Its all happened pretty quickly for Dice Raw, after the Roots took him under their wing and proved himself on the under appreciated ‘Clones’ he took to the mic on a remix of Nonchalonts ‘Take it there’. Heads really caught Dice with his retentive flow on last years ‘Adrenaline’ with the Roots and Beanie Sigel. Its time for Dice to shine but will he burn bright or fade out like last years news?
I was looking forward to this album and I thought the wait was worth it until I got about halfway through the album, with such a display of quality during the first 5 tracks I thought little of the rest of the album leaving a bad taste. ‘Thin Line (between raw and jiggy with Malik B and Black Thought)’ addresses the hardcore and the commercial but in a more original way as Dice puts Raw and Jiggy in the form of people and not types of hip hop. Other original concepts come in the form of ‘Lockdown’ where Black Thought puts the act of emceeing in the same context as that of Drug Trafficking. Good execution is also displayed on the way too short ‘5 stages of death’ which could have been 100% better with a bit more thought and visualization for the listener.
After track 7 the album stumbles with monotony, average material and some plain crap until the last few tracks and closes with ‘If I only had words’, although its loop has been used so many times before the chilling sound throughout the rest of the tracks wraps proceedings up nicely but just a bit too late. It’s a shame as Dice Raw has so much potential but without the right backing and production this emcee will fall by the wayside. This isn’t the album that’s an extension of the Roots / Okayplayer sound and maybe that’s where it falters, as that sound could project Dice Raw to where he deserves to be, an emcee with a unique attack on the mic has been wasted on a big chunk of this album, he may have wanted to do it on his own but when your starting out you need just a little help to keep you going.