Dex Channels, a rapper based in Florida, pens introspective and outward-looking rhymes so that his listeners are more conscious of themselves and their surroundings. Likewise, Dex Channels speaks on resonating topics like love, loss, and everything in between.
Before this moniker, Dex Channels went by the name Backstreet Peejay. Not only has the artist headlined a sold-out show, but he’s also worked with artists like LB199X and Marcellus Juvann. Now, Dex Channels is ready to make airwaves once more after resurrecting from a fatal car wreck.
“My name found me, Truly. My growth and music is free-form and has no boundaries, just like a Channel,” he continues. “Also, I know that God lives through me, so I’m just paying it forward through the music.”
Dex Channels’ musical journey dates back to 2014. The first song he created was a rendition of Migos‘ “Freak No More.” Fast forward to 2016, and that’s when he started taking music seriously.
“Looking back on my growth. Music molded me into who I am today by helping me find myself as an individual through these instrumentals. Hence, I’m keen on seeing this through and beyond,” he adds. “Though I’m only the Channel that I can see, I know that my purpose is bigger than myself.”
His 6-track project, Guns Go Off In The Summertime, follows the title’s creative direction solely because of its soundscapes and underlying messages. The first track is also the perfect transition from summer to fall.
“This may be your Last Sunday, so Do What U Do. Two Step in some Clean Linen before the cops or Ops try to press you. We’re all on Divine timing before the guns go off..separating us from this Summer Fling we call life,” Dex Channels says about the musical compilation.
Sonically, Guns Go Off In The Summertime blends R&B with hip-hop, jazz, pop, and even gospel. Theme-wise, the project speaks about a budding relationship, staying loyal to his day ones/family, racism, and COVID-19, to name a few. If he had to choose a theme song, he’d pick “Summer Fling” because it perfectly summarizes the EP. The video for this song just released today!
“Most listeners would assume that it’s about a girl, but it’s a metaphor for vices. It hits the listener right in the sweet spot because that record unifies jazz and indie-pop together so well, leaving the listener in a warm, euphoric state. The melodic hook paired with the airy vocals helps bridge the space between nostalgic R&B and new school hip hop,” he adds.
However, his favorite track to record was “Two Step” due to the unmatched energy behind it.
“It [Two Step] was produced, written to, and recorded all within 2 hours. The best songs are the ones that flow organically with little to no effort,” he says. “That song felt like a lay up for the whole team. I don’t think anyone in the studio got any sleep after recording it [Two Step] because we were all listening to it on repeat. I remember waking up to that song the next day.”
Standout tracks include “Last Sunday,” “Divine,” and “Two Step.”
“Last Sunday” is a heart-wrenching tune that brings awareness to police brutality and other societal issues.
“Right before they let the gun spray/Made it home because my mom prayed,” he raps.
Farther into the song, Channels admits that he was in a nearly life-threatening ordeal.
“Bloody clothes what I slumbered in/Don’t know how but we made it out in time to live,” he delivers.
Contrary to beliefs, Channels shows a fighting spirit, rather than a hindered one as he speaks on how this situation has only made him stronger. He’s grateful for the life he lives and doesn’t wish to change it. Once the second verse intervenes, Channel taps into a world awareness state that pushes him to shed light on one of the many problems we face as a whole.
“I swear I wake up to the madness/They killin’ us for organs and we prone to human traffic.”
Moreover, Channels stands his ground toward those trying to bring him down, yet he still wonders why he’s being ridiculed because of his skin color.
“Why you gotta hate because you see me on my grind/Just know that I’m here to stay and Ima exercise my mind,” he raps along with, “Wishing I could hide you ‘fore them boys slide through.”
Toward the end, he pays homage to loved ones who left too soon.
“Two Step (feat. C1K)” is a tune that blends gospel elements with a soundscape that garners inspiration from R&B and hip-hop. Over the harmonic loop, piano number, and kick-snares, Dex Channels reveals that he’s fallen for a woman who carries a different aura than the rest. Clocking in at nearly four minutes, “Two Step (feat. C1K)” begins with Dex detailing their relationship status, which, at the moment, seems intimate.
“Gripping on your waist/I know your place, I must caress/Started at the top, and now I’m creepin’ down your neck/I used to press play and let some stress go.”
Afterward, Channels verbalizes his appreciation toward her because she’s been holding it down. Additionally, the musician tells his girl that he intends to keep her around. If Channels isn’t attentive during certain moments, it’s because he’s in the zone, working to provide for them both.
“Everything organic, cause I plant it/You can eat the seed,” he spits.
His feature, C1K, matches Channels’ energy as he uses an autotune cadence to showcase his rhymes. Between the lyrics, C1K unveils why he’s drawn toward his soon-to-be wife. Furthermore, the rapper goes into detail when explaining what he’d like to do with her. Regardless of his feelings, C1K iterates that he’s an independent being.
“You know you got me hooked girl, but that don’t mean I need ya,” he raps.
“Divine” sees Dex Channels expressing his admiration for a “super fine, so divine feminine.” And given the context, Channel has got it bad for his crush. Over the upbeat, ambient R&B offering, Channels displays a melodic flow in means of serenading his girl to be. Additionally, Channels speaks his mind in a bouncy flow.
“I been watching her glow/Yeah I been watching her close/She got all the good vibes/I just want to get close,” he spits.
Following this, he suggests that the two get acquainted with some intellectual conversation. Subsequently, he lists all the things he fancies about the woman of his dreams, along with reasons why she should take a chance on him.
“Just fuck with me, we can grow/I’m feeling her, she super fine/And she something good for the soul,” he delivers.
Deeper into the track, he admits that she’s got him “heavy in the feels,” but Channels isn’t ashamed of it. Instead, he’s elated to be graced with her presence.