FAMILY – [DJ Scheme]

If you’re a fan of Lyrical Lemonade then there’s no doubt that you are familiar with the living legend that is DJ Scheme. The DJ turned Producer has taken his talents up a serious level with the release of his highly anticipated debut album FAMILY. There is a reason why artists flock to Scheme, he is one of the most genuine souls in the music industry and the album’s stacked tracklist proves exactly the type of reach he has built purely off his talent and grind. If you’ve ever seen a live set from DJ Scheme, you’ll know the ferocious energy he brings to each and every stage he touches. The crowds almost instantly dissolve into insanity, mosh pits opening throughout crowded venues with audiences thirsty to lose themselves to the madness that is “Take A Step Back”. Damn, I can’t wait to see that again soon.

Off the strength of 2019’s Preseason EP, we saw what Scheme was capable of as a producer. With a small sample, we knew that the debut album he would eventually release would be a perfectly curated collection of collaborators that reflect the relationships he has built throughout his career of touring with some of the biggest stars we have seen this past decade. Scheme’s presence always brought the most out of the artists he’d work with, his undeniable talent in that arena no doubt lead to so many artists contributing to this project. In total there are 22 artists featured on the project, over the 17 tracks you’ll see how well Scheme uses his friends to make one of the most inventive albums of the year.

Scheme has experienced a lot in his young life, he has lost some of his closest friends and the people he had plotted the entire come up with. The album starts in a powerful way, with vocals provided by Zacari and additional production from Skrillex, this ode to resilience hits home with soothing lyrics that paint a picture of simpler times before any of the pain was experienced. Moving right into an incredible introspective cut from Joey Bada$$, he describes the troubles he faces continuing to live after seeing so many loved ones fall before him. These themes can be felt throughout the project as it weighs heavy in DJ Scheme’s life, the pain is apart of life but having a supportive group of friends that are family can help you through the darkest of times.

While the album starts off paying respects to loved ones lost, it really wouldn’t be a Scheme project without a few tracks that were destined to be played at max volume and push the limits of any respectable sound system, . Scheme is a veteran in terms of crowd control, so it makes sense that there are several slappers on here that have high potential to tear the club up. Tracks like “Thor’s Hammer Worthy” with Ski Mask the Slump God and ZillaKami or Ski and Danny’s “E-Er” provide the explosive energy we expect from Scheme and his crew of heavy hitters. Lil Keed goes off over a medieval beat on “Top Of The Mountain”, Robb Bank$ reminds us of why he is one of the nicest out of Florida with “3 Sum”, and “Splurgin” brings out the beast in both Gnar and Shakewell. One thing I know for certain is that the next time you see a Scheme set, be ready to lose your mind to all the tracks listed above.

One area that Scheme excelled in was making this album a curated experience, with features from unexpected combinations of artists that work better than I ever imagined. Whether it be Lil Mosey and Ty Dolla $ign on “Bussin’ Out” or “Blue Bills” with $NOT and Fenix Flexin, the pairings aren’t the first names you’d think of, but being that Scheme has a reach to so many different artists he’s able to create tracks that we probably wouldn’t have heard otherwise. It really shows why having somebody so engrained in the culture crafting a project of this level would have some intriguing surprises in the mix. Scheme also does an amazing job of shedding light on artists that is on the rise. TheHxliday, tes x, Cris Dinero, and G.Wakai all have their moment to shine on a project that is filled with highlight moments.

This year has been tough on a lot of us, but it’s about how we persevere through these moments that will allow us to evolve into stronger versions of ourselves. DJ Scheme is somebody who has had to receive some life-altering news on more occasions than he’d like, but he consistently stays focused on continuing to grow and carrying on the legacy of his loved ones to new heights. This is still only the beginning for Scheme, honouring all of the people that helped him follow his dreams on FAMILY was the perfect setup for what he can do as a producer and curator. No matter where your head is at, there are moments on the project that can connect with your life as it matches the highs and the low. If you haven’t given this project a listen then turn your speakers up and rock with DJ Scheme.

Listen to FAMILY on all platforms here!