featured REVIEW

One Dae Daes & Times Coalmine Records • 2013

Battle rappers. Luckily they still exist. Take One Dae for instance: Boston bred, but schooled in the New York battle scene. Although his name is far from household, Dae’s a rapper with a history. In the late 90’s, he was featured in The Source. The article was titled ‘The Death Of Battle Rap’. But One Day kept battling against rap battle's death. One thing that battle rappers have in common though, is that releasing solo albums takes some time. External issues prevented One Dae to release his debut. And so he found himself battling against his album being shelved.

Whilst working on the record since 2007, Dae managed to gather an impressive guest list: Illmind! Marco Polo! M-Phazes! And on the mic: Sean P! Evidence! C Rayz Walz!. Who would not like to release an album with such features?

Besides the guests, even more important is to ask yourself: 'If I was a label manager, why would I release this record?' Is it his flair? The confidence? His steady flow?

Cool and charisma colour the tracks on this record. Dae knows how to shape a song (concept and choruses) and seems relaxed among household names. On the Ayatollah-produced title track for instance, where the interaction with C Rayz Walz is enthusing.

Not only does the album contain battle raps and bragadocio: with plenty of end rhymes, stressing the last vowel of of every phrase, One Day creates stories, much like –just to namedrop another Brooklynite- Masta Ace. It's a style that fits well with any given beat. Whether it’s Marco Polo's boombap, Illmind’s claps, or PAWS’ melodic melancholia.

Weaknesses? The album lacks some cohesiveness. On a few tracks One Dae sounds more 'fuck-you', apathic even, than on others. Especially in the second half of the album: ‘Take A Look Around' sounds more bitter than the rest.

But as he states: 'Daes & Times' is 'the prequel to my career.' His debut is finally out, now he can go ahead. You might've forgotten him by next week, but you'll come across Dae’s name and music in the future again. Because after all, he knows how to battle.

POSTED ON 01|09|2014 by cpf

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