- “Roc U” feat. Boss China
- “She Gettin’ To The Money”
The lines between hip-hop and R&B music in 2017 are blurred more than ever. Rappers have become crooners thanks to auto-tune while R&B singers have begun dropping bars on their songs. We’re living in a time where genres are almost non-existent; people just want to hear great music (DJ Booth did a piece recently discussing Donald Glover’s comments on the subject). This bodes well for artists on the indie circuit as it makes it easier to be discovered by hip-hop listeners. Brooklyn’s Dapa Don is an artist that has been perfecting his sound in this style before it was popular. His FOOD and FOOD2 projects have an eclectic mix of hip-hop and R&B records while his Weekend Love series is focused more on the ladies. A true hybrid, Dapa Don returns with a great blend of hip-hop and R&B records on Chicken George.
Projects tend to tell a story from track to track, a trend that became popular when Kendrick Lamar did it on good kid, m.A.A.d city. Dapa Don doesn’t construct a story in this sense but his records flow together seamlessly from song to song. You can hear the work he did on sequencing this and making it sound effortless as you go from “Intro/Just Can’t Quit” to “All Good” to “Fight The Feeling”. This is something you’ll hear throughout the project as it contains a good mix of hip-hop and R&B with some pop elements (notably on “All Good” feat. Lisa Fine and DJ Stude and The-Dream influenced “1989”). Vocally Dapa Don won’t give you ballads with him belting his love but he’s able to be seductive with his range. “Fight The Feeling” is a great example of this, a record that has him lyrically seducing his lady while coming off like he’s in an intimate setting with her. The production from Synastetic mixed with Dap’s slowed down rendition of Ciara’s “Body Party” on the bridge help in bringing this record home.
Chicken George uses skits to break up different parts of the project, using women cursing out Dap along the way. They add humor to an already great project as “No Hookah” features a woman complaining about Dap’s money spending while “Rap N****s Make Me Sick” has a woman calling Dap every name in the book along with all rappers. Nestled in between these skits is the standout record of the album in “Creep”. The drums hit on point, the strings are melodic and hypnotizing, and Dap is ready to make things happen in the bedroom lyrically as the sidepiece. This is a subject many indie artists don’t touch on (them being the side joint) and is an excellent record that showcases his songwriting.
Dap’s latest effort has a focus on R&B records but the hip-hop tracks are not to be forgotten. “Around My Way” featuring Phil Walker and Chulo takes us on a trip around Brooklyn with it’s hype chorus and gritty lyrics to remind us that it’s not all nice on Dap’s side of town. He also puts together a posse cut, one that is three minutes of bars, that features Cash Sinatra, IknowBrasco, and Jus Smith for “The Wild”. Not to be outdone by the lyrical onslaught, Dap gives us a verse that addresses support of indie artists along with some comic relief (“put to 9’s to your back like Warren Sapp”). I have to applaud Synastetic for how diverse his sound is throughout this project. He can craft R&B love songs while also giving something grimey like “The Wild”.
Blurring the line between genres is one of the best things to happen for indie artists. It gives them the ability to not be boxed in and they can develop a sound that people will notice easily thanks to its popularity with mainstream artists. Dapa Don put together a stellar body of work on Chicken George, one that has replay value and a few great singles that should have videos before the year ends (I’m hoping the first one is “Creep”). In the past I’ve critiqued Dap for his sequencing issues. He not only fixed them but he created an excellent piece of art in the process. Taking criticism for your art isn’t an easy process but it comes with the territory. More artists should be open to accepting it and using it to fuel creativity. I believe this is an asset to Dapa Don’s career and it’s going to help him obtain the success he wants in the music business.
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