Mixtape Review-Stay Black 2 by Black Dave
NY radio personalities disingenuously perpetually ponder the state of NY hip hop and its difficulties. If the 5 Boroughs have a problem at all it’s this over thinking. When a new artist with talent comes out of NY his talent isn’t even that exciting the local question becomes does he represent the proper style? Is he new school NY trap like A$AP Rocky or French Montana? Is he old school like Joey Bada$$ or Roc Marciano? In other words, the style of the artist becomes more important than the content. That corrodes the core of any music scene.
Enter Black Dave; a slick radio friendly hook and chorus five star general who reps the Apple without getting trapped in it. On his new mixtape Stay Black 2 he enlists top producers like Statik Selektah and Cookin’ Soul to hop all over the map. If you want that head knocking classic NY sound you can turn None Of That From Me all the way up in your car. The Million Man March remix and the horror movie violin on Two Things might feel like they fit perfectly on an A$AP Mob compilation or a Flatbush Zombies track. Rollin’ carries a distinct Brick Squad influence. None of this is to say Black Dave is some kind of biter. This is just a smart dude who loves good music. Instead of living in a NY hip hop bubble Black Dave exists in the real world where he carries the torch but takes it interesting places.
While he does enlist different sounds Dave raps. Stay Black 2 is not a mixtape full of posse tracks with important people lifting him up. Gino Marley is the most known guest feature and at least nine of the sixteen tracks feature Dave solo. He seems to be very aware that he’s getting better and making an effort to clear the space to grow into his growth.
Don’t expect to listen to Stay Black 2 and get bowled over. It’s not full of rewindable double entendres; he doesn’t have a crazy growl or especially satisfying ad-lib. This is a technician with a lot of patience knocking out great song after great song nearly every one getting better and stronger with each listen. He’s not the only one in NY doing this by the way. That description pretty well fits Vado and Troy Ave as well. The difference is compared to those two Black Dave is a rookie but a rookie who knows when to snarl and menace ( see: Heard Of Me) and when to dial down into conversational slow flow (see: Daevon Willis). That kind of composure usually takes a few failures to find. This kid stepped into the mixtape universe with it and he’s just getting more assured with better resources. Maybe the future will be full of NY artists brave enough to copy Black Dave and just focus on the music. It’s the only thing an artist can really control.
stream or download Stay Black 2 below: