Mainstream hip-hop is dead because of a lack of both creativity and lyricism. One of the main problems with hip hop artists today is that their lyrical content has eroded into shallow, monosyllabic rhymes with no theme or tale being developed. A true lyricist incorporates a message in every song by utilizing complex, intricate multi-syllabic rhymes and rhyme schemes. In many ways, David Wade gives us a taste of what mainstream hip hop sorely lacks- lyricism. A native of Washington, Pennsylvania, Wade’s mixtape entitled Something Like A Mixtape highlights what he can do.
The first Track entitled “The Mission” gives us Wade’s manifesto on life and music. He says:
“Kingdom classics/ Neo revolutionary/ History is made by men but contributions vary/. What cha legacy? Legendary or vagrancy? / I found a sword made of ice inside a flaming tree/ Now my name is free/ I ‘m an angel king/ but still find me in the hood eating chicken wings/ Homies let the liquor sing/ Strong drink ‘s a brawler/ We had to knuckle up with the spirits of alcoholics/ I rebuke the crack rock in the name of the rock/ Pretty sure Heaven’s drums goin to bang on the block”
This is just a sampling of the type of lyricism served up by Wade. Each verse is packed with meaning and depth, and usually needs more than a couple listens to decipher it all.
David Wade gives us a taste of what mainstream hip hop sorely lacks- lyricism.
Something Like A Mixtape plays like a loose collection of songs without a real sense of an overall narrative. Instead, listeners are treated with a peek to what is on the heart of David Wade. In “Wild Soul” featuring Jasmine Tate, Wade states: “I’m hardly ever dressed/on the beat I’m so naked”; this truth is evident from his music that is real and packed with emotion. With that said, the themes that emerge throughout the mixtape include love & relationships, the reality of urban life, and the gospel. From “Music Revolution” to “Lost Ones” to “Intimate”, Wade explores these particular issues consistently; however it never gets tiring or boring to the ears as he uniquely weaves words around intricate rhyme schemes.
Wade is a master at adding original, creative flows over industry beats and making them his own. His reinterpretations of hits such as “Blue Skies” and “Marvin’s Room” never come across as imitations, which is often a weak spot for many artists who use mainstream popular beats. Also, the features on Something Like A Mixtape work with and complement Wade’s style and rhyming ability. JustAPlaneKid(JPK) spits enjoyable bars on “Ray Bands,” while Saria Dorsey sings on the hook. The song “Hello” featuring Blaze Johnson, is uplifted by the beautiful fusion of Wade’s flow and Johnson’s soulful vocals.
“I’m hardly ever dressed/on the beat I’m so naked”; this truth is evident from his music that is real and packed with emotion.
Something Like A Mixtape is a solid drop that treats listeners to amazing visual language carefully woven into a tapestry that expresses the thoughts and heart of David Wade. This album is a strong showing from Wade and well worth a listen.