Album review: David Dallas, Hood Country Club

David Dallas, award-winning hip-hop artist from New Zealand. Photo / Greg Bowker.
David Dallas, award-winning hip-hop artist from New Zealand. Photo / Greg Bowker.

Could David Dallas be New Zealand's answer to Kendrick Lamar? It feels like he may be on his way.

His latest album Hood Country Club comes with a similar all-guns-blazing type of energy and rage - a voice demanding to be heard on issues that include race, poverty, welfare, housing, immigration media, success and social standards.

Dallas gives a refreshing look into Kiwi life and New Zealand's hip-hop scene and in particular, the struggles he faces as a self-described "half-caste" man.

He raps about being "too brown" for EDM and "too white" for Poly Reggae and subverting the stereotypes attached to Maori/Polynesian culture.

On Probably, he raps about people's concerns of being "South Auckland enough, tryna be a G, tryna talk tough, we already hear that more than enough, the media seem to be a little caught up."

He also reveals his personal struggles; going without when he had no money, the fight between making art and making money, whom he can trust, and dealing with his new life in comparison to the old.

And tracks like Fit In and Hood Country Club address the latter issue head on, saying: "I'm done trying to fit in ... I ain't tryna be down with this crowd".

The title track also examines the effect of US hip-hop culture on Kiwi hip-hop fans - "F*** plans for retirement, got cash for the Yeezys we buying it, things we learn on rap vids we applying it".

Foregoing the usual rap fodder, Dallas has left a lot to unpack on HCC, and between that, his undeniable skill as a rapper and some catchy melodies, this album is one hell of a comeback.

David Dallas, Hood Country Club

Artist: David Dallas
Album: Hood Country Club
Label: Universal
Verdict: Hard-hitting hip-hop dropping some Kiwi truths

- TimeOut

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