The Underrated: Darien Brockington

The Underrated: Darien Brockington 

Does the name ring a bell? For the casual listener, probably not. However, Darien Brockington is one of the most slept on artists out here period. Born in Washington, DC but raised in North Carolina, Darien grew up singing in the church, which shaped his vocal style and delivery. He joined the Justus League as their first R&B singer shortly after meeting Phonte of Little Brother. Darien's first appearance came on The Foreign Exchange's album "Connected" where he stole the show on "Call" and "Come Around". As Darien's name began to get some acclaim, he started work on his first EP "The Feeling". Upon the release of his first EP, which featured some great songs such as " Sacrifice" with the also underrated Yahzarah, the smooth "Steppin Out", and the amazing sound of "Can We Fall In Love Again", Darien managed to solidify himself as a true artist, beyond his guest spots and hooks.

Darien hit his true stride with his appearances on the certified classic Little Brother album " The Minstrel Show", proving a soulful touch to "Not Enough", " Slow It Down", and "All For You". Those appearances would lead the way for his first album, " Somebody To Love", which I would consider a classic. The album, with 14 amazing tracks(including the "Can We Fall In Love Again" track from his earlier EP), gave Darien his own identity as an R&B soul artist and was flawless throughout. Songs like "Crazy", the late night ballad "Come On Over", " I Got What You Want", "I Miss You", and more really give a glimpse into his knack for intricate songwriting and his voice helps to draw the listener in and keep them there.

Darien has managed to keep his guest spots mostly within the Justus League family, with appearances on other Little Brother, Foreign Exchange, Nicolay, Rapper Big Pooh, Chaundon and The Away Team projects, while also appearing on Pete Rock's Soul Survivor II album, a few of the Strange Fruit Project's releases and more. He's kept a lower profile in recent years, but his most recent release, " The Cold Case Files" mixtape(plays more like an album) in 2009 was extremely solid, showing Darien's versatility as an artist. While not as cohesive as "Somebody To Love", it is a great listen and features some great songs like "Love Calls", "Rain", and my personal favorite D-Brock track "Beautiful". One can only wonder when the next Darien Brockington album will release, but you can bet that I'll be listening.


*The Feeling EP

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

*Somebody To Love

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

*The Cold Case Files 

Rating: 7 out of 10



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