Suffocating and inescapable. Surprisingly melodic and yet entirely focused on the intensity of its lyrical dispatches. There’s nothing but streamlined efficiency behind the venomous lash of DawgGoneDavis’ new single “Clean Slate,” and for those who have been fans of her previous work, a renewed sense of integrity on the part of its composer.
There are a lot of interesting things happening in Midwestern hip-hop at the moment, but listeners who are keen on the hardcore indie underground know that there’s no one quite like DGD, whose sound has been toeing the line between the absurd and the sort of gold alternative music has been lacking in the past decade. Her signature style is put on overdrive for this performance, and in comparison to what I had a feeling I was going to hear and what “Clean Slate” actually consists of, she put down a much more theatrical piece than I expected. Coming out of 2020, we’re all desperate for a little bit of normalcy again, and somehow, that’s exactly what this tried and true player is doing in her latest release.
The mix here, as we should all have anticipated, is crisp and integral to the multilayered style DawgGoneDavis fans have come to adore over the past few years. Chago is still on the board and working to emphasize his singer’s alternative influences less through bells and whistles and more via her natural skill as a vocalist. Her flow is broken up to produce more tension in this track, but this works as it leaves her non-reliant on the bassline to craft the rhythm of the music. DGD works the percussion into a corner, giving us a Faith No More-style groove that pummels us into the dust every time we’re met with the chorus and its jagged hook. If all of this sounds liberally faceted with physicality, I’m describing “Clean Slate” perfectly; frankly, it’s one of the more aggressive alternative rap tracks I’ve listened to in the past six months. The goal is clear no matter how you break the piece down – this is one rapper who isn’t about to start retreating into the arms of minimalism and surreal conceptualism over going as hard as she can in the next chapter of her career.
Big grooves and killer verses for hip-hop fans young and old alike await anyone who gives “Clean Slate” a listen this season, and though DawgGoneDavis’ music is admittedly tailored more to the serious rap enthusiast than it is an occasional listener, her work is still something worth checking out if you’re in the mood for pop unfiltered of humility. Something tells me that a lot of people who weren’t already into her music are going to find this latest release particularly extraordinary not only for its humorous elements, but for its unfanciful expression of self-awareness as well. It’s difficult to find an artist who can balance introspective observations with relatable poeticisms, and DGD just happens to be one of the few players in her scene capable of doing all that and telling a smart joke now and again.
The music of Dawg Gone Davis has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com