Doseone has played many parts over his 25-year career. He's been an avante-garde philosopher for Deep Puddle Dynamics, memento mori muser with Germany-Oakland hybrid 13 & God, psych-spellbinder through Subtle, and something entirely new and accessible with his Anticon solo debut G Is For Deep. Leadoff track "Dancing X" foreshadows the path ahead and gets under the skin quickly with its shimmering layers and inviting refrain. It's hard to believe that Dose, the same battle rapper of Scribble Jam lore occasionally accused of making weird records for the sake of weird, has grown into the well-rounded pop provocateur of today.
"Last Life" is the type of song that gets stuck in your head for weeks. "In the former life, were you the committed type?" the Anticon cofounder wails over soothing drums and synths. Dose's lyrics are full of up-to-interpretation abstractions, and though G is easier to sink one's teeth into than prior releases, it is still coded language. One of his more tangible pieces, "ARM in Armageddon," finds Dose as end-times preacher, relaying, "If things don't start getting less Armageddon-like, you might have to eat your only friend tonight." There's a morbid air lingering over the Bay Area emcee's allusions.
Mortality deliberation aside, G is an infectious electropop oddity from the dude whose rap cadence has often resembled that of a forked-tongue gremlin from outer space. The ten-song release finds Dose pocketing his breathless syllable-slaughtering in favor of a bizarre, yet endearing croon. Though the rest of the album fails to live up to the lead single "Last Life," it is filled with catchy melodies and cutting lines, such as, "This guilt of mine could turn abortions into wine" (from "Therapist This") that warrant repeat listens.
Album: G Is for Deep
Songs: (1) Dancing X (2) Last Life (3) I Fell (4) Thy Pattern (5) Therapist This (6) End & Egg (7) Owl Shark (8) SEE Answer (9) Arm in Armageddon (10) The Bends