Review – D-M.A.U.B. ‘Death Before Dishonor’
| Rapzilla Staff Rating:
|| Average User Rating:
With his 5th solo album now released, this Cincinnati native continues to prove that he is a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t know who D-Maub is then you’d better get to searching for him. He’s been linked to some of Christian Hip-Hop and Contemporary Christian’s favorite artists. I would venture to call him the hardest grinder in Christian Hip-Hop.
More common than the prior comparison, many have likened D-Maub to “Mr. Versatile” himself, Ludacris. This would be a more fair and accurate comparison not because he’s got a southern Midwest feel, but because of both artist’s dramatic lyrical abilities. Nowhere on this album is this more clear than on track 4’s “Ya’ll Funny”. Talk about lyrical exercise. Talk about “chasing the hi-hat all over the track”. Although the chorus tells of laughter at the expense of naysaying spectators, the underlining laugh seems to be aimed toward those who think they can lyrically compete with the Young Cut-T. When he dropped the lines, “It feels good to come and visit y’all on earth today I left to get creative now I’m back like a vertebrae. I came to give you all a word today cause I feel in ignorance is one place you don’t deserve to stay” I laughed with a screwface. Staying ever-true to his moniker, D seems to be dedicated to making all underestimaters, believers.
Most refreshing about this album, as holds true to D’s overall artistry, is that not only does he give the listener an album with hot tracks, but he always manages to tackle current issues within modern culture. I find that noteworthy because so few artists seem to speak life or offer any words of wisdom as they place their talents on display with the consistency that he does. Such songs like “Everybody’s a Rapper” speaks to this. Young Cut-T addresses our culture’s obsessive desire for fame and retorts with this challenge: Are you called to be a rapper? Although suggesting “music is wrapped up in his life” he emphasizes that it’s not just a platform for him, but a means to displaying the gospel. He does not downplay the ‘rewards’ of the craft, but gives a great balance to understanding the benefits vs. the sacrifices of music as a ministry.
“On My Grind” displays D’s skill as a storyteller. The Knight Rider-esque track, produced by Big Juice, finds him conveying the oh-so-familiar story of the grind-aholic. It is guaranteed that we can all put a face to the subject within the song; its that person that relentlessly talks about getting money. D gives the listener the exhortation to minister to those who are open to hearing the gospel, knowing that we fail to take the time to give it to them. “Whatever I go through only make me stronger if it ain’t killing me. Everybody grilling me because they know I know the King. Never thought I would separate myself from the bling … I feel lost and I’m looking to be found but I guess until some more of you come around, I be on my grind”. They need us, even in the streets.
“Unconditional Love” is a radio friendly worship offering produced by Raynard “DJ X-Ray” James. The song pulls the listener into the heart of God. “It’s only in you that I am satisfied” D proclaims. With a guest feature from Sean Simmonds, we are reminded that God’s love is UNCONDITIONAL. D states the truth of His graces, “While I’m being honest its hard for me to understand. How You would use anybody like me to carry out your plan”. We have this awesome God who has died for us and showers His never-ending love on us.
Seemingly, this is not a radio driven album. And though it’s a ‘fun’ album, it’s a challenging one as well. D-Maub has always been a great rapper but there has been an evident shift in his content over time. As of late, he continues to expose his heart for the lost and the need for the Christian to put the things of God before our own desires. While he continues to push the gospel of Christ, he encourages the believer to go harder for the Lord, even until death. D does a great job of highlighting God’s presence amid of our everyday situations, proclaiming there’s purpose in it all, leaving the listener to meditate on these truths.
This album is a huge step up for D-Maub. He truly raises the bar for himself. On the lesser, while D continues to mix and master all of his work – and I commend him for his keen ear and creativity – compared to other projects the quality is sub-standard. By no means does this take away from the project, but there does stand room for improvement. As an artist I’d like to hear D rap on beats that aren’t his usual. I look forward to hearing more from D-Maub, aka Cut-T, and seeing his continued growth in his walk and ministry.
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Label: One Route Entertainment
1. Slow Down feat. KAS and Andale
2. Go All Out
3. Send Me
4. Yall Funny feat. Mal-Ski
5. Everybody’s a Rapper
6. So Contagious feat. Chosen, Iz’real, and Bizzle
7. Every Breath feat. K-Drama and Bracey
8. I Believe God
9. On My Grind
10. Unconditional Love feat. Sean Simmonds
12. On The Move feat. Tha GIM and Knine
13. I Will Survive feat. Willie “P-Dub” Moore Jr.