Rebecca “DawgGone” Davis’ 2018 has found her garnering a lot of attention thanks to her unique blend of hip hop and humor and her four song EP In the Dawg Pound solidifies her status as one of the most personable performers working today. Davis, holder of a MBA and experienced IT professional, brings an unique flavor to the musical style few others can match – her previous singles, working in collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Helmutt Wolf, have gained attention thanks to the humor, but there’s a resolute determination to properly invoke the genre and a wide ranging musical curiosity coming together here to make for a potent brew.
“Forever Music” has an attention grabbing rhythm and the inclusion of brass deepens its musical riches. Davis’ slow, smoky drawl suits her lyrical content well and she definitely plays into the song’s atmosphere without ever straining for effect. The horns are particularly effective as a counterpoint to her voice and Wolf frames her efforts nicely with on point production values. The playful “Butt on Fiya” has a much less straight forward approach initially and relies more on electronic touches to make an impact, but Davis doesn’t disappoint with a near lascivious vocal. She’s obviously enjoying her turn in the spotlight with these songs and makes it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for listeners as well despite the serious undercurrent running through the song. Horns are introduced deeper into the song and add musical spice without ever taking the track off course, but it’s Davis’ strong lyrical content and the obvious relish she takes in her delivery that makes this song stand out from the pack.
If Dawg Gone Davis had entrance music, akin to a professional boxer, it’d be “Middle Aged Woman – Hip Hop Style”. Her enjoyable vocal flow harbors much of the song’s appeal, but there’s much of the same playfulness we heard from the earlier songs working their way into this track as well. The rhythms engage you physically while never sounding poorly thought out or standing as a mere vehicle for her vocal. The song’s insistent hook buries itself in listener’s memory and neatly dovetails into the arrangement for a satisfying effect. The final track of the four, “Anthem Pandemonium”, runs just a little over three and a half minutes and has every bit of the same rambunctious fun and clever rhymes defining the other tracks. The music, likewise, has a slow simmer that builds as the song progresses,
Rebecca Davis may be a long ways from the typical hip hop artist, but convincingly embraces the style and demonstrates solid writing talents far beyond the usual fare. Some may call her a gimmick performer, but she’s far from it – there’s an understated artistry in what she produces born from a clear love of music and a well steeped knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. She name checks numerous talents along the way through these four songs, but never sounds like she’s pandering for attention. Instead, Dawg Gone Davis’ In the Dawg Pound resonates like a genuine work of musical art while making you laugh and continuing her same upward trajectory in the indie music world and beyond.