The need to review a mixtape isn’t just based on affection for it. If that were the case you would be able to find a review for every DJ Burn One mixtape on this site. A review for the DJ Burn One and AC-Steady Dabbin mixtape is happening because on top of it being well produced and lyrically balanced, it’s hard to get away from. Ever since it dropped I’ve been adding from its fourteen tracks to just about any playlist I put together. When that starts happening it’s for a reason, maybe a few different reasons.
A lot of credit should go to AC who seems to carry all the melodic versatility and humor of Atlanta MCing without any of the hyper-regional delivery. You won’t end up listening to Steady Dabbin’ thinking about it as a southern release even though it very much is. On the song Loud he clearly declares “Who you with and what you bout, all my friends are from the South, got the grip and the grain and we getting drunk.”
He does a masterful job transitioning emotions from song to song. Smoke Out The Pipe is classic weed melody while Loud and Chucks Up are get up and cheer, live in concert style anthems. The subject matter is certainly women, weed, and reflection (on the song Honey he wishes for a genie to come out of his bong so he could wish for more weed) but the tempos change at a masterfully methodical pace. You change pace from the tapes undeniable centerpiece posse track Rational Anthem(featuring SL Jones and Scotty) with its whispered chorus and choir background just above the thumping of bass and drums to the delicate guitar of Blessed By The Feather. Lyrically this track might be the best of AC, he talks about making bad choices growing up while swearing never to be like the crooks he grew up amongst. AC gets solid marks all throughout for making these songs his.
The guitar is such a light and textured part of Steady Dabbin production. DJ Burn One has really grown his sound in all kinds of directions from Indeedface through J Nics Darkside tape. Steady Dabbin’ is my favorite recent production because it’s so minimal that the light striking of a guitar cord is in the foreground. Top Down pops, whizzes, and bubbles. Gutter Hash creeps. You can feel the basic elements coming together.
By the end of Steady Dabbin it won’t really matter if Burn One continues to be slept on or not. His music just gets better and better, he continually gives it to a selection of artists that might in other worlds be overlooked. Something about the traces of humor, joy, frustration, and soul in AC verses like on De Ja Vu “Time machine dreams for a fiend of a different side of me. There’s been different sides of me and I’m searching for the right one,” feel well suited for the Burn One sound bed.
When two good things come together like this it just makes sense. Steady Dabbin is like an Oreo, it starts and ends with the production of DJ Burn One but without AC in the center it wouldn’t be much. That’s a special collaboration.
Stream or download Steady Dabbin below