06 March 2011

Review: @DCisOnTheWay

This cat @DCisontheway (from Oklahoma City though, not the nation's capital) hit me up on Twitter the other day, randomly asking me to give his mixtape a listen. He provided the link and I'm providing the review. Let me start off by saying that I had low expectations going into this. I'm not particularly fond of people who don't follow me but will send me requests for stuff. I don't do it and I don't think others should either. However, I needed a review for this week and this just fell into my lap. Let's get it...

Even though I am originally from the Midwest, I don't know anything about the rap scene out there. Some people are quick to throw up Nelly and Chingy, but where are they now? So, I figured I'd at least come into this with an open mind. I mean, he could actually be about something, right? He wasn't.

There were four tracks on the site that he directed me to and as soon as the first one started playing, all I heard was guns, drugs, bitches and money. Now, I've never been to Oklahoma and I'm not one to say there are no ghettos there, I'm sure there are. However, to start off your mix by blasting my ears with this incessant and violent commotion is a big no-no, especially when dealing with a hip-hop head like me. Mr. DCisOnTheWay: you invited me to listen to your album; perhaps you should have done a little research first.

The first track, Presidential, leads off with the aforementioned usual ghetto garbage and the one thing that kept running through my head was: what aspect of ANY of this is presidential? The lyrics are of the typical recycled sort found in many songs nowadays. The beat underneath is nothing special, either.

The second track, lovingly entitled Pack Yo' Bags, fares no better on the lyrical tip. The flow is simple and extremely dumbed down. The track samples an old Ashanti song, which was a nice touch, although it's a sound that has been done before. I was a bit confused as to the cast when listening to this song. I couldn't tell if there was one artist changing his flow and sound up many times or many artists doing their thing. On top of that, I couldn't understand much of what was being said in one verse, there was so much yelling. There was one bit that I liked, a change-up in the flow of the second verse.

When I saw the title of the third song, Deep, I became intrigued. Maybe we would see this thug's introspective and urban philosophical side. I was quickly corrected and subsequently disappointed. It's a song about sex. *ahh..."deep;" I get it now!* I thought the beat for this one was fire; that was a saving grace. I was pleasantly surprised and were it not for the awful use of Auto Tune on the hook, I'd give this track another listen for the beat alone.

Number four should have been number one to me. You Already Know: it starts off hard and actually had me bobbin my head, but it went downhill immediately after the intro. It saved itself a little once the second verse came in. If I put myself in my "hood mentality," then I have to say the hook is hot. I like the track under it as well, but the lyrics are lacking in many places. "I don't rap no more/ I call this making art." Really? I'll reserve my more harsh comments about lines such as those.

In closing, this guy (or guys: I still don't know if this is a person or a group) needs more work. Whoever his production team is has their stuff on point for the most part. Their lyrics are lacking, however. If this is something that is intended to be long term, then I'd suggest they go back to the drawing board and work on their timing, delivery and content. You don't have to push rhymes like Mos Def and Black Thought, but you don't have to try and be the next Gucci or Wacka Flocka Flame, either.

Do Better rating: ** (out of five stars, and one and a half of those is for the beats)

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