Review: David Dallas — Falling Into Place

Editorial, Music, Review

daviddallas-fallingintoplace

He’s done it again. David Dallas, with his new album Falling Into Place — presented as an official body of work that’s as tight, if not tighter than The Rose Tint.

Where the Rose Tint, at the time it came out in 2011, was an album to jump up and down about because of its intelligence, dynamics in a Kiwi setting— freeness. Falling Into Place serves as an album to think to, get motivated with and keep on keeping on with whatever your hustle is. Having also released Buffalo Man last year for free, his patience has paid off and Falling Into Place now sits at #1 on the NZ iTunes Hip Hop list for $17.99. Opening with a feature from Ruby Frost with ‘The Wire’ the album’s impact reveals a more thoughtful Ddot. It’s ethereal and sonically maturer, more internationally sanctioned, perhaps, as he aims to tour America and cross markets; there are sounds and lines on the album reminiscent of Drake — the other non-American cracking America.

Billboard.com has asked if the world is ready for a ‘Kiwi hip-hop star’. It seems if they aren’t, Dallas is ready to do it anyway. Signed to American label Duck Down Music he’s got what he needs to go forward. With Fire & Ice duo taking care of production bar two tracks by Nick ’41’ Maclaren the album moves fluidly and logically from start to finish. “That’s just how we do, how I’m raised, Island roots, Auckland raised,” goes the hook on ‘Follow’. And that’s the most uplifting part of this release.

As Ddot on the album’s first single ‘Runnin’ states, he aims to carry New Zealand on his back to the States and beyond, on ‘Follow’ he raps, “I got that laid back Island genes, I don’t need no drama — in my ie lavalava listening to Dear Mama”. It’s the type of flow we fell in love with when he was Con Psy. Clever, slick, effortless. He’s still that afakasi boy from Auckland, repping for his city — Check ‘Southside’ featuring Young Sid and Mareko.

It feels like Dallas lets you into his personal space more on this release. Perhaps he himself is more at ease with who he is. On Buffalo Man he announced a proposal to his girlfriend. So here, there’s a tinge of pain and sacrifice on the last track ‘At The Gate’ with Ruby Frost — as he bids his fiancé farewell at the boarding gate. ‘There’ll be no tears at the gate,’ they sing. It’s clear, as he leaves the one he loves behind, there are responsibilities he harbours as a man that force him to leave and succeed. As Ruby’s voice echoes through the verses the feeling imparted would hit home for anyone familiar with the gut-wrenching ins and outs of loving a busy man or woman. In interviews he’s said that when he started out, “I wasn’t even trying to make good songs when I started out, I just wanted to be good at rapping” — It’s his third album in and he’s out doing himself — the M O of an artist on top of his shit.

Other featured artists include Spycc, Freddie Gibbs, PNC.

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