As of about an hour ago Dotz dropped his new album, ‘The Country Bumpkin’s Drunk Singing Skunk Binge’, which you can purchase over on yonder Bandcamp. If you need a few gentle nudges to persuade you why you should buy it, then fear not, I’ve prepared a compelling argument below to convince you.
Okay, if I’m honest with you dear readers it took me 20 minutes just to write that intro, and that’s because it was my sister’s ‘tacky-glitter’ themed fancy dress Birthday party last night, and I dressed up as a hen night, and drank two bottles of pink, £2.50 wine. Which was totezzz a good idea doe. Ha. Funnily enough though the last track on ‘The Country Bumpkin..’ aptly titled ‘Puke’ does a very nice job of chronicling the pitfalls, and ‘bad’ choices you make when you’d had far too much toxins in your fragile little body; and kind of reads as a soundtrack to my walk/skip home from Brockley last night. I regret nothing though.
Don’t think however the 8-song album is just another record about being a dick, and totally definitely not trying to be edgy in a lazy effort to get press, just because it’s offensive. No, and if it was I wouldn’t be writing this review because I’m so incredibly tired of those records, so don’t send them because they’ll never see the light of day! Instead this is the complete opposite, because it’s such a relatable album. Not some badly fabricated character that you could never imagine coming across, even on your weirdest little adventures through the back lanes of rural England on a Tuesday night.
The key gem of this record for me is that Dotz as a rapper just comes across as a normal guy, writing about things that concern him personally, whether that’s darker topics, or his own brand of humour. Not some far removed cartoon character rapper. Everything is balanced out.
There’s some standard braggadocio in ‘Braggin’ Rights’ (Just in case you didn’t know which one it was yeah), which I’m never angry at when it’s done right, and no hip-hop album is complete without at least one track like this. Good punchlines, and well timed flow. Not to mention that the production from Richy Spitz in this not only works perfectly with the vocals, but is definitely some of his strongest offerings on the whole record.
I was a big fan of the guest vocals from Flo Kirton in ‘You’re Wrong’, and the two do a great job of complimenting one another, rather than competing for limelight. Dotz didn’t fall into the trap of using cheesy vocals to give himself ‘depth’ or extra pop value, and instead Flo holds her own, and the MC/singing contrast doesn’t feel forced or conceited at all, which is a nice change, and gives the tone of the song an interesting twist.
Now I’ve talked a little about the vocals, I want to give more credit to all the producers featured on the album. Dotz employed the skills of Richy Spitz, as mentioned before, Passion HiFi, Redfoxx and Skill Mitchell, and all four of them added their own unique sound, and technique to their individual tracks to good effect. Whilst I was aware there were different producers, and none of them sounded standardised or bland, they all did seem to be working from a common thread or idea. Which I thought gave the record a warmer sound. Although I could be completely wrong, and they could have all just sent Dotz a bunch of tracks to pick from, so that could be down to his own MCing ability to compliment a beat, or just plain old good luck. Whatever the case may be, I enjoyed the production, and that’s the most important point after all (Because obviously my opinion is the only thing that matters you know).
Over all I really feel like this is an album that from the first time you listen, you’ll generally enjoy, and not put down after a week or so after the initial honeymoon period is over. Dotz is a talented MC, and this is such a great example why UKHH is going so strong right now. Interesting narrative, clear and cleverly thought out lines, and well produced beats. Whether you’re a massive UK fan, but don’t want to hear the same generic material some rappers are coming out with, or unfamiliar with what’s coming out from our rainy shores, and want to know what all the fuss is about, then I suggest you pick this up.
Stand-out tracks: March Talk, Puke, Braggin’ Rights.
Recommended if you like: Christian King (formally Terrorsum), Remus, Phili (well obviously), Diligent Fingers.