Is that a good way to introduce a review? Too bad, I’m writing this. Seriously though, that’s kind of what I thought when I first started listening to Vitamin Deeze. BLAOW! Hopefully now I’ve said it enough, and it’s stuck in your head that when you press play it’ll be the first word will come to mind too. That is generally how I felt at the beginning, during and after listening to Big Dutty Deeze’s new record. I felt like I’d just been witness to a man determined to fill your ears with as much sincere, passionate and relentless hip-hop that 50 minutes would allow.
In some ways ‘Vitamin Deeze’ feels like a giant extended freestyle bar, whilst simultaneously having the distinct feeling of having a particular amount of concepts and narrative in mind. I think this almost uneven balance actually contributes to the record’s energy; you’re never sure how Deeze is going to come at the next track, it’s new and unpredictable. A good album isn’t only about having a load of 16 bars with a few witty punchlines, and funny enders, in the same way it’s not just about full-length tracks with an interesting narrative. Both these things have to draw you in, and keep you there until it’d finished. In short, a good album is an album that makes you actively care about the artist, and the subject matter they’re showcasing. Deeze does that, whether it’s a straight up, relentless venting track like ‘Fuck ‘Em All’ or a slightly more relaxed pace track like ‘Depression’. Both may have different paces or styles, but it’s the same narrative, and same focus.
This album is going to happily appeal to the two main apposing sides of hip-hop, conscience and roadman (I know everyone has their own angles, but I’d say these two are pretty polar opposite in their positions although I know the two can and do cross over). Fans of gangsta rap who are more about punchlines are going to love it for its hard and tenacious approach, and people who want rappers to discuss real issues with intelligence and accuracy, without glamourising negative road life are going to love the content. Overall the album itself is extremely positive; it’s not about senselessness, it’s about recognising the cause and effect, and finding solutions, and of course balancing it with some nice on-liners for good measure.
No gassing now I’m excited about this record; if we’re reviewing an album that’s because we fully back it, not just enjoy it. That’s why we didn’t review the plethora of Lil B wannabes that were hanging out in our inbox.
Deeze has upped his game over the last couple months, and this feels like only the top of the iceberg of what’s to come in 2013.
(Yeah I used the iceberg metaphor, what? I’m a writer, I’m allowed to throw out a few literary cliches now and again you know)
For fans of Akala, Logic, Ruthless, Wu-Tang Clan, Tupac.
Yeah, yeah it’s ‘Name Your Price’ but dropping a few quid is how you support your scene. Drake is rich enough trust.