Da Wolf – D.O.P.E. – Album Review
Killer beats and murderous melodies highlight original composition, setting Da Wolf apart from the fakes and phonies in today’s rap scene. On her album D.O.P.E. the lyrics expose how passionate this artist is about what she does and where she comes from. Da Wolf’s unique flow demands attention and won’t let your ears go until she’s finished with them.
Released on October 1, 2015, D.O.P.E. stands for Dreamz On Pivotal Evolution and it is a righteous outcry of sui generis aggression by Da Wolf. Produced by Ti3Rizzy, NostalgikMusik and Stylez-T with features from Essence Cartoon and Navi, the sound has been spawned from the dirty dealing and double-crossing of the government ridden streets in Washington, D.C. Just like Weezer won the world’s attention with their brand of geek-rock, Da Wolf is going to magnetize the minds of the masses with her comic infused lyrics.
“The Beginning” starts the album off strong with a wolf howl followed by an epic beat and Da Wolf spitting fire. “Dreamz” is a lighter beat, good for cruisin’ down the block with your sunglasses on. The third track “Challenging Industry” highlights everything that is cool about Da Wolf. It starts as a conversation in the studio; a throwback to all the OG rhymers like Biggie, Snoop, N.W.A., and then the producer interrupts Da Wolf in the middle of her verse to give her wack instructions on how to be more likeable and commercial. Needless to say she disagrees and buddy learns the hard way what happens when you try to cage an animal. Da Wolf makes it clear that she is not comparable to acts like Lil’ Kim or Iggy Azalea, gaining favour through wit rather than sex. The album starts to get dark and heavy again with “Mind State” and reaches a new level of intensity with the track “Beast”. “Beast” is that sound in your head that tells you to keep drinking at a party when you’re already dancing on the tables. “Inspiration” is an interlude compilation of sound clips featuring words of wisdom from some old school media. “Lost Memories” is all about that vocal hook, contrasting Da Wolf’s growl. The track ends in a culmination of sounds creating a denouement electronica. The track “Broken” delves into the deep darkness of the mind of a tortured artist, peppered with hopeful words of motivation. “Spirit (Breathe)” is low-key, groovy music, the kind you bob your shoulders and pack your bowl to. “Freedom” has an uplifting, inspirational sound, shouting out to everyone who fights on a day-to-day basis for their own reputation and the freedom to be themselves. The final track “Who R U” is an exposition of Da Wolf’s influences and mentality towards life, a perfect summary of D.O.P.E.
While the flow is undoubtedly tight, sometimes the transitions within the songs between verses to choruses are a bit rocky. Ultimately the recording quality and production is far from perfect but it is a great start and it will be interesting to see where Da Wolf goes from here. The album is a spectrum of hip hop: Buoyant catchy beats to nod along for those who enjoy the lighter side, contrasting with a transition to heavy street and menacing underground vibes. With wordplays on Pokemon, DC, Marvel, and I think I heard some Naruto clips in there too, I never thought I would feel so cool for catching random manga references. Overall it is evident that Da Wolf is passionate about what she does as her emotion and character shine through the entire album. Beware of this dawg!
Griffin J. Elliot