Let's Figure Out What the Hell Is Going On in DRAM's "Check Ya Fabrics"

He's teamed up with Rick Rubin for a wacky, psychedelic soul cut that may need an explainer.
November 3, 2017, 4:59pm

DRAM's music can be pretty wild, but in general his sunny demeanor keeps things approachable. However, even the 80s arena rock of "Misunderstood" cannot compare in absurdity to his new song, "Check Ya Fabrics," which is produced by the legendary Rick Rubin and resembles… actually we're not sure what it resembles. It kinda sounds like a drunk gospel band or RPG shop music, but there are a lot of things happening here, all of them weird. Listen above as we break it down:


Hammond organ

The Hammond B3 was the electric organ of the 1970s, and its sound is still associated with soul, classic rock, and prog. Despite his enormous contributions to hip-hop, Rick Rubin's still a rock 'n' roll guy at heart, so this Deep Purple-esque intro makes some sense. But we're not done yet.

Jazz guitar

It sounds like a bunch of guitarists but it's probably just one person. Said person also basically spends the entire track soloing. It's kind of like when your buddy in that covers band you play in on the weekends won't stop noodling during practice. "Bro, it's a Wes Montgomery lick. I gotta get it down," he says, but alas, your band only plays the hits of Fall Out Boy and has no time for jazz, so his passion will go unexpressed.

Pitch-shifted vocals

We've only just now hit the 30-second mark, BTW. At this point, DRAM gets his Blonde on with a warped vocal track of him rapping extensively about his outfits. It's all pretty goofy, especially when he talks about the perennially hip-hop subject of people stepping on his shoes in the club. This song overall is definitely not that deep, and perhaps its true meaning will never be known, much like life.

Rick Rubin's last major work was helping with Yeezus, and "Check Ya Fabrics" is similarly disjointed. It even has similar work-in-progress aesthetics for its artwork. Not too spend too much time speculating, but the song's probably the sound of two confident artists screwing around and coming up with something neat, then sharing the result.

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