DawgGonDavis’ new EP Anthem Pandemonium doesn’t waste any time jumping right through the stereo and grabbing our attention with both hands in the title track, a self-proclaimed rap n’ roll diatribe aimed against her detractors. The Kansas City-based comedy rapper has been getting so much buzz from both the sides of the hip-hop coin lately that you’d think she was already one of the kingpins of her region, but in fact DawgGonDavis is a relative newcomer to the stage. Inspired to help in community in the wake of beating breast cancer, DGD is out to get us all laughing along with her at the silliness of life and all of the pain it can sometimes bring.
Digging a little deeper into the title track we can see that DGD (as she’s referred to by most of the press) isn’t just looking for a template melody to lay her undyingly funny material on us. The harmony of the soundscape in the foreground is too broad and fascinatingly rich for us to dismiss it as merely white noise. DGD might be all about telling jokes, but she is not joking around when it comes time to write music that is spellbindingly groovy.
“Forever Music,” the second track on Anthem Pandemonium pays tribute to DGD’s irreverent view of classic rock and artists of yesteryear at an almost neo-funk tempo that has got to be making some of the biggest producers in the country green with envy right now. Again, the music itself is the sexiest element to behold, and even if the lyrics are a little too zany for casual listeners to connect with, the beat will capture their hearts all the same and leave them ready to listen to the song another time through just to see if what they heard was in fact real.
The best part of Anthem Pandemonium is how accessible it is from every angle, which is something particularly difficult to achieve in any record, let alone a hip-hop mixtape. All four of the songs found here carry with them the same sort of theme, but don’t be fooled by their even keeled arrangement; each one contains a different fold in DGD’s paradox. Together they make one heck of a force to compete with, and while she’s a comically motivated performer in her soul, once her musical momentum starts there’s really no stopping it for anything.
If the self-confident gangsta rap of “Butt on Fiya” isn’t enough to convince you that DawgGonDavis is the coolest rapper to emerge out of any scene in the last ten years, then its sibling “Middle Age Woman – Hip Hop style” probably will be. Comedy and music both have a way of reaching people no matter how tall of a wall they’ve built around themselves, and I think that DGD’s fusion of the two isn’t just one of the more novel ideas I’ve heard in my career, but also one of the most moving. All of the proceeds from her book sales are directed towards her home town NPO “Operation Breakthrough,” and even if you think her work is less than significant to the storied history of hip-hop, you really can’t argue with someone willing to give everything in their being for the sake of others.