I first heard D-sisive on DJ Format’s 2005 album, If You Can’t Join ‘Em… Beat ‘Em, and to be honest I forgot about him. But I can be forgiven, especially when the man himself hadn’t released anything personally in six years, due to a battle with depression after the death of his parents. Now however, it’s hard not to know about him. He’s dropped three albums in two years, with Vaudeville being the next one.
It kicks off with an obscure song but one that fits the album name perfectly. An organ plays a dreary beat as D-sisive sings a jaunty welcoming dirge, along with what can only be described as a little dolls voice. I thought this would be the tone of the album and was intrigued to see how it would work once he started rapping, but then it didn’t; it burst to life with the first of two explosive, angry, yet strangely fun tracks, in “The Riot Song”. “Shotgun Wedding” continues this feel with a brilliant cymbal beat, similar to P.O.S’ “Drumroll”. Even though the tracks have an angry feel, they’re laced with clever lyrics and cultural references that left me grinning.
Even during “Shotgun Wedding” your expectations are turned upside down with a sing-a-long chorus. And then the anthemic “Just An Ostrich”, which delivers a completely different beat to anything so far and a chorus that will stick in your head for days. D-sisive knows how to keep you on your toes, keep you surprised at what’s coming next, and what comes next is darkness. “Ray Charles (Looking For a Star)” kicks it off with a sombre song that seems to be about his childhood.
Pipe Dreaming I’d get to be like the MC’s I’d rewind and playback / Believing I’m gonna make it while everybody told me time was wasted / Wasted breath / Trying to stop me / But what’s good for you may not be good for me
It darkens greatly with “The Night My Baby Died”, which to be honest is that bleak that I removed it from my multiple plays of the album. That does not mean it’s bad, just too bleak for me personally. “Percocet” ends the trio and is filled with vitriol and anger at the music industry. The thing about D-sisive is he can interject humour into the darkest of places, often rounding the corners off what would be a cliché, or violent track – except, of course, the one I removed.
But, you’ll be glad to hear, things do get better for the man as the album lightens up as it nears the end. He starts to get introspective and the brilliant “Scardey Cat” is the highlight. He confesses his fear of the dark and tells us a story of a nightmare, showcasing his creative flow and storytelling. The likes of “Witchita” and “Liberace” are competent tracks, but they failed to grab me.
The last three tracks of the album are shockingly positive in contrast to the rest. “I Love a Girl” could come across as a cliché pop hit, but thanks again to D-sisive’s creativity, it’s an honest and happy track that glows with joy. For example, when talking about the girl and how happy she makes him he says “My friends never knew I had teeth”. “Airplane” talks about the last few years and hints at the difficult times he came through. While “West Coast”, the single off the free to download album, Jonestown, is about his return to music and his love for the, well, the West Coast; and it ultimately leaves the album with an uplifting, confident tone.
It’s a strange journey that D-sisive takes you through; from anger to sorrow, through introspection to the prospect of happiness; sadly, this ‘journey’ affects the albums flow, making it seem disjointed in parts. Knowing of the troubles he’s had, it makes you think that it might be representative of his own life. Or maybe there is no connection at all, only he knows. It does have tinges of more mainstream hip hop but is filled with humour, intelligence and heart, putting D-sisive firmly on my one-to-watch-list.
Vaudeville was released on the 22nd of June and is available to buy on the iTunes Music Store.