Young Streatham-born rapper Dave may deceive people with his customary name, but the 20-year-old has just released his debut album Psychodrama and it has proven to be anything but ordinary.
The album explores everything from societal injustice to his own mental health struggles and presents itself as one of the most representative and controversial bodies of British Rap music of the generation.
Dave has never been reluctant to discuss contentious issues within his music, as seen with his previous singles like ‘Question Time’ where he challenges politicians in the UK, and this album is certainly no different.
The single ‘Black’ debuted on BBC Radio 1 and shook listeners as he bluntly confronts racial injustice diving into the barriers he has faced, “Black is pain, black is joy, black is evident”, he wrote.
However, some took offence from the single as ‘Black’ was used as a blanket term to describe many different ethnicities and this landed his name and pending album in a few heated media discussions.
Dave responded to the Guardian, “Black is confusing, when does the line start and stop…me being south London, black, Nigerian, that’s what I’m mainly basing it on”, he said.
Despite breaking boundaries, the song still made it to number seven in the UK charts and as the rest of his album released, those discussions seemed like a distant memory.
He starts as he means to go on with first song Psycho winning our hearts with pure naked vulnerability.
Throughout the album, Dave invites listeners into his therapy sessions cleverly linking songs with spoken-word sections featuring his psychotherapist, ‘Tuesday, 23rd of January 2018. I’m here with David. This is our first session. We’re just going to talk about your background. Where you’re from, any issues you’ve been dealing with. So, where should we start?’, the lyrics read.
Giving listeners this direct insight into mental health issues within the black community is something the rap industry has never seen before and it is both refreshing and exciting to see the tough exterior rappers normally portray being broken.
Oddball of the album ‘Lesley’ raises awareness of domestic violence in an emotional tale about a woman he sees on a train.
He describes the song as a ‘message to a woman with a toxic man’ concluding with a powerful line leaving listeners reflective, ‘how many Lesley’s are running from their Jason’s?’.
Once again Dave shreds rap stereotypes and finds a genius way of challenging sensitive issues respectively.
For a debut album, Psychodrama has brought massive excitement for Dave’s future tracks.