An album by Matt Da Tatt
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to Collected Thoughts by Matt Da Tatt
The First time I heard Matt Da Tart, who hails from Bowling Green in Kentucky, was as a featured on an old E-Dub album. I enjoyed how he conveyed his emotion through his lyrics. When I discovered Matt Da Tatt had released Collected Thoughts, I threw him on the review list to see what he’s got in him and break down this seventeen track mixtape.
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1- All These Thoughts feat. Nova D
I like the instrumental, it has a rhythm that’s easy to bounce with and adds some flavor for listeners with breaks and subtle switches within the sound. I enjoy how the track opens up, but at the end of the first two lines it is obvious that breathing was cut from the mixdown because it sounds like the last word of each line is cut short. The verses are solid, full of life struggles and overcoming childhood issues. The one area that kills this track, though, is the chorus. The overlapping is horrible,making the words hard to understand and completely deterring from the clean sound of the verses. That kind of dramatic difference is going to throw the listener off. A stronger, or one of the strongest, track would be my recommendation for the first song of any future albums. It is crucial because the artist depends on the first song to rope the audience and pull them in, especially in this day and age where albums are constantly posted on social media. You would be surprised how many people wont listen to any more songs off an album if they hear the first one and do not like it.
2- Forced To Sell Drugs feat. E-Dub
This is a solid beat with a slower, steady rhythm and some fresh sounds within the instrumental. The track opens up with some singing that seems to be blended with the beat, which is good because it helps create the mood from the start. Within the verses, Matt Da Tatt has straightforward lyrics without many metaphors, multiple syllable rhymes to help the flow retain a smooth sound to the lyrics, or wordplay. Matt Da Tatt does do a great job with his imagery, painting a picture for his audience. The content of the verses has a lot of emotional leverage and is bound to be relatable to many listeners. E-Dub takes over on the last verse, continuing the angle Matt Da Tatt attacked the track, but incorporates a couple metaphors and has a bit of a smoother delivery. A pretty good song, Forced To Sell Drugs is headed in more of the right direction.
3- Elevated feat. Nova D and E-Dub
So far, so good with the instrumentals. More of an intense, rapid rhythm within the beat, there shouldn’t have any problems getting the audience to move to the music. The track kicks off with the chorus, which is catchy and adds another level of appeal to the beat. Matt Da Tatt keeps a decent flow here, but it is also easy to hear some lines are more loaded with syllables than other, which can make it very difficult to match up the lines to flow perfectly and always sound rushed. The last line is clever but there’s no need for the repeat. If a listener only likes one line in a song, you lose your replay value by repeating lines. His content is on point, though switching styles from an in your face approach to a battle mode to metaphor-riddled blended with wordplay will help keep listeners entertained. Nova D has the second verse, and immediately there is an obvious lack of bass in his voice. Nova’s flow is on point, but there is a lot of improvement to be made for the man claiming the throne on this track. Multiple syllable rhymes are likely to be the easiest for Nova to grasp and incorporate in his flow. I have a feeling Nova is proud of lines like “Eating rappers for food” since he claims the throne, yet I’m left wondering what else could you eat rappers for? Drinks? Obviously if you’re eating rappers then rappers are food. The lines are not even as close to being as clever as Nova seems to think. “Shining so bright like the morning sunlight” is another example. Nova might feel like I’m picking on him, and that’s fine, because I am. Anyone who claims the throne is saying their the best at spitting rhymes, yet the previous quote is something anyone can hear in their local elementary school. E-Dub jumps on the third verse and brings the track home on a harder note, though the section where he spits double time could have been clearer for the audience. I also noticed this track and the previous two have an almost identical format with the opening/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus close. Switching this up during the course of an album will help to keep tracks from sounding redundant to the audience. Despite the picking and prodding done to help the artists see how they can improve, Elevated is a pretty solid track in the Collected Thoughts catalog.
4- Lost by E-Dub feat. Matt Da Tatt and T-WIL
I enjoy the chorus, which sets the tone to start off the track. E-Dub has the first verse and goes into it speaking from the heart about how he isn’t going to let the obstacles and negative circumstances keep him from going after his dreams. The second verse continues where the first verse left off, with E-Dub keeping his flow on point and maintaining a great presence on the microphone. And the third verse stays the course without sacrificing any content or losing the rhythm of the flow. Lost will be on the Featured Tracks.
5- Let’s Talk feat. Ray Ray Lynchman and Tinn Man
I really like the beat and overall feel of this track. The chorus is what starts everything off and does a great job delivering the mood behind the music. Matt Da Tatt spits quick on the first verse, speaking about the feelings he has for his child(ren)’s mother. Ray Ray Lynchman sticks to the topic and picks up where Matt Da Tatt leaves off, a smooth transition between style and flow. Not a really lyrical track, this one doesn’t need anything more than it has to connect and catch on with nearly anyone who listens to it. Tinn Man wraps everything up with the final verse, also keeping everything in line with the previous emcees, connecting with the audience while keeping it real with his lyrics. Let’s Talk easily hits the Featured Tracks list.
6- Without You feat. Nova D and Benedict
A slower beat bringing a deep emotional feel to it is the music behind Without You. Nova D starts out with a synthesized chorus that has more of an R&B vibe. Referring to a split between him and his baby mama, the content here is completely contradictory to Let’s Talk. I like the emotion conveyed through the lyrics of this track, but nothing really stands out to me here. Benedict matches Matt Da Tatt’s verse on nearly every level. Also, the tags on the beat in the middle of someone delivering lyrics is simply annoying. Overall Without You is a solid addition to Collected Thoughts and will be relatable to many listeners.
Keeping the pace on the slower side, Matt Da Tatt begins the track with another synthesized chorus. There are two things I have to say about synthesizing vocals on a chorus; One, T-Pain is the only person that makes it work, in my opinion. Two, everyone else that does it is either insecure about their singing ability or simply cannot sing. The content here is about falling for a female and wanting to be with her, kind of giving a back and forth feeling between the last few tracks. Nothing really stands out for me on this track either besides the strong emotional lyrics and the fact that people will be able to relate to the words.
8- God’s Mercy
Continuing the roller coaster ride of emotions is God’s Mercy, another track with a slower style instrumental behind the music. Matt Da Tatt lets his emotions be the power behind his lyrics on this track. I feel like the chorus could have come through a little stronger, but that’s being picky. The verses here are not very lyrical, but the are very poetic. Maybe including some metaphors on a track like this would help develop things a little more. Despite what I have said I would have liked to hear on the track, God’s Mercy is a great addition to the mix tape.
9- Never Let Go
Another slower paced beat, Never Let Go is focused around Matt Da Tatt’s children and their mother. The first verse is aimed more for the youngsters while the second is aimed more at the mother. The chorus is catchy and I like the sound of it, but feel the roughness in the approach would be suited for something else. It’s just that this is mostly geared towards the children, which would give you the impression that a softer approach would be better. Also, by this point in the album, Im feeling Matt Da Tatt might want to try increasing his vocabulary, because Im catching a lot of the same phrases and repeating of words in back to back lines. Never Let Go is another solid addition.
10- Fancy remix feat. E-Dub
Oh hell no, they did a remix to Fancy?! I can’t lie, I do like this beat, but after hearing it so many times on the radio, it’s very weird to hear males voices over the track. E-Dub opens everything up with a lyrical verse with some punch lines, self hype lines, and bounce to the delivery. The chorus cracked me up, but also hit home with me since I’m from Kentucky. Matt Da Tatt delivers his most lyrical verse thus far on the album, impressing me with his punchlines and metaphors dropped within a smooth flow. Honestly, I thought this track was going to be laughable. The end result? A Featured Track slot.
11- Droppin These Hits feat. Adam Bomb and Nova D
This beat has a bit of an Outkast vibe to it. Matt Da Tatt opens the chorus with a catchy chorus that will help push the audience to bounce with the beat. Adam Bomb has a great presence on the microphone and a solid flow with a unique sound to his voice. Matt Da Tatt has the second verse, blending some in your face lyrics but falling off the lyrical edge he brought with the last song. I would’ve really liked him to approach this verse like he did in the Fancy remix. Nova D is on the final verse and his voice sounds a lot less high-pitched than it did earlier in the album, which helps to hear his lyrics clearer and gives him more presence on the microphone. Droppin’ These Hits is another solid addition to Collected Thoughts, but would’ve really been set on fire with a few harder punchlines brought by the emcees.
12- My Grind feat. E-Dub and Brother Ham
This beat is bound to get some people moving, and kicks off with E-Dub on the catchy chorus that puts the song into perspective for the audience immediately. Brother Ham has a very distinguished voice that easily stands out on the track as he spits the first verse, filled with lyrics that play on the topic of the track. None of his lines really stick out to me, with phrases like “Like Baskin Robbins, I got your flavor” causing me to wonder where some of the creativity and originality comes from. I know everyone has heard that exact phrase, or something very similar, at some point during their middle school days. Matt Da Tatt has yet another straightforward verse that includes repeating a few phrases at the end of his lines and missed attempts at metaphors such as “pitching for a touchdown”, which is bound to make some listeners wonder what sport he’s playing. The beat and chorus alone set this track up to be something special, but the verses were a let down, in my opinion.
13- Fake Fucks feat. Swoop of TCN and E-Dub
This is a cool beat, with a touch of intensity and a steady, solid rhythm for the audience to vibe with. The chorus is destined to get stuck in the heads of listeners. Although I am not particularly a fan, I’m not completely against the approach or delivery of the hook. Matt Da Tatt aims his verse at someone he apparently has a direct conflict with. While he delivers lines that are centered around the issue and clearly point at someone in particular, I feel Matt Da Tatt could have done a little more with his delivery (doesn’t seem to put the emotion into it that he could have), stayed away from repeating phrases, and brought more jaw-dropping lines like the one referring to his girl going after his opponents’ chick if they ever cross of paths. Swoop of TCN has a bit of a quieter sound on the track and follows a pretty close formula to Matt Da Tatt’s as far as lyrics are concerned. E-Dub wraps up the song with the third verse, bringing a little more flavor in his delivery and more of a lyrical edge to his lyrics. Fake Fucks will be relatable to some people, the chorus modeled after a children’s nursery rhyme is bound to catch on with some listeners, but overall I feel this track could have brought more to the table.
14- Rotation feat. Nova D and E-Dub
This beat has a bit of a futuristic feel to it, in my opinion, and I really like the pace behind it. The chorus is one I am not a fan of, simply because the word ‘rotation’ seems to take over the whole song by the time everything is all said and done. Nova D does well in his delivery on the chorus. For his third feature on the album, this song is where Nova D comes through the speakers the best. Nova is also on the first verse, spitting about Mary Jane in nearly every line. There is so much wordplay that can be done on marijuana, it really isn’t funny, yet there is hardly any wordplay throughout this song. Nova laces straightforward lyrics in most of his verse, adding a couple similes along the way. Matt Da Tatt takes over on the second verse, picking up where No.va D left off except he adds a few more clever lines than Nova and ties in some double time spitting to help keep things interesting. E-Dub has the hottest verse on the song, tying in metaphors, a couple of punch lines, and solid similes. All in all, Rotation is a solid track on Collected Thoughts that a lot of people will enjoy.
15- Airplane feat. Nova D and E-Dub
Another song from the State Of Mind album, this is one of my favorite songs that I have heard Matt Da Tatt spit on. First off, the beat is fantastic. Great rhythm, hitting hard with the bass, and will have no problem getting anyone to move along to the music. The chorus is catchy, collectively puts the song in perspective, and is delivered very well over the beat. Nova D has the first verse here, and it sounds like he takes a step backward in the mixing down of his vocals to the beat when compared with how he sounds on the previous track. Granted, this is due to these tracks being recording at completely different times, but a first time listener to this album would never know that. The Mary Jane topic is continued here, and Nova D actually puts some metaphors and wordplay into his verse here, though it really is hard to hear him sometimes on the track. E-Dub has the second verse here and steps up the track lyrically while having good microphone presence throughout the verse, except for the couple of lines he slows down and sings. Matt Da Tatt finishes out the song with the third verse, but spits the simplest verse of the three and would probably benefit from having his vocals mixed down to the beat again because it is really hard to understand every word spit in double time due to the clarity being off. Regardless, I like this track so much it will be included on the Featured Tracks.
16- Why Oh Why feat. Nova D and E-Dub
The music slows down on Why Oh Why, with a calm and relaxed vibe brought to the audience. The chorus starts things off on this song. The blending of the vocals makes it a little difficult to understand all the words clearly, but this gets better with the following repeats of the hook. Matt Da Tatt comes through on the first verse for the audience, but delivers a verse that mostly consists of hyping up his team, which does really seem to fit with the lyrics of the chorus to me. Nova D has the second verse and actually sticks more to the topic and mood created by the chorus, bringing some real feel lyrics speaking about fighting the struggle and doubt of being succession that others have. E-Dub picks up exactly where Nova leaves off, adding a little bit more imagery within his words. Why Oh Why is a very good addition to the Collected Thoughts album and just barely falls short of making the Featured Tracks list.
17- Thank You feat. E-Dub
For the final track of Collected Thoughts we have one of the very few hip hop songs I have heard in my lifetime that actually thanks the people who have shown support and didn’t give up on Matt Da Tatt and Mostly Paper’s artists. Everything opens up with a chorus that is a bit on the catchy side and does a great job putting the track in perspective for the listeners. Matt Da Tatt spits a real feel first verse that will be felt by the audience based on his emotional delivery alone. E-Dub holds it down on the second verse, continuing where Matt Da Tatt left off but from his own point of view and speaking on his own personal struggles. The album wraps up with one more round on the chorus, and one more track that lands on the Featured Tracks.
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Lost, Let’s Talk, Fancy remix, Airplane, and Thank You
The Write Up
There are several areas any artist can work on to approve their craft, and Collected Thoughts has a few good examples. If taken in a positive way, this advice can help the artist find their audience, themselves on the track, and what works for them and what doesn’t. For one, repeating lines more than once might be okay every once in a blue moon, but when it is done on every other song the listeners begin to feel like the artist thinks they are too stupid to understand it the first time. Anyone can argue with that statement all they want, but if you take an anonymous poll, I’m positive of what the results will reveal. Matt Da Tatt is continuing to improve, which means there is nowhere to go but up. Matt Da Tatt has his flow down pat, but there is always room for improvement. I would recommend working on multiple syllable rhyme schemes and incorporating more of those in your flow (I am NOT saying an artist should constantly use multi’s, but any time an artist does, it changes their flow for the good and makes a world off difference). I want to say the overall vibe and approach for Collected Thoughts seems like it would be more of an LP than a mix tape, with all of the personal songs and how the middle of the album, the meat and backbone of any record, is back to back to back to back to back tracks of personal issues and emotional lyrics. That’s a lot of back to backs. Other than the issues pointed out in the feedback on the tracks, the only way to truly judge this is by asking myself if Matt Da Tart needed to get this first album under his belt so he can move on to the next, and the answer is yes. I will be waiting for the next one to drop and will be listening for Matt Da Tatt’s areas of improvement, because Collected Thoughts clearly shows the artist has talent, and I have no doubt it will shine through as he develops as an artist.
(2.5 out of 5 stars)
Matt Da Tatt was selected to be one of our Featured Emcees!
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