Duwayne- Callous (Track Review)

Written by Pat Moran

Although Duwayne is known in his hometown of Milwaukee as a busking rapper, who plays intimate shows armed with only his acoustic guitar, the street corner poet’s latest single “Callous” draws on a battery of electronics to craft a drifting dreamy soundscape. 

Decidedly retro, Duwayne’s backing track summons the ethereal edge of electronic music pioneers like John Foxx as much as modern trap purveyors. Soon, however, Milwaukee’s finest punctures this sense of serenity with a staccato switchback rap.

“You said you got my number deleted again/You won’t get it back … Girl you got burned/ That’s why I’m only concerned/with getting better and getting back”

Through swirls of celestial synth, Duwayne comes down to earth on “Callous,” which he’s dubbed “a new song for Valentine’s Day.” 

He’s not being facetious here. Duwayne slows his flow, opening floodgates of feelings, confessing empathy and vulnerability as his vocal dovetails into a soulful R&B-inflected croon. But reconciliation with his partner seems doomed. Duwayne is left exasperated and exhausted, unlikely to understand his partner without a relationship Rosetta Stone, unable to pierce her hardened shell of self-defense.

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