A vortex of startling sonic depth sucks us into the hurricane of hip-hop that DawgGoneDavis is about to unleash in the title track of her new record Unemployment Blues, which is out now everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. As its name implies, there’s a bluesy swagger to the cadence of DGD’s vocal and the lumbering bassline that’s backing her, but the lyrics are the antithesis of gloom and doom. She’s got a sassy spirit that just won’t go away here, and it manages to colorize every song that joins it in this must-listen EP for the ages.
Unemployment Blues boasts the most bass-heavy mix that I’ve heard on a DGD record so far, but that doesn’t stop its material from featuring a chic, urbane production quality that allows for it to flow together really elegantly in the big picture. One song rolls right into the next on this EP, with an almost progressive air of continuation that keeps us listening to each track intently with anticipation of the oncoming punchlines. It gets cold in her hometown of Kansas City for the first few months out of the year, but never quite as chilling as the grooves that DGD dispatches in “I’m Here for Thee” and “Anthem Pandemonium.”
In a time when the genre has been severely criticized for lacking any sort of humility or self-awareness beyond the scope of politicization, hip-hop is given a bit of a social makeover in Unemployment Blues that, for my money, it really needs right now more than ever. You can’t put up a tough exterior when consuming songs like “Butt on Fiya,” “Groovin at the Louvre” and “Forever Music,” and honestly, I don’t think I would want to know the music fan that could. DGD’s music is all about having fun and throwing inhibition to the wayside, and one could only hope to find the same charismatic energy that she has on the upper half of the Billboard charts nowadays.
If DawgGoneDavis is this composed in a live setting, then her performances will come to be an event that anyone looking for an engaging good time would have to be crazy to turn down. She hasn’t expanded her professional reach to that realm yet, but judging from the caliber of the content that she cuts in this latest effort, I think that it’s well within her skillset to consider taking this act out on the road. I know that, at the very least, I would definitely make a point of being in the audience when she came through my city.
This record is the perfect place for those who have never heard DawgGoneDavis before to begin their journey towards understanding and embracing her deliciously original sound. On top of the hit single “Middle Age Woman – Hip Hop Style,” there are six equally profound entries from this lighthearted lyrical genius that will keep you coming back for more again and again, and I say that having fallen victim to Unemployment Blues’ charming stylization myself. It’s a winner in my book, and I highly recommend sampling it for yourself as soon as possible.