Clean execution of simple concepts is often more difficult than messily scuttling out needlessly complex work and calling it art.

The concept for Doley Bernays’ “Raise Your Weapon” is hip-hop hallowed ground: The balancing act between being stuck in street life and wider ambitions (here artistic). The trick, of course, is not in the novelty of the idea, but the execution.

With an expressive Deadmau5 sample forming the foundation of a beat that dips a toe in blown out Clams Casino sonics, Bernays and guest Denzil Porter run down stresses, motivations, origins, and dreams with urgency. Though simple in concept, the video–splicing daily routine, performance, and the occasional surreal effect–adds dimension to Bernays’ impassioned rapping.

(MTV Hive)