I’ll admit I felt skeptical going into this. Dawg Gone Davis’s In the Dawg Pound EP seemed, on an initial impression, it could go one of two ways – it could be a pleasant surprise or a middle aged professional woman dabbling in rap/hip hop could prove as painful as it might seem from a distance. The former is true, thankfully. Rebecca “Dawg Gone” Davis, based out of the Kansas City area, is an educated IT professional with a philanthropic side – all proceeds from her music are funneled towards Operation Breakthrough, a charitable organization supporting needy and challenged children.
The proceeds she generates should be considerable – the four songs included on In the Dawg Pound are undoubtedly very funny, but they aren’t gimmick numbers – they are the product of a talented and thoughtful performer who obviously loves music and has learned how to share something of her soul through her compositions.
The EP leads off with Davis’ winning single “Middle Aged Woman – Hip Hop Style”. The central subject of the song, Davis’ irrepressible desire to make music despite any preconceived notions about her viability because of her age, is life affirming while still brimming with the humor that’s a hallmark of her songwriting approach. She has a dramatic delivery, but never lays it on too thick, and the insistent refrain sticks in your mind after a single listen. Glistening synthesizer lines swirl over an unobtrusive beat and give her a strong musical vessel for her rapping. It’s a conversational style she adopts for this track and others but it is, nonetheless, intensely rhythmic and musical. “Forever Music” has a drum track that captures your attention from the first and soulful saxophone woven through the song gives it another level of musicality. The fat bass pulse syncs up well with the percussion and gives the song a sense of fluidity many listeners will love. Her lyrics are funny, as usual, but there’s a reflective tinge coloring the words that makes this an even more memorable experience.
If nothing else before now has convinced you that Davis is more than a comic performer, “Butt on Fiya” will do it. There’s ample humor as Davis extols the virtues of her backside but, in a deeper way, this song is also about retaining your sense of self worth in the face of breast cancer and its accompanying changes. Saxophone returns with this song and it has a much grittier edge than we heard with “Forever Music” and there’s a slow burn feel to the song that makes it stand out. “Anthem Pandemonium” shows another facet of her talents, working in collaboration with producer Helmutt Wolf, as it has a much more dynamic dependant construction than the aforementioned tunes. Did I mention all the proceeds from the sale of this EP go to https://operationbreakthrough.org/
All this and more make Davis real class act. What’s more the music patiently builds from another compelling percussion track and couples synthesizer and piano together effectively. Davis gives us another dramatic vocal and her immense personality gives this final gem some additional vibrant shine. In the Dawg Pound will appeal to longtime rap fans and causal listeners alike.
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