Record of the Day 5-9-2020

In the 1980’s I liked rap, but it was one of those things I didn’t pay close attention to until the 1990’s when a friend gave me a tape with the with Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep Squadron and Main Source on it.  I realized there was more to the genre than just Beastie Boys, Fat Boys, and Run-D.M.C.  There was the top selling tier of rap royalty that was on MTV, but there was a second tier that was maybe better than the first (although not much is better than King of Rock or Paul’s Boutique).  I woke up to the idea that rap was record based art form succeeding on a broad scale.  The 2019 record Psychodrama by the rapper Dave (full name David Orobosa Omoregie) is a concept album and it is a good as any of the classics I loved in 1991.  The concept is a man facing down his demons in London talking to his therapist for one hour.  The record follows the trajectory of a therapy session with intros and segues from the psychotherapist and is broke up in sections Environment, Relationships, and Social Compass.  Some of the songs are searing, some are introspective, and some are just realistic depictions of the life as the child of Nigerian immigrants in modern London.  The poetry and flow of the record are amazing.  Dave is an eloquent and insightful MC.  The music is low key, more constructed to match the lyrical content than vice versa, but Fraser Smith’s implementation of it is perfect.  For me, the highlight of the record is the 11-minute rap epic Lesley a sorrowful tale of domestic violence, but almost every track is great.  Dave is a rapper at the height of his powers and this record is a window into him working on growth as a man and self-awareness of the world around him.

BearededRiffRaff

Dave_Psychodrama

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