Song Review-The Devil is Alive (Lucifer pt. 2) by B. Dolan
On the original The Devil is a Lie (found on Ross’s 2014 album Mastermind) Jay-z and Ross take very different approaches. Jay’s verse is about how ridiculous it is to think of him as a devil worshiping illuminati official/evil genius, he makes the case that this is a complex form of envy. Ross spends his verses just riding the flow into flossy image jumbles.
When B.Dolan took the beat and remade the concept for his House of Bees vol. 3 it became a vicious expose of Ross and a reminder of what we all know about where crack and the cocaine “bosses” come from. Dolan takes Rozay to task“You want to be the bawse you stole the wrong name then, shoulda called yourself Ronald Reagan. Shoulda called yourself Oliver North.” He takes us from the real Rick Ross being used by the government and dismissed to white kids falling head over heels for drug dealer culture post-Rozay.
I love Rick Ross music, let me be clear. I also love B.Dolan music and that’s part of a balanced diet. Ross is the junk food (the audio version of an 80’s Arnold movie), Dolan is the carrots keeping my eyes sharp. It’s a lot more difficult for Dolan to make fun likeable music because while Ross is a flow-first-not-really-paying-attention-to-whether-what-I’m-saying-makes-sense rapper Dolan is trying to put an agenda forward while maintaining likeability. His connections to the performance poetry scene are much more in the background on this project. House of Bees vol 3 is about being a rappers rapper and having fun doing it so good for him on that. Too many poets have trouble transitioning into music. Dolan has done it while waving a political, social and B-Boy flag fearlessly.
p.s. The second to last track on House of Bees Vol. 3 is a reading by Jack McCarthy a real hero of the Boston slam poetry scene who recently passed away. The song is called The Devil & Jack McCarthy and if you like it, buy as much Jack McCarthy poetry as you can get your hands on.