Music review for the new release by Hopudoshi titled, ‘Fantasy’
Hopudoshi introducing brand new album: Fantasy
September 2020 – Hopudoshi is a rap artist based in Columbus, Ohio. Unlike other artists in the genre, what really stands out about Hopudoshi is definitely the fact that he puts a lot of effort into the conceptual side of his music. His tracks are thought-provoking and multi-faceted, often revealing a diverse artistic taste and a kaleidoscopic array of influences. “Fantasy” features 9 songs, and there is also room for a few collaborators: Mia Farah and Jugaadi Baba.
The former appears on 3 songs, while the latter features on the first track, “Awake,” along with Mia herself. The song “Lost” features a distinctive combination of hip-hop and R&B aesthetics, while “Auto-tune” is a commentary on the use of the auto-tune tool, which is such a popular effect in hip-hop today. “Dogma” is one of the most outstanding songs on this EP. I really enjoy the one-of-a-kind feel of this release, as well as the way the production sprinkles a dash of lo-fi throughout the EP.
Find out more about Hopudoshi and listen to “Fantasy,” which is now available on the web.
Fantasy is the latest album from Columbus rapper, Hopudoshi. The Ohio native has been known to release conceptual projects, and Fantasy is no different. But unlike 2018’s sprawling 18 track LOVER REBEL MYSTIC, Fantasy is short and succinct. Although it’s not as lengthy as Hopudoshi’s previous work, there’s still plenty to chew on lyrically and thematically, and its brevity allows for a tonal and sonic consistency that his other projects lacked. Here, emotional tones shift naturally as the album progresses, without the need for explanatory interludes. This is made possible by the consistent production of Riddiman, the only producer on the album.
Hopudoshi is currently residing in the Philippines. He’s living in Malaybalay City, the hometown of his wife, Mia Farah, who is featured on several tracks on the album. Hopudoshi decided to decrease the speed of his delivery on Fantasy, so the Filipino locals could better understand his lyrics.
Although this is technically Hopudoshi’s seventh full length project, this will be his first album distributed to all the major streaming services. So in a way, it’s like a debut.
My name is Derek Hopkins and I’m from Columbus, Ohio (born in Cleveland), and I currently reside in the Philippines. My stage name, Hopudoshi, comes from one of my favorite villains, a character from the anime Inuyasha, named Hakudoshi, combined with my last name. I started making music, seriously, when I was in college studying philosophy and political science back in 2009. I had completed three full length projects before I started performing live. I got my first gig after I moved to Thailand to teach English as a second language. A fellow teacher, and DJ friend of mine got me my first live show at a club he was performing at in Bangkok. His stage name is Jugaadi Baba, and he’s featured on this album. Coincidentally, he also introduced me to my wife, Mia Farah, who is also featured on the album.
This entire album is produced by an artist named Riddiman. My past albums were conceptual projects, and Fantasy (my current album) is no different. But unlike 2018’s sprawling 18 track LOVER REBEL MYSTIC, Fantasy is short and succinct. Although it’s not as lengthy as my previous work, I feel there is still plenty to chew on lyrically and thematically, and its brevity allows for a tonal and sonic consistency that my other projects lacked. Here, emotional tones shift naturally as the album progresses, without the need for explanatory interludes. This is made possible by the consistent production of Riddiman.
I always try to have a positive message in my work. Whether it’s political or social, or about love or life, or even metaphysics and mysticism (I started making music seriously after a mystical experience in college, as a way to express the seemingly inexpressible). The first half of Fantasy deals a lot with love and relationships. I was going through a rough patch with my wife and she had moved into her mom’s place. We live in her hometown in the Philippines, so I was feeling lost in more ways than one. I wrote the songs Lost and Auto-tune in this frame of mind. We worked things out, and she came back home (and I was even able to get her to join me for a few songs on the album). I wrote Awake and Fine retrospectively.
The second half of the album shifts into more conceptual realms. The interlude Fantasy touches on many of the themes of the album. Feelings of isolation, escapism, manifesting dreams into reality, and questioning the very nature of reality itself (or at least perception). Dogma chronicles my varying worldviews over the years, from youth to present day. Reverie recalls childhood memories, and reflects on how my wife and children saved me from a bleak outlook on life, a topic introduced in Awake. Unreal questions what to do once you’ve found the success you’ve been striving for. If you’re living your dream, what is reality? What are the consequences of a universe where the law of attraction is true? And finally, Dreamer closes out the album, encouraging everyone to keep believing in their dreams.
The album is cyclical. If you repeat it after listening to Dreamer, the first lyrics are: “I had a dream…” in the opening track Awake. You can also start the album on Fantasy (Interlude) for a different ending and tone. It’s one of the reasons I wanted the project (and individual songs) to be short; not only to hold the listener’s attention, but to encourage repeated listens.
My personal favorite songs on the album are Fine and Dreamer. Fine because it has a very different sound, an acoustic, almost folksy feel. My music is usually more eclectic and genre bending, but since I worked with a single producer on this album, that was something lost (or gained). And Dreamer is another favorite because I like the message, and it was the first song my wife worked on for this album.
Since I’m living in the Philippines, and have a new audience, I decided to decrease the speed of my delivery on Fantasy, so the Filipino locals could better understand my lyrics. And although this is technically my seventh full length project, this will be his first album distributed to all the major streaming services. So in a way, it’s like a debut.
AoA (Age of Aquarius), 2009; Eternal Return, 2011; …of Life, 2011; Revolutionary Love: The Lost Files, 2012; Mystical Psychosis, 2014; LOVER REBEL MYSTIC, 2018
ArtistRack reviewed my last album, LOVER REBEL MYSTIC as well: https://artistrack.com/hopudoshi-lover-rebel-mystic-review/