When we think about hip-hop today, it is usually associated with the hottest artists right now. Musicians such as Juice WRLD, 6ix9ine, and Future fill the minds of hip-hop heads across the globe. Dawggone Davis, however, challenges this idea with a collection of heartfelt and funny tracks on this mostly spoken-word EP. While not every track is a standout one, the witty lyrical ingenuity of Davis coupled with the production of Euro instrumentalist Helmutt Wolf makes for an enjoyable comedic experience overall.
An element of thematic spoken word permeates In The Dawg Pound, illustrated clearly in the tracks “Forever Music” and “Butt on Fiya.” “Forever Music” pays homage to great musicians of the past, as far as Bach, while also delivering commentary on the commercialism of the music industry. Lyrics such as “Bach isn’t getting royalties because he’s dead” are delivered perfectly, the example given in such a deadpan way that the satire oozes from it. This feels very classical as well within the realm of hip-hop, utilizing old-school R&B 70’s and 80’s beats along with groovy jazz saxophones.
“Butt on Fiya” is a quirky and goofy song with a wavy synth beat. The song is surprisingly empowering, as it mocks her battle with breast cancer in a comedic fashion. Lyrics such as “Cancer took my boobs, now my trees don’t sway” is a soft way to engage her struggle, then dismiss with other passages such as “I got a great butt my boyfriends don’t lie.” The song is a spoken word look on how she sees her silver lining being her “great butt.” Spoken word is not the only delivery of the sound of Dawggone Davis, however.
“Middle-Aged woman, hip-hop style” is a stark contrast from the rest of the spoken-word tracks on the album. With a much smoother and groovier retro beat and a more traditional hip-hop delivery, the track makes itself known amongst the rest of the album. A satire on the current youth-centric themes of today, Davis strikes back with lines such as a spicy “I can get down with the bitches and hoes!” It feels almost like a call-out, a proclamation of the genres reach and how it can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Other lines such as such as “bump n grind at a teenage rave” followed by “feel the upper lip shaved” have such a smooth flow and casual delivery that the joke may not hit you immediately through your grooving.
Overall, this EP is not for the more serious fan of hip-hop. Despite the superb instrumental arrangements that go back to the days of early hip-hop or R&B, the spoken word style and the satirical edge it carries may not be to your liking. If you are currently into Trippie Redd or the aforementioned Juice WRLD, you may not appreciate all this record has to offer. However this records sense of undeniable charm, heart and genuine comedy make it shine through concepts that some may not be used to in Hip-hop today.