from Atlanta's most peculiar MC, chef, and multimedia renaissance man, is a dark mantra as much it is laughable. A reassessment of his character is in order when he barks, on the title track, "They're sayin' Dillon Vaughan is hilarious/until he drops napalm bombs all in your area." He's a bit thuggish here, but in a universally lovable, Wu-Tang way. His subtle sense of humor collides with simmering darkness in songs such as "Madness" and "Gimme That" (feat. Boog Brown). The spacious production is filled with surreal/hilarious samples spanning everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator to everyone's favorite "90210" bad boy of the same name. Head nods are in order, but each song blurs the line between serious and sinister states of mind. Dillon Ain't Playin' bridges a psychologically jarring dichotomy evocative of a Ben Stiller/Jim Carrey aesthetic circa The Cable Guy. It's fascinating in its break from the hip-hop norm, and surprisingly unsettling. (4 out of 5 stars)

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