Aloha #OTDHipHop fans!
Welcome to another segment of Mixtape Monday, where I do track by track reviews of full length projects from up and coming artists in the underground rap scene. This week, I was contacted by Dave Cerdafyed, a talented emcee from Toppenish, WA. He is currently signed to independent label G.A.T Entertainment, and recently released his debut EP Soular System. The project was fully produced by Luke White.
G.A.T Entertainment Photo
1) I’ma Do It
I love that this is the first track of the project. Classic boom bap hip hop beat with soothing hooks and vocals. Dave has a unique voice matched with addicting storytelling style. While conversing with him briefly, he told me that his first initial rap influences include Tupac, Biggie, and Bone Thugs. I sense a mix of all three of them in Dave’s flow just off the bat, from this track and I think it’s a great track that introduces the listener to this debut EP of his. The message of this song is basically to do what you want no matter what naysayers say, stay focused on the goals you want to accomplish.
This song is a DOPE follow up from I’ma Do It (track 1). Big props to Producer Luke White! The beat is mostly boom bap, a staple sound for hip hop/rap songs, coupled with Dave’s relaxing, storytelling vocals. I would say that this is one of my favorite tracks from this EP, particularly for the hella smooth hook. I like that he is harmonizing on the hook but only subtly. The tone is reflective and paints a “chill party lifestyle” sort of vibe. The lyrics range from friendship to social commentary, which are recurring themes throughout the project.
3) One Day Forte
This track transitions well from Paradiso (track 2), which I really appreciate as a listener. So far, I’d say that production wise this is my favorite track, and once again props to Producer Luke White! The beat is a faster paced boom bap style, which seems to be Dave’s forte, per say. What I really dig is the simple, melodic synthesizer sounds, added over Dave’s vocals. I would describe Paradiso very similarly to Logic’s “Fade Away,” from his second album The Incredible True Story, as far as the vibes and fast-paced wordplay. Nonetheless, both Dave and Luke DELIVER on this track, straight up.
4) Need to Know
This track is straight up swaggy. Dave flows over a boom bap beep, but also has reggae and country elements, especially with the guitar string sounds. I dig it! This song is basically filled with subtle, quick-witted, and funny bragging. Dave showcases his unique flow and lets the song lead his lyricism and composition.
5) Suicide Notes
This track is has a completely different tone from the past 4 tracks. Up until this point, Dave’s content has been rather uplifting and happy. Suicide Notes has a darker undertone, with Dave expressing his battle with suicidal thoughts. I appreciate this track.
6) Friendly Conversations
This song features a reflective, 4/20 vibed Dave. He speaks on various topics, largely focused on his grind and experience in music. Such solid production once again from Luke White. I especially dig the little “talking portion” which adds a very personal element to the song. “Friendly Conversations” also has a music video, which was shot, edited, and released by G.A.T. Entertainment. A great track to end an even greater debut project!
Overall, I give this project a 4.5/5 on my Lumpia Scale. I especially commend the vibe, lyrical content, and quality production. Looking forward to Dave Cerdafyed's and the rest of G.A.T Entertainment's future projects.
For more from Dave Cerdafyed or G.A.T. Entertainment, visit gatentertainment.com.com/davecerdafyed
Often, when people think of New York City, they think of popular streets and monuments. But there is a deeper culture within NYC's streets, especially as an iconic place in hip hop culture and what it means to hip hop history and rap music. New York is home to unfiltered expression, whether it’s the city’s fast-paced lifestyle or attitude, New Yorkers dare to be bold and different; of which hip hop culture and music has contributed to. With that said, this week’s #FridayFeature artist on #OTDHipHop is New York-based - RaSTATiiic. While he is still at the early stages of his music journey, this young man is serious about accomplishing his goals, and offers an alternative message in his music. In his name alone, there are multiple elements of his identity that make up RaSTATiiic - the hip hop artist, rapper, and creative mind.
A few weeks ago, I was approached on Twitter by RaSTATiiic himself, regarding promotions on this blog. I checked out some of his material and digged his “Hype” remix, and figured I feature him on my platform. My first question was “what kind of name is that, and what does it mean?” Known as “STAT,” for short, RaSTATiiic is only 19 years old and has been recording and performing on his own for about 2 years. Although he was born in Atlanta, GA, he always had close ties to family and friends in Brooklyn, NY. He currently resides in Newburgh, about an hour from NYC’s main metropolitan area. The rapper stated, “I named myself RaSTATiiic because ‘Ra’ is short for (Ra)madan (RAMADAN is my birth name). The STATiiiC part relates to electricity.” STAT went on to mention how he experienced multiple seizure-like attacks about year or so ago, with seemingly no explanation. He stated that the seizures felt like he was getting tazed or electrocuted; but after, he felt more enlightened like he started to have deeper senses and intuition, what he calls “woke.” For that reason, he added 3 “i’s” to his name, and thus RaSTATiiic was born.
#STATiiiCMADNESS Vol. 1 (hosted by @CaptainChardo) is the rapper’s most recently released project. The project’s most popular single is the “Hype” remix, with over 5000 plays on Soundcloud, and even more via other music outlets (Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, etc). If there was a way I could describe his sound, it would be a mix between Kid Cudi’s enlightened flows about the universe and Schoolboy Q’s raw edge and catchy vocals. I think this unique mix is best showcased on my personal favorite off the project -
“Call Us The Plug” (Prod. by Tig). STAT’s major goal is to make a living off of his music but also seeks to delve into fashion, with hopes of developing a global brand. However, this artist understands that he still has a lot to learn. While the equipment and skills continue to develop, STAT remains self-sufficient in taking time with the different elements of a project, including directing and editing his own videos.
STAT currently has a solid local fan base from his town of Newburgh, but does a lot of work in Brooklyn and around the city. His Twitter account has over 2000 followers, and he hopes to increase it even more as he continues making music, videos, and other projects. Being near a major city like NYC, it might seem that opportunities are more easier to come by, because of all the creative energy around the area. But he mentioned some frustration on trying to “come up” in his local scene. “Often times, when there’s slots for local openers for major artists, it’s the same artists week after week,” said STAT. However, anything can happen in time, with the right work ethic and sense of direction, which is what the rapper believes as well. If anything, I think STAT’s biggest asset is his belief in himself. “I'm a leader and one of my goals is to turn a lot of the modern day followers into themselves and become their own person, and make them feel comfortable being themselves so we can make more leaders. But at the same time, it's ok to be a follower as long as you are following the right people,” said STAT.
At the end of the day, STAT believes he has what it takes to make it, and that’s all a true artist’s ultimately needs. He definitely has the creative ability and pays attention to other aspects of his projects, like photography and videography. His rhymes can take the listener on a trip to space with all his different theories and analysis; in time, it’ll be interesting to see how he further develops his artistic and entrepreneurial skills. Straight outta NYC...For more info on RaSTATiiic, visit his official website, follow him on Facebook, or Soundcloud.
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.