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Dame Grease

Goon Musik

(Baby Grande; US: 27 May 2008; UK: Available as import; Canada release date: 10 Jun 2008)

By and large, mainstream gangsta rap has devolved to the point that it merely recycles prejudicial and materialistic themes over terribly simplistic beats, often soiling the memory of funk and soul greats in their choice of samples. While the lyrics throughout Dame Grease’s solo debut do little to reframe thematic opinions of the genre, there is a little something different and interesting about it’s beats worth crediting. Dame is the man responsible for DMX’s grimy sound as well as hits for the likes of Jay-Z, The Lox, Nas, Kelis, and a laundry list of other industry notables. He’s got skills behind a console, and that shows itself in the simple but effective drum machine beats and warm, analog synths that constitute the Goon Musik instrumentals. As an album, though, this producer needs a producer. The pacing from start to finish is choppy and some of the tracks are mixed on the muddy side of sloppy. If it was consistently smoother and more defined, the power position he tries to claim in his rhymes would be much more believable. As is, you have to actively listen for Grease’s potential between a lot of gunfire and inappropriate fuzz.

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Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


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