Artist: One Dae
Album: Daes & Times
1. Welcome Sinners
2. Bang This
4. Play By Play (ft. Evidence)
5. It’s Everywhere
6. A Long Way (ft. Statik Selektah)
7. Daes & Times (ft. C-Rayz Walz)
8. BK All Dae
9. Walk In My Shoes (ft. Dana Diaz-Tutaan)
10. Abu Ghraib (ft. Sean Price)
11. Earth Child (ft. Tsi La Brev)
12. Take A Look Around
13. End of the World
I really want to close out 2013, but I can not do so without cranking out one more review for a very dope album. The first thing heads will notice about the album Daes & Times is the production credits. There are some heavyweight names creating beats for One Dae. When listeners see names like Statik Selektah, Marco Polo, Analogic, Domingo, and M-Phazes, they are bound to pay attention. But as the man, Mike Zoot once said “a wack rhymer can kill a raw beat”. In this case the opposite is true: One Dae accentuates what these beatsmiths provide making this album memorable.
A lot of people are not up on One Dae, but I’ve been aware of his lyrical prowess for a few years. He has had mixtapes entitled Fire For Hire Vol I & II and The Scrapbook. But the last one was released in 2009, so for almost four years there as absolutely nothing dropping from the man (that I am aware of). In 2012 he released the Time Lapse EP, and I was just left hoping that he was back in the game making more music. In 2013, those hopes came to fruition in in the culmination of this album and I can only hope that his music will reach more people.
Dae is a not only an emcee, he is a lyricist. And yes, you can be one, without being the other. He is able to craft bars together in a way that adds dimension to his flow. The track, Bang This, produced by Marco Polo, really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It is meant to showcase Dae’s sheer breadth of talent. You also can’t ignore the banger that Marco Polo put together. The drums hit hard in stark contrast to the sample of what sounds like kids humming. Throughout the track Dae is manipulating the turn of phrase on the regular so the listener can never anticipate the next part of the verse. This is advanced level of artistry on all levels of the track.
Walk In My Shoes is a creeper of a song. The bass line and the keys that lie in the background crafted by PAWS combine with the dark chorus sung by Dana Diaz -Tutaan and create a very dark landscape. Dae takes the opportunity to take the listener on a journey through his world and a mind that “…might flirt death, but work with the lord“.
Take A Look Around is one of my favorite tracks this year. And even though it was orignally brought to life in 2007, I can not help but love the stories he tells about these individuals. It’s a gritty banger for heads who like their beats dark and the lyricism raw:
I know this dude named Eddie / Had a semi automatic tec and a machete / Used to cop weight from him, cool, he was friendly / Had the same beef with this dude I want to bury / African cat, taught him how to smoke ganjah / Funny style. with fucked up gear, his hair was bonkers / He tried to play me on some hating on Dae shit / Sucka punched me dead in the face, and ran away quick / My man Jason, just sat there and didn’t chase him / I’m like what fuck, you let him get away son / My finger in the air, like all y’all is gay son / Y’all the reason why I’ve been One Dae, since day one /The whole time this Puerto Rican bitch / Laughing at my bloody lip / Lucky I ain’t slap her on some ugly shit / Lucky she was in the whip, tripped, that’s some funny shit / Last week I hollered at the bitch and another chick
The flow here is ridiculous and the narration makes you feel like you are in the same room with Dae while he is telling the tales. The production by PAWS is eerily perfect to serve as the set up for One Dae to do his thing. Out of all the dope tracks on this album, I herald this one as my favorite.
The talent that Dae displays throughout Daes & Times is distinctive. He embodies all the necessary tools that an emcee should possess but add his own twist to each one. His rhythms and gift of gab are saturated by the New York streets from which he resides, but not relegated to the same old tired themes and flows that we have all heard before. His wordplay is well construed and the intelligence required in crafting the album is evident. I would call his flow ‘creative’ as it does not get stuck in the same ruts as some of his contemporaries. He is able to adjust to different sounds and concepts, giving every track a different feel than the last. This is boom-bap evolved.