There are some co-signs that you just can’t responsibly sleep on, as both a listener and — in my case — a writer. It’s easy sometimes to dismiss vitality of an artist, similar to what I’ve chosen to do with acts like Madeintyo for example. But, Divine Council is another story; the foursome of Lord Linco, Cyrax, $ilkMoney, and ICY TWAT — all from the Richmond, VA, area [except ICY who is from Chicago] seem to have an undeniable buzz. With a shoutout on Erykah Badu’s Twitter, a personal endorsement from André 3000, and deal with Epic under the tutelage of LA fricking Reid, who brought acts like Usher, TLC, Ciara, and Outkast to prominence, it’s unlikely that these kids won’t be the next big thing.

For the most part, their image hinges on a few key ingredients: obscurity, mystery, nostalgia, humor, and consistency. Their recent EP Council World seems well developed — it serves as both an introduction and a catch-up on what some of us have been sleeping on. It’s filled with a combination of dark synths, “Über-Everywhere-esque” spacious sound beds, Midwest slang, and a dash of nerdery. The first track on the EP, for example, “P.Sherman,” is a reference to the address where Nemo [Finding Nemo] was taken in the blockbuster animated film. There’s nothing kiddie about that song, or the project, though. For a reminder of that, check out their super NSFW website, which is brilliant. These guys come across like the bad kids in your class; you know, the ones all the ladies loved.

“Tisk, tisk, tisk, to the kids who get lifted
/Dropping out of classes, just so we could hit switches
/Beating niggas asses, giving stitches to snitches…”

Songs like “Can’t Afford Me” and [the already popular] “Rolie Polie Olie” really show off their commercial appeal. In fact — the taunts of “I got the formula,” on “Can’t Afford Me,” come off more factual than they appear. The other three tracks although dope, seem aimed at their core fanbase; new fans can come for those above and stay for the rest.

My fave track here was the last one, “Dick On A Dope.” Simply put — it was the closest to the hip-hop of yesteryear [IMO], and — bar wise — $ilkMoney goes in. I’m older, sue me.

Overall, the five-songs feel like an appetizer to something that some of the most respect names in the industry already know is “it.” If you’ve been on the fence or dragging your heels about getting into the group, change that now — or else be a D rider later when they pop. A legion of devout fans can’t be wrong!

Word to LA Reid!