Hip Hop Album Reviews (09/2017)

Dog Days of August

DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

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An album by E-Dub

Review presented by Warren Peace

Listen to “Dog Days of August” by E-Dub

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact The Write Reviews.


THE INTRO

E-Dub is no stranger to The Write Reviews. His previous album, Overrated and Undereducated, was reviewed on the website in June of 2015. Overrated and Undereducated earned E-Dub several nominations at The Write Awards in April of 2016, as well as nominations at the SCM Awards. E-Dub was also named a winner at both of the award ceremonies, finally bringing some of the recognition E-Dub deserves to the emcee. Here we are, two years later, with E-Dub’s latest release titled Dog Days of August. Will the western Kentucky emcee be able to turn heads again, or has he passed his pinnacle? The answer to that question will come soon enough…


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THE ALBUM

1- Addicted

Well damn, E-Dub smacks one out of the park to kick off Dog Days of August. An instrumental with a slow tempo starts off the sound selection. E-Dub opens with a simple hook that will saturate with listeners. The flow is molded to perfection, making use of multiple syllable rhyme schemes and well-timed switch ups. E-Dub captures quite a bit within his lyrics, developing a blueprint of his life and outlines his career as an artist to an extent. While he touches on a wide array of topics, E-Dub finds a way to tie everything together nicely. “Addicted” easily earns a nod to the Featured Tracks.

2- Dreams feat. Nick Sheriff

From the very beginning it is obvious that “Dreams” will be appealing to people of all ages. “Dreams” has a hook that will catch like wildfire. E-Dub blazes through bars filled with images of how he pictures being very successful in the music business while admitting to struggling so far in life. Nick Sherrif slides in on the last verse of “Dreams”, matching E-Dub’s charisma behind the microphone while delivering an equally smooth flow. Sherrif’s verse seems to take aim at rappers who act like they’re successful and know what they’re doing but really haven’t proven anything or gotten anywhere with their careers. He touches on the main idea behind E-Dub’s bars as well. Both artists come together really well on “Dreams”, locking in the second Featured Track in as many songs for the album thus far.

3- Last Forever feat. Taylor James

“Last Forever” is a great follow-up to “Dreams”. E-Dub presents a fluid flow stacked with multiple syllable rhyme schemes and effortless transitions when changing the patterns of those schemes. He’s also able to snatch up the audience’s attention with that presentation. Taylor James brings the chorus with some southern soul in his voice. This one just falls short of hitting the Featured….ah hell, who am I kidding? Add another notch to the Featured Tracks’ belt.

4- Remember Me feat. Swoop of The Criminal Network

The first instrumental with a hype feel and hype-inducing pace. Opening with a well written hook that’s just as catchy as any E-Dub has ever delivered. The subject matter has been heard before by hip hop heads, but hitting skip on that basis alone would be a mistake. E-Dub maintains a fantastic flow, high energy delivery, and lyrics that are penned on point. A big surprise on “Remember Me”, and perhaps on the entire album for me personally, is the featured verse from Swoop of The Criminal Network. You have to remember, I have been listening to most of the local artists on this album since the day they began spitting rhymes. Swoop is one of the few who started spitting before I moved to this area nearly a decade ago and, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t stand 98% of the songs he had dropped by that time. No hate, but my opinion was that Swoop would never be an artist that would ever even have a verse on a track in my regular playlist. Everything needed work. Now, nine years later, I’m listening to this track and I am astounded by his growth as an artist, an emcee, and a man. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance pay off, and Swoop proves this by landed a verse in a song that will be in my personal playlist. Needless to say, the fourth Featured Track for Dog Days of August has been established.

5- Cut The Lights Off feat. Erin Porter

Quite possibly the most powerful song of E Dub’s career, “Cut The Lights Off” instantly became my all-time favorite track from his catalog the first time I heard it. The mystery built into the first two verses of this story unfolds in gripping fashion as E-Dub gives the audience just enough information to keep them wanting more. Then E-Dub drops a third verse that ties everything together masterfully. Add a catchy hook, fluid flow, and suspenseful delivery to the mix and the result is a classic track that covers every base. Featured Track number five, for sure.

6- Same League feat. Benedict and Nova D

There are bound to be a few who disagree with my thoughts on this track, but I’m willing to bet the majority will agree- this is the first track of the album likely to be skipped over. While E-Dub continues a stellar performance with an addicting chorus and a military-march, drill-style delivery on a show-stealing second verse, the featured verses from Benedict and Nova D leave a lot to be desired. Not only are they an obvious level or two below E-Dub in terms of lyrics and flow, Benedict’s verse gives off a “just rappin’ to rap” impression while a couple of Nova D’s lines are likely to have people saying “huh?”. This track could have used some revisions.

7- Go Crazy feat. Matt Da Tatt

Here comes one of the clubs and house parties. The audience will want to move to the music immediately. After E-Dub hits the track with a hook that holds true to the definition of the word, Matt Da Tatt drops a pretty smooth flow with an energetic delivery that stays focused on bringing the mood of the hook to life. E-Dub spits a round of bars that eclipses yet another featured verse. His flow is as smooth as a Tim Hardaway crossover dribble. Although this verse is my last favorite from E-Dub on the album thus far, don’t think for a second that he didn’t come correct on the track. Actually, I just feel he could have implemented a little more lyricism or something to provide another layer of depth to his bars. Consider those words to be nitpicking though, because “Go Crazy” is a solid addition to Dog Days of August.

8- Slippin’ feat. Lowkey

E-Dub opens this track with a verse that falls in line with my suggestion on the previous song. Metaphors add dexterity to his charismatic delivery and timely flow. Again, E-Dub presents a contagious hook that people are bound to be singing along with before the end of the track. Lowkey, an artist I haven’t heard on a track until now, brings a featured verse that’s more on par with E-Dub than the most that have been presented previously. His rhyme schemes are entertaining and pretty unpredictable, yet Lowkey doesn’t miss a step in his flow or delivery. “Slippin'” grabs another Featured Track slot, pushing Dogs Days of August back up a notch.

9- Home Team

E-Dub salutes the people who have been loyal and true to him during the trials and tribulations of life. Most wouldn’t know this, but a few of the people E-Dub speaks about on this track are actually featured on this album. Most of the people listening to this track will be able to relate to the lyrics, and everyone should be able to move to the rhythm in the delivery from E-Dub blended with the instrumental. Featured Track? Yes. Yes it is.

10- When The Tables Turn feat. Erin Porter

The track opens with a round from the hook before E-Dub begins dropping bars about a relationship gone wrong. The storytelling, perhaps E-Dub’s best attribute as an emcee, plays out with each person’s perspective being presented through separate verses. For the first time on the album, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the hook. As a whole, it’s a little too much highs for me, almost to the point of being uncomfortable to listen to at a high volume. I also feel like the wording of the hook sounds a little forced, which pulls the emotions out of the lyrics for me. Despite the hook, E-Dub delivers a solid track that targets the emotions of both men and women.

11- First Time

Now that I think about it, I’m surprised I haven’t heard more emcees drop a track with similar subject manner. Not only does E-Dub get credit for bringing the originality, he nails the verses with a confident delivery and a smooth flow while letting his lyrics move everything right along. “First Time” is likely going to be one of those tracks that listeners will like a lot or skip over. I don’t see how anyone could say “First Time” is anything less than a solid addition to the album, though.

12- Lazy Crazy Scripted Life

I really enjoy it when E-Dub builds a track around subject matter that is rarely touched upon by emcees. Not only is it refreshing to hear something different than the ‘typical’ hip hop song, but E-Dub almost always delivers these tracks in entertaining fashion. “Lazy Crazy Scripted Life” has a title that makes guessing the track’s topic easy, but I doubt anyone would be to guess how the song is presented to the audience. With an approach that could be considered light-hearted, E-Dub tackles some issues that should be taken seriously. Hopefully the presentation gets people to lock in and listen, because this is a song that gives the audience a chance to learn something. Dog Days of August adds to the number of Featured Tracks with this one.

13- Don’t Know Me

“Cut The Lights Off” isn’t the only track on this album that jumped on my list of favorote songs from E-Dub after the first listen; “Don’t Know Me” was able to achieve the same result. No names are ever mentioned (probably because most people wouldn’t know who E-Dub was targeting and he felt there was no need to bring anymore attention to anyone already starving for it), but whoever the song is directed toward will know it’s meant for them whenever they hear it. Diss tracks are not the easiest for listeners to relate with, but that won’t be the case here. I could describe the track, but this is one of those songs that is best left to speak for itself. Nothing else to say really, except this is another song that should be placed on the Featured Tracks list.

14- F*ck Up

E-Dub continues his string of passionate personal tracks with “F*ck Up”. Interesting sidenote: The title of the track is never mentioned during the course of the song. E-Dub explains his experiences in his quest for sel-identity. Following in the footsteps of the cool kids never seemed like it was the path meant for him, and using drugs to get past any feelings he didn’t want to face would only be beneficial for a short time before landing him back at square one. That’s when he decided he needed to make his own lane to get where he wanted to be in life. This song could be an inspirational push for anyone finding themselves dealing with similar feelings, and is easily one of the most emotional tracks heard on Dog Days of August. Another one gets added to the Featured Tracks list.

15- Low (Ayo) feat. Taylor Graves

“Low (Ayo)” is a perfect track to follow “F*ck Up”. Continuing the topic of discussion, to an extent, E-Dub brings in some outside assistance this time around. Taylor Graves, formerly known as T-WIL, laces the hook with well executed vocals and a voice that anyone should be able to appreciate. E-Dub’s flow and delivery are as effective as ever. The combination of E-Dub and Taylor Graves has never been a disappointment for me, and with “Low (Ayo)” joining the Featured Tracks for Dog Days of August, I’m sure you can tell they formed a winning team once again with this one.

16- Dog Days

“Dog Days” is the third track on this album to jump onto my top five all-time favorite tracks from E-Dub, which says a lot when considering the fact that I have liked 90% of the songs I have heard from him. “Dog Days” is a great follow-up track for “F*ck Up” and “Low (Ayo)”, not to mention it’s a clutch closer for the album as a whole. This one is inspiring and motivational. E-Dub maintains his smooth flow, passionate delivery, and brings in another catchy hook one more time before ending the album with its last Featured Track.


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FEATURED TRACKS

Addicted, Dreams, Last Forever, Remember Me, Cut The Lights Off, Slippin’, Home Team, Lazy Crazy Scripted Life, Don’t Know Me, F*ck Up, Low (Ayo), and Dog Days


THE WRITE UP

In all honesty, I feel like this album could fill the slight cracks Overrated and Undereducated had, or vice versa. Both are great albums, there’s no denying that,but I feel both fall just short of being labeled underground classics. There is something for everyone on Dog Days of August, yet a couple of areas of the album could use some polishing. E-Dub’s storytelling ability is a huge plus for him, and he knows it. His songs follow the underlying theme of the album very well, showcasing his true ability as a writer, while his flow and delivery have a cadence that ride well with the beat, showcasing his talents as an emcee. With this collection of tracks, I feel E-Dub is locking himself in as one of the best in the underground right now. Literally. This guy should really have more of a following, and you don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to the tracks and decide yourself.


STAR STATUS

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

(4.5 out of 5 stars)


Check out more great stuff at The Write Reviews!

Overrated and Undereducated

Artist of the Month- June 2015

RETURN TO REVIEWS

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

FEATURED EMCEES

THE INTERVIEWS


E-Dub can be found on Facebook!

Warren Peace would like you to join him on Facebook and Twitter!

The Write Reviews welcomes all comments, concerns, and questions on Facebook and Twitter!

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