Having quickly cemented his place as one of the scene’s most exciting and meticulous lyricists, Dave has further justified the hype with a crisp and sound body of work. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the rapper is still a teenager, as his maturity and lyrical content often belie his years. But the anticipation of watching such a talented artist develop and fulfill his promise over the next few years, is something every rap purist in this country should no doubt be excited about.
With that in mind, we have done a first listen review of his EP Six Paths, dissecting each track, to give you a heads up of the standout features on the project. Enjoy our review below, then give the EP a listen.
1. “Six Paths”
As the violins surge at the beginning of this tune, Dave expertly treats us to the story of his youth, with some incredible word-play and metaphors. There are some real stand out bars on this intro, such as, “I put numbers in squares like dates in the calendar”. It’s clear as the track goes on, that even at the young age of 18, the South Londoner already has an eye on what is important in life and what isn’t. While it is easy and understandable for teenagers to get gassed by material things, Dave admits this was him once upon time with the bar, “I was risking my freedom for what?…two two kicks and a brand name top”. Clearly now however, he has got other focuses. We learn from this track the number of different paths Dave could have taken if he didn’t do music – whether it be trappin or in pen. Thankfully, the star in the making chose music.
2. “Picture Me”
This melodic and soulful tune kicks off with intricate keys on the piano and by the time you’ve finished listening to the track, you quickly realise there is a reason why Dave has already dropped a video for the song. The tune is so good, it HAD to have visuals. From the way the Streatham-rapper paints a picture of his life with his flow, you could actually visualise him using a paintbrush to colour his bars together on a canvas. Picasso would be gassed. What really bangs the most, is the way Dave’s tone gets deeper and more emotive as the song goes on, simultaneously as the electric guitar comes in.
3. “Panic Attack”
Dave goes in for the kill straight away on this one, with the type of complexed rhyming scheme that you can only produce if you really understand rap. He delivers his words with bravado but honesty, “Look…I bet the boys think I’m panicking/ Itching to see how I handle it/ Wwhen snakes start rattling, calm/ I can show you about harm/ Put blades in my palms/ Half the length of my arm.” Don’t underestimate the descriptive words he uses at any point on this EP, because everything he says is for a reason. His ability to cover a whole range of things in his life on this track, demonstrates his writing talent; from cousins in Africa, to the hustle on the London roads, even to what his dad would say. The song works well without Aahook for this reason and his pun on Ibra (Ibrahimović) is a must listen out for. It’s also sick how he finishes the track acapalla.
One of the best things about this EP is the high level and sound quality of instruments used for Dave to ride over. All the beats suit Dave’s tempo perfectly and “Breathe” is no different to this. In comparison to the previous track, this song does have a chorus, but it definitely suits the feel of it. The passion and realness in his words are exemplified by the space left between each line on the hook. It is fitting that he delivers it almost in a speak/preach kind of way, instead of singing it, as this definitely adds to the sincerity of what he is saying. This is undoubtedly another song on the EP that deserves visuals. Man said, “Way before Deliveroo came on ends, we had green on wheels, that’s a bike with food”.
5. “Wanna Know”
In my opinion, this is not just the best song on the EP, this is one of the best songs we will get from a UK artist all year. Yes the visuals in Venice may have added to the vibe and of it and sprinkled the tune with icing, but the song is so unique in its feel, I really believe anyone would struggle to find a similar song to compare it to. Music, including rap, can at times feel repetitive and familiar in its nature with many songs being sampled and themes being recycled. This however feels completely organic, from the singing tone Dave uses for most of the track, including the hook (which by the way is what makes the song special), before the rapper switches to his normal rap tempo, which is then followed up by a finale of electric guitar strings to see out the tune. Bravo Dave.
6. “71/End Credits”
“I’m trying to retire at 40, I ain’t working till 71,” Dave raps. This is a very inspiring track from him to conclude the EP. Don’t sleep on the fact that he has no features on here. He is a self-dependent, hard-working and fearless artist, which he makes clear not just on this track, but throughout the whole EP. Ultimately, we learn that Dave has enough confidence in his ability to go far, and so he should. The way he finishes this song shows he isn’t afraid to let his guard down and reflect his honest thoughts, as he thanks his friends and family for their love and support. The phone call with his mother right at the end is touching and further shows his realness.
Overall, Six Paths is a must listen to EP. There is only one path that Dave will take if he carries on this work rate, and that’s the path to glory.