One of my favorite sites—RCRD LBL—posted DYU’s “Gangster Whips” today + had this to say:
From basketball courts in Tampa to international sass queen,Dominique Young Unique is a master of raved-up raunchy rap. Check the irresistible “Gangster Whips.” Spitting over a genuine trunk-rattler with herky-jerky wallops of synths, Dominique once again proves that haters are in for the worst possible shame. Real talk: Her new mixtape Stupid Pretty rests firmly where M.I.A. should have ended up.
Gotta love a M.I.A. comparison. Whatta huge compliment, M.I.A.’s top notch (but of course, so is DYU!!!!!! Her song “Top Notch” talks all about it.)
The Music Ninja had many nice things to say about Miss Young Unique:
Oh, haven’t you heard? Dominique Young Unique is one of the more promising acts to be making a name for herself this year, having dropped the Glamorous Touch mixtape earlier this year. The relentlessly energetic Tampa hip-hopper just dropped a new mixtape showing off a more matured sound and a certain power play to mainstream success. The Stupid Pretty Mixtape is still full of her signature aggressive dancey style, but with more sophisticated hooks and production.
“Gangster Whips” is one of the strongest on the tape. Dominique Young Unique may be happily walking the line of hip-hop and electronic dance, but apparently the way to her heart is a good old fashioned Coupe Deville.
And they posted “Gangster Whips” from the “Stupid Pretty” mixtape. Check it—>
Here’s a short but sweet (kinda) write-up by Prefix:
Stupid Pretty the third mixtape from snotty Tampa rapperDominique Young Unique is now available for download over here. It’s a step up, in mixtape form, for Unique, who recorded some of this in London with producer David Alexander. This is still self-released, but you have to figure some label (maybe Fool’s Gold?) will take a run at her soon.
War Talk - Dominique Young Unique, Domination Mixtape
The pop-rapper savant known best for her insanely catchy single “Show My Ass” has put out two mixtapes that I’ve criminally neglected to listen to until recently. While her flow doesn’t always match the fevered fun of Show My Ass, the production on her tracks (such as this midi-sounding working over of Justin Bieber’s Baby) often are enough to carry things on their own. Combine those with her frantic shit-talking and distinct vocal work and you’ve got some boss mixtapes.
Performers on the Blue Stage have an inherently harder time connecting with audiences before the sun sets. Who wants to dance to electronic beats or hip-hop in the mid-afternoon? Dominique Young Unique wanted to, but she fell into that well-worn trap of laptop-itis on Saturday.
First things first: the eighteen-year-old is a master with the mic, strutting around the stage in an impossibly short mini-skirt and spewing rhymes in rapid-fire succession. Dominique is a young phenom, but even her electric charisma couldn’t hide the fact that she’s still young when it comes to live performance. Her DJ repeatedly flubbed the timing on the songs, and Dominique seemed lost while he tinkered with his laptop. She nailed the verses, but when it came time to sing the hook, she held back. The results were a bit jarring—a nice flow, then a few hiccups. She’s a relative unknown with just a handful of singles to her name, but the crowd gave her the benefit of the doubt. Once she gets some professional backing and a few years under her belt, Dominique Young Unique will be a force to be reckoned with.
Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street listening to my mp3 player and I’ll think “Man, what if this song was really the soundtrack to this scene in the movie of my life… how inappropriate would that be.” … I’m just a crazy person, don’t mind me.
This was posted by MOKB Presents back in February to promote a DYU show. Check it:
18 year old Dominique Young Unique is dropping sick bangers dripping with swagger and spitfire rapping just in time for warmer weather and outdoor boomboxes. Unique dishes out a frenzied, stutter-stepping electro-hop sound that’ s more kinetic than a neon carnival. And she’s definitely one to watch. After performing in March at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Unique seems positioned to pick up where Tampa freak-rap pioneers Yo Majesty left off. Teamed up with Yo Majesty’s producer David Alexander. The pair are currently working on her debut mixtape, ‘Domination’, due out in May. Alexander brings the beats and the vibe. Unique brings the lyrics and the attitude. It’s an electric mix that has racked up innumerable raves:
The Boston Phoenix called her Florida’s best new artist. Stereogum called her video for new single Show My Ass “unabashedly catchy and straight-up fun.” The Fader called her “the deffest chica from down south since like JJ Fad.” After her smash-bang set at SXSW, even Rolling Stone raved about her “indescribable, unignorable mix of Miami bass, Neptunes, French house (and) dub-punk.”
Tampa rapper Dominique Young Unique has enough sass for six twenty-year-olds, and enough skill that she could probably afford to give some to all the boys her age making done-before hip-hop and still have plenty left over. She will prove it to you if you listen to all two minutes and seven seconds of latest single “War Talk,” which will drop with 11 other new songs on her mixtape Glamorous Touch tomorrow.
Ms. Young Unique can rap, and she can do it well, and she can do it fast, over some great, complex beats. The video for “War Talk” is set in Dominique’s hometown and features her playing basketball and wandering around and generally being a ten times more boss version of the girl next door. Check it out.
Follow the Dominique Young Unique street team on Twitter. Email dominique(dot)street(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to join the street team!! Looking for people in NYC, Seattle, Portland, New Orleans, and Atlanta in particular. We need help from all the Dominique Young Unique fans worldwide. Email us and help out your new favorite rapper!
The fresh-faced Floridian rapper Dominique Young Unique took over New York City’s CMJ Music Marathon this weekend with her lightning-quick, filthy lyrics, and playful stage presence. And we were there!
Since we can’t really publish her lyrics, (umm…”Show my A**”? “P***y Poppin”? This whole blog post would be asterisks) we can at least show you the crazy photos we captured at her Brooklyn Southpaw show on October 20!
Here’s a review of Dominique’s recent show at Glasgow’s Sub Club:
Dominique Young Unique, a 19-year-old skelf of a girl in killer heels from Tampa, Florida, has been attracting comparisons to Lil’ Kim, giving shout-outs to Queen Latifah and referencing the curt, funky rhythms of Missy Elliott. There is no doubt, based on her underground output to date, that she has the potential to join their ranks.
Backed by a DJ and live keyboards, which made all the difference in terms of instant appeal, she dispatched an all-killer-no-filler half-hour set with none of the time-wasting shenanigans that often blight hip-hop shows. Her opening gambit contrasted the shrill squawkiness of her teenage delivery with the electro funk stylings of the early hip-hop pioneers.
From here she dived straight into a rapid-fire rap, reminiscent of the Jamaican toasters, spitting out rhymes over a chunky electro disco backing before switching lanes again on a cheeky R&B-influenced number.
The rocking pop track The World Is Mine rode in on the crest of a sample of Stevie Wonder’s Part Time Lover while the solid hook of Follow the Leader had the confident ring of a crossover hit and even inspired a short-lived stage invasion when Unique broke off to wish happy birthday to one of the dancing punters.
She can bare her teeth when required but for all the swagger of her lyrics (not best discernible on his occasion), there is something fundamentally cute about her stage presence which was well suited to the rapid clapping beat of Show My Ass, a track as representative as any of the cheerleader energy and cut-and-paste creativity of her music.
The Guardian (one of the best papers ever), had this to say about Dominique:
Dominique Young Unique has the kind of backstory you’d expect in a rags-to-riches movie. Born in the poorest part of Tampa, Florida she was forced to live in a car after her mum lost her job and briefly stayed in a casino hotel until her mum’s credit ran out. Rapping since she was 12, a demo tape eventually found its way to Yo! Majesty producer David Alexander. As if that wasn’t enough, her current home is situated next to the MacDill Airforce Base (ie the command centre for US operations in Afghanistan, which inspired her track War Talk). Unique’s style is, well, unique, with complex rhymes tumbling out over Day-Glo, arcade-game beats that take the Timbaland/Missy Elliott template to the next level. There’s a raw, DIY edge to The World Is Mine, both musically – it’s basically a Super Nintendo game imploding – and with the video, which has a charming awkwardness.
Here’s a remix I found over the weekend by London’s duo The Slips, who consider themselves ‘electro pulse glitch pop renegades’, according to their Facebook page. What do you think? I, for one, love this remix.
PAPERMAG showed Dominique some more love last month:
The mothership has landed and yes, we will follow the leader. But only if she’s as hot and awesome as Dominique Young Unique. Regular PAPERMAG readers know that we’ve been followers since March and the rest of you can catch up by reading our interview with the Tampa Bay rap artist here and also see shots of her incredible SXSW performance here. Meanwhile, we present the new video for “Follow the Leader” from The Glamorous Touch mixtape. And if you’re heading over to Barcelona for the SONAR festival, Dominique will performing there on June 17.
Here’s a review of a Dirty Projectors show in Portland that Dominique opened for last year:
Sometimes it’s baffling as to why two bands get teamed up to play a show. From the outside, the line-up seems like a bad idea, but on some lucky occasions, things magically work out. This was definitely the case with the odd, yet somehow fantastic pairing of indie juggernauts Dirty Projectors with unknown hip-hopper Dominique Young Unique. The two couldn’t have sounded more different, yet both groups’ energy played off the energy they drummed up at the Aladdin Theater.
Miss Unique is an 18-year-old performer from Florida whom it’s fairly safe to say few in Portland have heard of. This didn’t stop her from getting a solid crowd of people up out of their seats and to the front of the stage, waving their hands in the air and bouncing to the music. The set started off a little rough, with Unique jumbling her words and two guys on keyboards and a dj table offering some messy beats. The caliber of her show picked up, however, once she found her groove, and when she found it, man, did she ever. Despite her young age, Unique has a serious flow to her music and an over-the-top kind of sass that you just can’t fake. As the show lagged on, her voice became slightly grating, but it never detracted from the fact that this is a girl who knows how to put on a good show. Though her music may not be awe-inspiring, it is certainly catchy.
Here’s a band bio Austin 360 did of Miss Unique back in February:
In 50 words or less: Straddling booty club beats that mix heavy doses of Miami Bass with 808 groove and electro blip, Dominique Young Unique is a barely legal, stiletto-strapped, spitfire with a furious flow. Unabashedly nasty and exuding irresistible fierceness, she drops frenzied rhymes that move hip-hoppers and hipsters alike.
Could share a bill with… Ying Yang Twins, Nicki Minaj, Girl Talk, A-Trak, any of the Sissy Bounce queens (like she did at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010).
Tantalizing tidbit: Rapping since she was 12, Ms. Young Unique’s career began to take off last year when she was 18. Look for her to put in appearances at some of SXSW’s hippest hotspots, Fader Fort, et al, sipping on a Sprite, no doubt.
Here’s what Tampa Bay’s Soundcheck wrote about Miss Unique last year as she went on tour supporting Dirty Projectors:
If you ever thought no hip-hop or indie artist would ever break big out of Tampa, here’s some stunningly awesome news.
Tampa’s own Dominique Young Unique, the much-blogged-about teenage hip-hop phenom who’s been setting the indie world — if not exactly the Jook City scene — on fire over the past year, is hooking up with one of Brooklyn’s most noteworthy indie rock bands, the Dirty Projectors, for a short tour. They’ll be jamming together for seven West Coast dates in September.
British producer David Alexander, who’s been shepharding Unique through the nascent stages of her musical career said the Dirty Projectors were simply fans, and they extended an offer through Unique’s booking agency.
In a weird way, the pairing does make some sense. The DPs dish out slinky, strange, off-kilter indie operas, yet rappers love ‘em (well, at least ?uestlove does). Unique’s mad style is rabid, frenzied, in-your-face sexiness. Put them together, and it’s a wildly creative and unexpected blend — which is probably exactly what the Dirty Projectors were going for.
The exposure Unique will get from this opening slot is off the charts. Forget the fact that the Dirty Projectors are the same band to whom New York Magazine devoted aglowing cover story, or that the New York Times recently called them the Rolling Stones of indie rock. Unique will be opening for the band in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, so there’s no telling which celebrities or music-industry honchos might be in the house.
This will cap a busy summer for Unique, who’s already planning a huge tour — including shows in New York, Toronto, Chicago, Spain and Belgium — in June and August. Seems like someone out there ought to book her a hometown gig, you know?