LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. AJ and Free. Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The Throne. Netflix and chill. Wendy’s french fries and Frosty’s. Mac & Cheese and Yams. Hennessy con cranberry juice, whew. D’USSE AND LEMONADE. Alright Armon, relax. Lastly, Daniel Daley and Nineteen85.
What do all of these things have in common? Simple, dynamic duos. Individual entities that stand strong on their own, but together they shift the paradigm. Two-headed monsters we have been or are consistently amazed by. It doesn’t always take two, but when a 1–2 punch can be the force that dvsn is, you certainly have no qualms with the dual effort. “I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together,” Ne-Yo and Fabolous said it best.
dvsn has been special to me from the very beginning. 2016 was an amazing year for music, but SEPT 5TH’s opening run of “With Me,” “Too Deep,” “Try / Effortless,” and “Do It Well” stood out to me as one of the strongest four-song runs that year. And closer, “The Line,” was just seven minutes of glory. “At the end of it all, I’m coming back to you.”
From there they wowed us with the extended remix to Drake’s “Faithful” called “Keep The Faith,” an added verse to Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” and covers of the late Aaliyah’s “One In A Million” and “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye.
SEPT 5TH’s follow-up, Morning After, took their brand of sensual, slightly somber R&B to the next level. They picked the tempo up a bit with “Don’t Choose” and the crossover title track. I will probably tell my kids about the fact Nineteen sampled diner sounds to close out the album on “Conversations in a Diner,” and it was the most ingenious thing I’d ever experienced.
The two recent singles “In Between” and “Miss Me?” solidified one thing for me — I have to make a playlist about these guys. But it’s not fair, their discography is flawless at this point. It’s my opinion and I welcome counter-arguments. I can’t just throw all 25 original songs they have out on all streaming platforms and add in the three features they’ve done. Even with a special arrangement, that’s not so hard.
No, I made myself pick 10 songs, one feature and created a cohesive playlist out of those. One that flows without duplicating the arrangements they’d already utilized on their albums. I allowed myself one instance where two songs from the same project could be back-to-back and found an interesting synergy between “Think About Me” and “Conversations in a Diner.”
I love “Miss Me?” as an opener for the drums. The poetry in him telling a girl he wrote the song because she wasn’t answering the phone just sounds like a fitting opening to an inevitable conversation, and this specific playlist. The track “With Me” batting second might be a weird move to some, just because it’s such an iconic opener. However, I see it as him going from “aight I wrote you this song, come fuck with me” in transitioning between the two songs. I don’t wanna overtalk the playlist though. I’d rather you all just listen, enjoy, and make your own interpretations of the choices I made.
It was difficult, but I like what I’ve come up with. It’s an ode to one of my favorite duos today. Separate, great. Together, incredible. Divide & Conquer. Live now.