You’ve got to admire a man who calls himself God, and like the big man upstairs DukeDaGod is a creator. Viewing Duke as an omnipotent force is the best way to clear up any confusion over the new album DukeDaGod Presents – Dipset: More Than Music, Vol. 2. Duke is an A&R executive for Diplomat Records; he’s the man that works behind the scenes to keep the Dipset crew rollin’. That means he doesn’t rap, he doesn’t sing, and he doesn’t produce. The only time his voice appears on the album is during interludes and … ...Read the full album review
DJBooth Album Review
You’ve got to admire a man who calls himself God, and like the big man upstairs DukeDaGod is a creator. Viewing Duke as an omnipotent force is the best way to clear up any confusion over the new album DukeDaGod Presents – Dipset: More Than Music, Vol. 2. Duke is an A&R executive for Diplomat Records; he’s the man that works behind the scenes to keep the Dipset crew rollin’. That means he doesn’t rap, he doesn’t sing, and he doesn’t produce. The only time his voice appears on the album is during interludes and skits. So what did he do? He selected the beats, paired each track with a Dipset member(s), and then turned it into a packaged item. More Than Music, Vol. 2 is essentially a Dipset mixtape that’s being released as a feature album, and because he organized it Duke got to put his name on cover. Got it? Good, let’s move on.
A few tracks on More Than Music put nearly the entire Dipset cast on the same beat. It’s these tracks that give the album feel more like a movement instead of just a collaboration. Dipset City drops some 70’s-influenced production that brings together Santana, Jim Jones, Hell Rell, JR Writer, and 40 Cal for some classicly slow paced Dipset verses. The standout is JR Writer who displays some clever wordplay and keeps it fresh by switching up his cadence. Gladiators features essentially the same crew, minus Jones, and the smashing beat is one of the best on the album. This is a track with enough swagger to serve as a boxer’s entrance music, Duke should have slipped a copy to De La Hoya and Mayweather. The other track with a large line-up is More Than Music which features Santana, J.R. Writer and Hell Rell. The echoing beat is puncuated by sharp drops that match the MCs slow but cutting rhymes. These Dipset crew tracks show a group of artists that aren’t just labelmates, they’re family.
More Than Music features nearly every Dipset artist from the suddenly infamous Cam’ron to the relatively unknown Jha Jha. Cam (who was voted least likely to snitch in high school) has the track all to himself on Suga Duga, a bouncing track that sounds like it samples heavily from a 70’s sitcom theme song and Killa Cam gives a solid performance with some sexually charged verses. The ballin’ Jim Jones, one-third of the Dipset foundation along with Cam and Santana, joins Mel Matrix and Max B. on the hard-laced cut Anniversary. The beat is an attention grabbing mix of soaring synths and a riding hi-hat, but the lyrics are as formulaic as it gets. Jones lays down the same iced verse he seems to uses for every track, while Matrix and Max B. (the only non-Dipset rapper on the album) don’t exacly set the mic on fire. It doesn’t take much to rhyme “bullet holes in your gut,” with “all up in the butt.” There’s a thousand dope ways to tell someone you’re going to shoot them, just ask B.I.G., but Anniversary manages to avoid them all.
At one point on More Than Music 40 Cal claims that if hip-hop is dead, than Dipset’s the resurrection. Others may point out that albums put out by businessman with no musical ability are what killed hip-hop in the first place. The truth is somewhere in between. More Than Music isn’t going to go down on anyone’s classic list, but DukeDaGod has put together a solid album that falters primarily because of the sheer volume of tracks Dipset releases, it’s impossible to do that much work and keep the quality on point. The real question is if this is a movement, where is Dipset going, and do we want to follow?
Listen to More: Duke Da God Written by Nathan S.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Still More Than Music ft. Juelz Santana & Hell Rell" (2007)
Total DJ Booth Features:
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