It’s been a long time since someone created credible and original Hip-Hop with meaningful lyrics, so lost is mainstream Rap music that most people these days associate Balmain and Rolls-Royce with Hip-Hop instead of beats and rhymes. This is true no matter where you reside, from the states to the British Isles that money-centric, disco-esque bullshit has infected every city and every borough, no matter where people are from they seem to be inundated with people emulating that “Trap” sound rather than being who they truly are and representing what they truly think. Thank goodness then for Santan Dave, an up-and-coming MC who’s been making noise in the UK underground since his Street Starz Freestyle, never since Moorish Delta 7 or Triple Darkness have I heard this much conviction in the rhymes of a British MC.
Santan Dave aka Dave creates music which is brimming with societal commentary and personal experiences, his lyrics speak on various issues he’s faced growing up ranging from his exclusion from school, the death of his Grandma, to lamenting about his brother’s incarceration. Ever since his SBTV Warm Up Session last year he’s been making a buzz in the UK for finally breaking through that stereotypical hollow nonsense incessantly regurgitated by mainstream Hip-Hop (or more accurately Hip-Pop) music. I have to say that if he puts in the work Santan Dave could be legendary, not just in the UK but internationally, I know many people out there are sick of the stagnancy that plagues contemporary Hip-Hop, we’re all waiting for someone from the underground to break into the mainstream without watering their content down, we’re all anticipating the day someone finally shows the masses what Hip-Hop is supposed to sound like, that person could be Dave.
His first official track “JKYL+HYD” is fantastic with a typically dreamy, ethereal production from 169. The song muses on various issues from the commercialisation of Hip-Hop to his upbringing in the ends. The song already appeals to real Hip-Hop fans but it also has the potential to coax over all followers of pop culture too, I’d love for something like this to crossover and slowly take back Hip-Hop from all those fakes out there. Who can argue with lyrics like this… “I’m leading by example, all them little niggas on that trap wave jump-off that is not gonna run. I don’t care about how many doors you got on your car, no one cares about how much corn you got in your gun. Man they wanna hear your story, this trap ting bores me, and word to Jamal my time soon come shortly, if you’re my right hand then my beef is your beef, my [vid] is your [vid], the scene can’t ignore me”
We’ve seen numerous Rappers with skills throughout the years that have either become one-hit wonders or have faded into obscurity and this is all the more unfortunate when the artist in question possesses talent. Hopefully Santan Dave can avoid all the pitfalls and obstacles that face up-and-coming MC’s; if he stays true to himself, if he doesn’t sell out for money, he has the capacity to be big, I’d say if he puts in the work he could make a UK Illmatic. Let’s just hope all those mainstream media snakes don’t fuck with his progress and development, it’s been a long time since a Rapper with heart has made it to the forefront of the genre, there may be the likes of Que Hampton in the US but the UK scene really needs someone like Santan Dave to ignite the genre. I for one will keep promoting people like Dave until Hip-Pop reverts back to Hip-Hop.