I was first introduced to The Davis Way’s production through the Michigan Beat Battle League and have been keeping an eye on his efforts ever since discovery. A few weeks back he delivered a collaboration of some of the finest lyrical talents & artists in a front to back album that shines light across a slew of dope artists combining forces over his precise production. There’s a lot being said here, from a large selection of voices – as usual, I give my track by track breakdown in D|REVIEWS: The Davis Way – “Eclipse“.
01. Eclipse (Intro) – Feat. Lady Davis : We enter the collaborative effort that is “Eclipse” with some words from Lady Davis as she introduces us.
02. Came Home To The Darkness – Feat. Amber Cimone: It grabs your attention instantly with the crow-like opening before Amber Cimone opens to “rip it” & left me with a great first impression. Being the opening track I was instantly brought in, the way the second verse builds over The Davis Way instrumentation instantly made this one stand out to me. She really did her thing on this one and I love it more and more with every listen.
03. Running On E – Feat. Moo Goo Gai Pan: Pure lyricism is on demonstration with this record that had me feeling like a mix between some Queensbridge repping Nas slash MF Doom type record. Moo Goo Gai Pan articulates bars that if are what running on E means for the emcee than I’d hate to have to face off when he is on a full tank. It had a classic boom bap record that really came together & kept me excited for what’s in store on “Eclipse”.
04. Ain’t Sayin’ Nuthin’ – Feat. Horatio The Best Man: A social commentary in rap form on the state of rappers who “Ain’t Sayin’ Nuthin“. Horation The Best Man has me snickering to his hook as he pokes fun at the non-lyrical new gen rappers who lack any substance. I smile well I listen to this one.
05. Fraudulent – Feat. 3269 CHISE & Pierre Anthony: One thing is without a doubt on “Eclipse” so far, The Davis Way didn’t hold back any punches lacing the backgrounds to Detroit’s Finest. Two of my personal favorites collide in this beyond excellent hip-hop masterpiece. The way “All I Really Know” is sung and the back and forth lyrical throws between these talents it outstanding in its pure form. It’s been an incredible streak here at track five, however “Fraudulent” is my top cut so far!
06. Raw Talent – Feat. Mr. Furious: Speaking of talent Mr. Furious demonstrates his tremendous amount of it on “Raw Talent“. A title worthy of a general description of this entire batch of artists on “Eclipse” but here in the middle, we have met another gem amongst many. I love the scratching behind the transition between verses, the old school record vibe, & the way Mr. Furious attacks this vintage sounding production.
07. Evolution Of The Revolution – Feat. Josef Coney Island: A spectatorship on consumerism, following the masses, and general societal commentary from Josef Coney Island throws out a lot to take in. This blogger here doesn’t “hate the deep shit” & I found this enjoyable – it’s a quieter record sonically versus some of the harder hitting spots on “Eclipse” but it melds well here in the middle & offers an intricate dive into the “Evolution of the Revolution“.
08. Destiny – Feat. 01 AD & Coko Buttafli: “I leave you in awe” 01 AD states in his opening verse before Coko Buttafli drives home the chorus. I don’t know who was talking about O falling off but they clearly must not be listening to the same thing I am. This man here has got bars and a buttery flow to coincide that ties well with Coko’s vocal partnership in “Destiny“.
09. By Any Other Name – Feat. P Dot: From catching her perform well-helping closing out The Bullfrog late last year to taking in her cypher verse at the Underground Hip Hop Awards I’ve been impressed with everything P Dot has been putting out there. She is one lethal lyricist ready to have you screaming dot gang by the time track nine rolls thru. “By Any Other Name” is yet another standout on “Eclipse“.
10. Nothing Nice – Feat. Valid: Embracing one of the faster if not fastest flows on “Eclipse” we are delivered “Nothing Nice“. It’s a clean track sonically, & throughout my journies in Detroit hip-hop, I’ve enjoyed a bunch of records Valid has put out. Unfortunately, this was my least favorite cut on this compilation of sorts, I didn’t hate it or nothing but I just didn’t like it as much as previous efforts I’ve taken in from Valid. Something just was vibing for me personally on this one, that’s not to say someone else might absolutley love this one.
11. Fake Love – Feat. Pierre Anthony: The only artist besides The Davis Way himself that I believe makes an appearance more than once, we get a more intimate one on one offering of Pierre Anthony’s talents here. “Fake Love” blends his rapping plus singing abilities in the signature form we’ve come to expect from the world-class artist that is Pierre Anthony. “I see the hatred in your eyes…” in an ode to saying no to fake love sings Pierre stating he has “no room” for it. Fire!
12. The Life We Chose – Feat. Verdict & Kay Janey: “What we choose to experience in our lives we must first feel in our hearts as if it was already there” opens into this fantastic closing effort from Verdict & Kay Janey. “Heartbreak & memories done took soul..” and more Kay sings between two of my favorites verses across “Eclipse” amongst a sea of lyrical shining moments. What a lovely way to finish off this wonderful mesh of abilities.
In closing, “Eclipse” does what I’ve found to be quite often a rarity. The Davis Way has managed to curate a jam-packed offering of local talent across his beautiful sonic creations in a way few compilation style efforts are able to pull off. It was hard to find any weak spots here in what is overall an extremely cohesive thrust of lyrical, vocal, & instrumental creativity banded together via a collective of impactful voices each with their own messages to spread. It’s a great sampler of Detroit hip-hop in it’s purest forms. 8.5/10
“My Money” New Visual from Stretch Money
Rebel Nation flag ship artist Stretch Money has been real busy in the first half of 2020. Not letting up Stretch drop a new video for MY MONEY!
“King Father” New album from Fatt Father
Fueled By Life/ Middle Finger Music presents ‘King Father’, the highly anticipated
fourth studio album by Detroit veteran emcee, Fatt Father. ‘King
Father’ takes listeners on a personal journey through life. Fatt
Father searched as far as Windhoek, Namibia to make sure that the
production on this album was undeniable. There, he found the
soulful sounds of Namibian based producer, Becoming Phill. Marv
Won, Blizzard, Trox, Foul Mouth, Jeremy Ford, and Scud One, also
contributed powerful production to ‘King Father’ as well.
The 12-track album showcases Fatt Father’s growth as a
lyricist, conversationalist and as a father. With features that include
Melanie Rutherford, Finale, Quelle Chris, Fatt Father’s 11 year old
son, DJ Oreeyo, and more. ‘King Father’ is well balanced on every
level. Whether in the car, gym, or living room, this album is the
perfect soundtrack. After many projects and years as an emcee, Fatt
Father continues his dominant reign as King Father.
Verdict Album Review “Keep Livin” By Brandon Scarber “Real Name No Gimmiks”
KEEP Livin for tomorrow is not promised!!
By Brandon K. Scarber (Real Name, No Gimmicks)
In 1991, Geto Boys released “My Mind Playin Tricks On Me” via their magnum opus We Can’t Be Stopped on Rap-a-Lot/ Priority Records, who doesn’t know the timeless lyrics:
“At night I can’t sleep, I toss and turn…four walls just staring at a nigga. I’m paranoid, sleeping with my finger on the trigger…But I ain’t goin’ out without a fight…” – Scarface [of Geto Boys, raps]
This song with these specific lines, is the first time in hip-hop/rap we experience an artist describing issues with mental health and dealing with it in real time. But, it definitely wasn’t the last time we would hear it on wax, or deal with it either.
From Mac Miller’s death to XXXtenacion, Capital Steez [Pro Era], Juice WRLD and documented accounts from Eminem, Joe Budden, and recently Big Sean and Charlamagne the God, hip-Hop/rap awareness on mental health has grown over the years. Verdict’s coming of age shall be no different!!
VERDICT, a Detroit bred emcee and lyricist, is the new artist to watch. Verdict dropped his first project Eastside High back in 2014; and now he’s back with KEEP Livin. A project filled with vivid storytelling and visceral bars, delivered in an entertaining way.
He’s unafraid to address the taboo of mental health and its relationship with social media. Unapologetically, he tackles musical withdrawal, stagnated successes, public acceptance and validation.
All of these things drive artists and creatives, at times to fall into depressive mind states and situations. The feeling of maintaining one’s own perceived “hype” and/or success, or the keeping up of appearances to maintain a status, which can become ultimately a liability to the artist and/or creative.
Not to mention, the elusive RESPECT from fellow artists and creatives, who could be considered peers? But let’s be honest, Hip-Hop/Rap is a blood sport!! Verdict gives us the realness from a black man’s perspective who is taking control of his life and career.
Most artists are spewing clickbait, and/or more concerned with the superficial “comments,” “hearts,” “likes,” “shares,” and/or “views.” Verdict, on this project is openly talking about not being immune to these divisive things as well. At the same time, he is doing the handy work of dispelling what it means to be an emcee and lyricist in Detroit and beyond. He is an artist, creating music aka stereo therapy!!
KEEP Livin, is not just his manifesto but a war cry to all the refugees of the culture who’ve dealt with similar issues and circumstances. KEEP Livin is only 8 cuts! There are some bangers, conscious tracks, introspection, and pretty much something to satisfy any type of listener. This isn’t your regular degular!!!
I do not believe he did this in vain. Maturity is woven into the lyrics and songwriting. It is heartfelt throughout the project and it is refreshing!!! Keep Livin should surpass Verdict’s past records “Feelings” and “Scenario” Feat. Neisha Neshae, as they both gained some radio successes and premiered on MTV. KEEP Livin is another strong entry into his musical catalogue behind local favorite – College Ain’t for Everybody.
With KEEP Livin the title track, Verdict raps about short term retirement and re-igniting his creativity for music. You feel the hunger pains and growth throughout the track, the same can be said for the “come up story” you hear on the Eminem sampled Don’t Lose Yourself. Verdict is beaming with vigor.
Applause to the Production team. They took creative risks and it’s paying big dividends throughout this project. Quarter Pound Music did most of the heavy lifting on this project with 6 of the 8 tracks to his credit. The Snap! song “The Power” sampled on Verdict’s Hectic will definitely catch you off guard. On JODY, the way Quarter Pound Music flipped 2 Pac’s “Hail Mary” was solid too!!
Verdict refuses to dumb down his content to the mumble rap. What You Know has single potential. It’s a summer time vibe that’s sure to be heard cranking out plenty of whips cruising down Jefferson Ave to Belle Isle this summer. On July 19, which closes the project combining Mary J. Blige and Roy Ayers’ brings everything back home for the listener.
With all of this content, Verdict has the talent, but I don’t think he has fully found his voice or place within the music community of Detroit and beyond. Maybe, his music is bigger than the city? But, at any rate, with KEEP Livin, he is definitely headed in the right direction.
Rise up, Gunston and E. McNichols!!!
Benofficial Music Certified!!
Willy J Peso x Neisha Neshae – 12 Plants
“My Money” New Visual from Stretch Money
Myles Garrett (Feat. Bang Belushi, Jypsy, Isaac Castor & Ketch P) Prod By Foul Mouth
Aztek The Barfly “Playing With Fire” Prod By Aztek The Barfly
“MOVE DIFFERENT” Travis Slang
Neisha Neshae “Double Up” Lyric Video
Fatt Father “Dreamin” ft. Quelle Chris and Finale Audio
Milwaukee checks in! Maal Himself – “Safe” Check out the visual
A Minus Ft Nolan The Ninja “Uncut” video Prod By Nolan The Ninja
“What Love” Feat Yakgod Drizz & Low Benz Prod by Wil Black
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