Where Dido, Bono, and Sade opted for unusual one-word monikers at the start of their careers, a precociously talented 20-year-old UK rapper has gone a step further.
He chose as his creative alias the most colorless Biblical name possible: Dave.
Dave, or David Orobosa Omoregie to his Nigerian-born parents, has just released Psychodrama, his first full-length album, and while it isn't colorless, the work's landscapes are painted bleakly in washed–out hues of navy blue.
Psychodrama may be Dave's first LP, but the South Londoner has been in the game since 2015, getting his start via a Youtube channel called Street Starz TV. Since then, he's released a couple of well-received EPs and rubbed shoulders with stars like Drake.
Given the darkness that imbues much of modern rap, what's most striking about Dave's Psychodrama is its downbeat, intensely confessional nature: the album won't likely be your sexy time soundtrack unless you find gloomy meditations on mental illness, race and poverty arousing. (Hey, different strokes.)
The word "confessional" is not used here casually: the album is deliberately conceived as a source of emotional and mental catharsis for the artist - and as a repudiation of traditional psychotherapy. That discipline is represented here by the calmly glib voice of a psychologist, probably tweed-clad and most certainly caucasian, who introduces several tracks with facile armchair pronouncements upon the state of Dave's mental health.
While my only bone to pick with the album is its tendency towards monochromatic aural textures and a certain relentlessness, it's still a remarkably mature, engrossing effort for someone who can't legally order a drink stateside. We're listening, Dave.
Matt Fink lives and works in Brooklyn. Go to organgrind.com for more of his work.
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