Jean Dawson is doing music differently. With a variety of cosigns, including BROCKHAMPTON’s Kevin Abstract, who was seen passionately moshing at a Dawson show a few months back, the young artist is making an impact. Often touted for his ability to create unique soundscapes and challenge the norm, Dawson is one of the most enthralling individuals currently releasing music.
On his newest single, “Ooga Booga,” Dawson displays what exactly it is that has given him his identity as a limitless culture-pushing visionary. Co-produced by Lecx Stacy, the track is three-and-a-half minutes of sonic chaos, somehow resulting in a single that is vastly enjoyable and warrants hundreds of replays. The track combines elements of contemporary hip-hop with a sense of punk ethos that plays into a jaw-dropping experience of wonder.
Whether it be the thudding bass, the fervent vocals, or guitar riffs, Dawson captures so many different elements and sounds in one track it seems unreal. In its, “Ooga Booga” feels like the soundtrack to a hectic fever dream where you are floating through an unknown realm in space, on a bear, spiraling towards the sun. And yet, the song is still able to remain cohesive and hold onto a narrative.
The autotuned vocals that open the track are reminiscent of something off of Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreaks, but before we find our footing, it quickly transitions into a verse of screamo-like vocals and clashing bass, guitar, and drums. Somehow, Dawson then ends up singing in Spanish before entering a second verse. Quickly, “Ooga Booga” enters a bridge composed of various futuristic rising synths that capture what time travel must sound like. As the track draws to a close, Dawson incorporates slowed vocals that create a sense of dreamlike drowsiness and craft a sort of discomfort that is proceeded by a plethora of pitched vocals. Ultimately, the song is a rollercoaster with quick and unexpected dips at every turn.
“Ooga Booga” is precisely what makes Jean Dawson so special. There is no guessing what comes next for the young artist, but with the innovation he displays with each release, he is without a doubt one of the most exciting artists of our time.
Listen to “Ooga Booga” below: