The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Yung Gravy brings sauce to dry Dream debut

Bre Goodwin

Nowadays it’s practically a rite of passage for every breakout social media star to eventually divorce from whatever made them famous in the first place and start making music instead, regardless of whether they have any talent. A recent example of this trend is Minecraft player Dream, who on Sept. 1 released his debut extended play, “to whoever wants to hear.” The EP tells the story of Dream’s life from birth to death, with each song representing a different chapter of his story. 

This isn’t Dream’s first foray into music. In 2021 he released his first ever song “Mask,” which became infamous as the music video featured a character—presumably Dream himself—picking up an orange medicine bottle labeled “Normal Pills” and dumping them in a trashcan, a nod to the Youtuber choosing not to take medication for his ADHD. 

Since several of the new tracks feel as if they were left unfinished, one wonders if he should reconsider. Dream has admitted publicly that he previously had little interest or experience with making music. While none of the seven tracks are outright bad, the EP as a whole is forgettable to anyone who’s not a diehard fan of Dream himself. The Yung Gravy feature on the fifth track adds some much-needed spice to what would otherwise be seventeen minutes of bland indie-pop. 

Slow Down

The EP starts with Dream’s literal birth on the first line of Slow Down: “It’s 1999, I opened up my eyes.” It’s by far the least memorable track on the EP, with the overall message being exactly what it says on the tin: slow down and don’t take life for granted. The lyrics reference watching snowflakes falling in the winter season, presumably because stopping to smell the roses would be too cliche. 

Dream can’t sing, so he usually does an attempt at Alec Benjamin-style talk-singing. On this track in particular, there are some strange high-pitched backing vocals that don’t sound too bad. Overall the track has a dreamy vibe—no pun intended. A fast drum-beat with some rice-shaker sounds makes you feel like you’re watching a time-lapse of a cloud-filled blue sky morphing into a starry night over and over, as the final chorus of the song goes, “Again again again again again.”

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Kind of Love

A refreshing departure from the hokey Slow Down, Kind of Life hinges on deeper emotions and tells a heartfelt story. The opening lines of the song, “To whoever wants to hear/ Losing you is my biggest fear,” serve as the source for the EP’s title.

In the second chapter in the story of his life, Dream reaches out to his estranged older sister with lyrics such as “Forever isn’t far away/ So I need you to hear me say/ I still care about you.” Dream also released an accompanying music video for the track featuring clips of him and his siblings as young children. The title, “Kind of Love,” is a reference to the unique bond he and his sibling share despite their many falling-outs. Simply put, it’s a different kind of love. 

The song itself is catchy and acoustic-driven. A lone guitar hides beneath a steady kick-drum beat for most of the song, while the choruses soar with overlaid synths that practically weep. Similar to how the instruments in Slow Down captured the feeling of time passing quickly, Kind of Love feels like shouting from the top of a mountain to someone across the world in hopes that they hear you. But perhaps there’s no need, for the chorus goes, “Even when you’re far away/ Next to me is where you’ll stay.” 

In short, Kind of Love was robbed of its rightful place as the first song of the album. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Paranoid and Spotlight

Paranoid sweeps Kind of Love’s gloomy acoustics under the bed and starts jumping on it, dancing along to electric guitars and fun dance beat. By the time we get to Spotlight, it’s a full-on party. That said, these two songs are so similar that if they switched vocal tracks, nothing would be out of place. It’s like Spotlight copied Paranoid’s homework and changed a few things so the teacher wouldn’t notice. Still, they’re good songs. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars for both

Everest (with Yung Gravy)

It’s never a good sign when the best part of a project is a feature from another artist. Yung Gravy demonstrates his superior experience in the music industry with a saucy rap verse that dominates the EP’s fifth track. As the EP’s second single, it also has a music video where Gravy mentors the shut-in gamer Dream on how to live the popstar lifestyle. Shenanigans ensue as Gravy delivers lines such as, “I hooked Dream with a fine lass/ Now he’s playing hoes and I started playing Minecraft.”

Dream’s singing verses at the beginning and end of the song are like the moments right before waking up or falling asleep, hazy and almost intimate. For the chorus, he drops the soft-boy drawl and instead simply shouts. Then Gravy arrives on the track like a late-morning caffeine rush to snap us all out of it. He begins, “Still up on that mountaintop, gettin’ mountain top/ Counting guap while she counting licks like a Tootsie Pop.” Suddenly, everyone’s awake. 

Everest is about Dream’s rise to the top of his game, both his literal game of choice and the metaphorical “game” of gaining success. Once known as the best Minecraft player in the world, he exploded online and to this day has the most subscribers of any Minecraft channel in Youtube history. As he states in the chorus, “So high like I’m on Everest/ I ain’t ever coming down.”

Ironically, there are many people out there who would love nothing more than to see Dream fall off his so-called Everest. Dream has racked up on online scandals over the years and earned himself an army of “haters.” While many people online have made valid criticisms of Dream, others have leaked his private information and made violent threats against his family members. Rapping in solidarity with the Youtuber, Yung Gravy delivers what is perhaps the greatest line of the song: “F*** the opps like it’s enemies with benefits.”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Invincible (like u)

Track number six isn’t a bad listen, but it tries so hard to do no wrong that it avoids anything that could make it memorable. The twangy electric guitar melody sounds like a preinstalled ringtone, alerting you that it’s time to open Spotify and skip to the next track.

Unlike Slow Down, Invincible (like u) is saved from being totally boring by its refreshing subject matter and lyricism. The song is about his father’s unwavering support throughout Dream’s childhood, despite family hardships. He acknowledges his father’s resilience while questioning his own with the line, “Still rolling with the punches/ Wondering, if I’m invincible like you?”

Rating: 3 out of 5

Until I End Up Dead

At last we reach the seventh and final chapter in the story of Dream’s life. The first single from the EP ever released, Until I End Up Dead was inspired by the tragic passing of a fellow Minecraft Youtuber who went by the online name Technoblade. He and Dream were the same age and followed a similar trajectory to Youtube fame, until Technoblade lost his battle with cancer last year. This made Dream reflect on how easily life can be gone, shown in lyrics such as, “I saw me when I looked at you/ So now, I fear one day I’m gonna disappear/ Look in the mirror, to make sure I’m still standing here.”

Given the subject matter, one might expect a gloomy sound, but Dream returns to full-on dance-pop in the same vein as Paranoid and Spotlight. It’s more fair to say that those tracks are spin-offs of Until I End Up Dead. Where they feel kind of bare-bones and incomplete in places, Until I End Up Dead is the total package. It’s an exhilarating experience both sonically and visually, with a music video that features Dream and his friends literally dancing until they end up dead. Technoblade’s actual father even makes a cameo. 

The ending note of “to whoever wants to hear,” is positive, a promise not to give up over the loss of someone important, but to keep going in their honor. “I’m not stayin’ in my mind, I’m livin’ like you said/ It’s gonna be alright until I end up dead.” It’s a call to slow down, appreciate life, roll with the punches, from birth until the end. When Dream delivers the last lyric of the EP, all the pop beats and synths drop out and it’s just his distorted drawl. “Until I end up dead, I’m gonna be just fine.”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Bre Goodwin
Bre Goodwin, Former Lead Graphic Designer

Bre Goodwin is a junior majoring in Cinematic Arts & Theatre with a concentration in Acting. As a graphic designer for the Flor-Ala, she is passionate about art and the ways it can heal individuals and unite communities. She is from Leighton, Ala.

Comments (0)

All The Flor-Ala Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *