D. Knight – Make Myself At Home
Released: 7 December 2022
Song-by-Song Album Review
1. The Perseverance – Great intro, but I would love to hear D. Knight put some sing-songy melodies into that first verse. His flow is fit for a melody! He does it on the latter part of the hook, but doesn’t do it on the first verse – where it would sound amazing!
With this song, you get a taste of the story D. Knight is about to tell: “For years I been tryna get to it/ Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing/” – the story of many up & coming musicians!
“I’m HIM if you were wondering my pronouns” LOL
2. Are You With That ft Bee Nobel – This is a surprisingly good song, made for women. Surprising because it doesn’t come across as forced – which many rappers who don’t normally do this style often struggle with. However, I’m not sure the feature adds anything productive to this song. Bee Nobel kinda changes the tempo and vibe of the song with her approach. I would have preferred another RAPPER-rapper as a feature who will ride the beat, while speaking on the same topic as D. Knight. Another D. Knight verse would’ve even been preferable, instead of this feature. But you all already know that I’m a stickler about features, and very particular about whether they add or take away from a song. Often times they are unnecessary; other times they are ESSENTIAL (see: every Boldy James album).
I understand that D. Knight wanted to get the female perspective on this song, though. So it makes sense why she’s here. Musically though, the song is better off without her feature. Just my opinion.
3. Pursuit – THIS RIGHT HERE! The sing-songy melody on the first 4-6 bars of this song are exactly what I was talking about I wanted to hear on the first verse of track #1!
4. Never Enough ft Dub Tha Poet – “Graduated college and still dont feel accomplished” encompasses what SO many young Americans feel. On this song, D. Knight also speaks on working 2 jobs and not really knowing what direction he’s headed, and barely having time for hobbies due to his schedule. DUDE… SO MANY people can relate to this, yet it’s not a perspective you often hear in Rap.
Also, compared to the feature on track #2, this feature is AWESOME. He adds to the song while also staying on topic. Keeps the song’s continuity and increases the value of the song with his verse. Productive!
5. Springfield to Dayton – Again – some of these raps are delivered like they should be sung. Like… the bars sound like they were written to be sung, but weren’t. This happens from :47 to 1:00. SING IT!
It’s not like D. Knight doesn’t harmonize or deliver melodies. He’s just choosey about when he does it. To my ear, it almost sounds like he holds it back at times. Many rappers do this because they want to be known as a rapper and not a singer. But I say.. if it will benefit the song/verse SING IT–LET IT LOOSE!
6. On Ten – Much needed song that isn’t too heavy or introspective. provides a refreshing break in the album without comprising the integrity of his overall message. This is called great track-sequencing. Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry references on this song, shoutout to halfbacks!
7. Not A Game ft S.I.E. – “Soon as niggas get a kodak (camera) on them, all of a sudden they ‘Super Gremlins’“? Dope bar and overall perhaps my favorite song lyrically on the entire album. The “paint a picture/drew attention” wordplay was impressive as well.
S.I.E. is another great feature (along with Dub Tha Poet) who not only adds a different style from D. Knight, but also picks up the pace flow-wise. This makes the track feel complete and whole. It would be awesome to hear a 3rd verse where D. Knight and S.I.E. trade bars over a 16. That would absolutely push this song over the edge!
Rating: ★★★1/2 – ★★★★ (we need that 3rd verse!)
8. All That You See – This song is where the album picks back up the introspective theme that paused after track #5. Again, great sequencing. Intentional sequencing. This is also a great hook. I think many people will overlook the catchiness and message in the hook. Gives me Fort Minor vibes!
9. For A While – Although this is one of my lowest-rated songs on the album, this also might be the song with the most replay value. I think the replay value is high because the subject matter is strong, but without the song feeling too heavy (partially due to the upbeat production). You can easily play this as background music and not take in the urgent message, which creates replay value.
And…. a Nick Saban reference.. we have a hardcore sports fan here!
10. 2017 – Love how the first verse ends melodically. Love how he lets the track breathe after verse 1. One of the best songs on this album.
11. All I Been Through – I often write about how difficult it is to rap over a solo piano riff. Because there’s no drum or beat to base your flow on. But D. Knight does this for an entirety of a song on All I Been Through!
I’m being nitpicky here, but I would love to hear this song end with drums coming in late within the last 60 seconds, or even after his verses are completely finished. Subtle detail that would add an additional layer of depth. This is maybe the deepest song on the album, in terms of introspection.
Overall, I found this album very easy-to-listen to. D. Knight’s music gives the aura of someone who has been slowly perfecting his craft over-time, and the result is a polished overall sound: in production, engineering, and vocally. When reviewing underground rappers on-the-rise, it can be very easy to nitpick at imperfections in their music such as bad mixing/mastering, slightly off-beat rhymes or moments on the album, forced flows or rhymes, poking holes in the songwriting, etc – but this is not the case with D. Knight. He is very obviously a polished artist who’s spent countless hours working on his craft.
Make Myself At Home is an easy-to-digest album that delves into the common issues and insecurities of an individual & musician, but without feeling too heavy or deep. Earlier in the review, I compared him to Fort Minor/Mike Shinoda, and I think that’s a proper comparison considering the combined depth/listenability of this album.
★★★1/2 – ★★★★: Very good; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.