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Dave Ghetto Love Life? Counterflow • 2005

In a not that distant past, Dave Ghetto was better known as a member of the Nutthouze Crew, who released their debut 12” on Bobbito’s Fondle Em Records, followed by an EP in 2000 on Goodvibe Recordings. Five years later, Big Dave Geez is back in the game with his debut album 'Love Life?', a cohesive gathering of soulful, ease back-relax-songs. Ghetto's conscious lyrics dominate the album as he deals with different aspects of life; the urge to work hard in order to survive ('The Struggle'), young girls being exposed to the real world ('Hey Young World') and love situations ('Static').

Besides all the consciousness, that is well underlined due to Ghetto’s poignant narratives, there’s room for some good old-fashioned braggin. Through his hypnotic, low-down style of rappin (to be compared with a pitched-up Mos Def) he suddenly drops fierce punch-lines with an intense imagery, awakening the listener from the musical daze he was put in by the lush beats. 'My shit hits like a fist that can knock a fuckin ox out', he raps in the up-tempo 'Spread The Light', a song that breaks the slow cadence of the beginning of the album and forecasts a few bangers comin up. As there is: the excellent 9th Wonder-produced 'Young World Pt 2'; definitely the album’s highlight, 'The Game' where Illmind drops a fat bass line over irregular kicks, and the infectious 'Fly That Head' with a soothing, 'abyssian'-deep bass line that hits the hips in an instant and uplifts the mind in a minute. Besides Illmind and 9th Wonder, Tony Galvin is doin a great job in putting together some enjoyable, very smooth productions, rich in sounds and samples. His outro cut 'Ride Out Jawn' is even a loungey two-step production, only revealing the different influences this beatmaker has sucked up and keeps in mind when crafting his sound.

Feel-good music with a message and a love for the art runnin through it, while holdin that quality sound that the Counterflow artist roster stands for, 'Love Life?' is not a masterpiece but (and how else could it be with two years in the making) it has a lot of creative impulses and a very solid production. Dave Ghetto is not your favourite rapper but he might be able to turn 'Love Life?' into one of your favourite albums of 2005, certainly if you’re a fan of the Kev Browns, Jneiro Jarels and Nicolay’s of this world.


POSTED ON 03|16|2006 by cpf

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