bladee x ECCO2K x Thaiboy Digital
D&G


2.5
average

Review

by nocuffin USER (3 Reviews)
August 12th, 2017 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Merely half-hearted

For all of its triumphs, which predictably manifest in the form of bass-heavy, half-whimsical cloudy R&B ballad-bangers, D&G feels altogether frustrated. Inconsistency and incongruity are inadvertently emphasised; D&G feeling more a collection of disjoint “loosies” (much like the bootleg “Rip Bladee” that surfaced at the end of last year) than a clearly thought-out project. Admittedly, D&G does as the label reads (so far as it provides a nice cross-section of drain gang and its various enigmatic personas), but it does so merely adequately. Bladee’s uncharacteristically half-baked contributions meander around recycled material (see: Scarecrow) and barely half-catchy hooks (as opposed to the virulent [I hesitate to use the word infectious, as it implies a sense of upbeat poppiness that really mischaracterises the drain gang ethos] earworms of his previous work); his flows seemingly lazier and more lethargic than ever (admittedly this may be perhaps deliberate, but irrespective of that fact a lot of his contributions lack the lulling grip of the Romeos and MJs of past). Put in perspective, Bladee’s highlights lie in his features (or co-writes) with Ecco, although, even then, the eminent half-assedness of his work threatens to derail those otherwise anthems-to-be (Cinderella being the most notable case: Bladee’s sombre, near-monotone verse quite the underwhelming segue to Ecco’s perhaps career-definingly note-perfect follow-up). That being said, when he does get it right (see: Suffocation’s reprise; which paints a beautiful contrast between his angelic, autotuned warbling and the more devilish lyrical themes [“punch your face in//make your face pretty again”], and No Life Left), it does remind us why he holds the title of (self-proclaimed) “Drain Gang CEO”, but his inconsistency (as the main figurehead of Drain Gang no less) nonetheless characterises all of the problems with D&G.

Thankfully the two other autotune-abusers hold up their end much more effectively; Ecco2k proving and reproving why his fanbase is made up of the most dedicated devotees, while Thaiboy turns up consistently as ever, despite being forever lost in that no-man's land between truly great (see: Climbing and Can’t Trust) and merely remarkable (see: Wrong). Ecco’s performances -- in particular his impassioned, voice-crack heavy verse on Nosebleed and the almost-catchy-enough-to-chart Black Boy -- stand as the tapes main highlights; his soothingly effortless half-croon contrasting nicely with whitearmor’s predictably crystalline ethereal-trap bass-bumpers. Sadly though, many of his performances too feel incomplete, perhaps as a side-effect of the awkward ebb-and-flow of D&G’s almost hodge-podge tracklist, or maybe even the monotony of whitearmor’s production (that, at times, saps the energy from some of the more up-tempo performances -- his percussion lacking the skittish rapidity of the respective Blank Bodies and Rippsquadds of the scene), and thus D&G feels forever stuck in a rut. Thaiboy’s explosive power-pop reminiscent hook on Can’t Trust is wasted on a beat that feels altogether too empty for such bombast, and Bladee’s sombre, balladesque performance on Botox Lips is set against a synth line so awkwardly upbeat that the song ends up little more than a confused mess. Due to this, D&G feels at most a collection of missed opportunities -- the big name tracks all ultimately falling flat despite their boundless potential (First Crush the greatest waste: Ecco, Bladee and Yung Lean all phoning-in their respective efforts).

In a lot of ways it feels symptomatic of the clique’s shift towards a more straightforward sound; Ecco trying his hand at straight-up contemporary R&B (see: Black Boy, Happily Ever After), Thaiboy rerouting his post-apocalyptic Soulja Boy-isms through more laidback, mid-DJ-set electronic romps (as he did with last month’s S.O.S.), and Bladee dialling down the alien to, in turn, recall familiarity instead. In this sense, it wouldn’t be totally remiss to call the misfires “growing pains”, but even then the dull shadow of disappointment remains, not only because there’s developed this expectation of quality (this perhaps the group’s first great misstep), but also because a lot of D&G’s issues seem avoidable. At 17 tracks, with more than a handful of misfires, D&G could have easily been trimmed down and rearranged to present something more in line with the successes of 2016. But alas, we are left with a bloated, oddly content-light, and seemingly smashed together compilation that sounds little more than a sample tape you’d send around to record companies when chasing a deal.

Chemistry is all but absent, consistency is nowhere to be found, quality is bipolar, and thus the experience is one overwhelmingly disappointing. For a tape that was being heralded as a kind of defining statement, D&G hardly meets the standards of a template-made cover letter. It still feels too soon to call it the end of what has been an incredibly strong run, but the taper off seems more apparent now than ever. It’s not quite a cry for help, but a prayer to be reborn it is more than just.


user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

apologies if my prose is clunky, i think i fried my brain with abstract algebra today 😁

but yeah this was disappointing

cc appreciated and all that

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


13003 Comments


how is uni goin fam

Digging: The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - Danza IIII: The Alpha - The Omega

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

shit's tiring but the pussy don't stop coming so i'm coping

post-coital glow helping me deal with those mid-sem blues

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


13003 Comments


at least ur back there man

i cant wait for term to start again. so bored.

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

if you think you're bored have a go at my maths assignment pls

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


13003 Comments


na im alright fam it will just be gobbledegook to me

ianblxdsoe
August 12th 2017


1060 Comments


well articulated and structured review man, hard pos

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

it's all greek to me mortimus

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


1693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

excellent review obvi, but I think ur being a little harsh on bladee based on retroactive appraisals of his earlier works. which is fine! but he's not the one phoning it in here

Digging: Antonin Dvorak - Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


1693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

read: whiteamour, ecco2k tbh

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

i reckon ecco's the best of the bunch (toe-to-toe with thaiboy at least), but i def feel you on whitearmor



placed a lot of emphasis on bladee since he's the main draw-card here//has the most tracks iirc (appears on 10/17 apparently)

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


1693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean true he has the most to lose, but obviously you're lapsed when it comes the man (fair) which means he cops flak where ecco and thaiboy get passes (less fair) BUT just my take!!!

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

imo thaiboy deserves the pass (since he don't have any real bomb-outs)

ecco on the other hand i could've hit harder but to be fair he saves some pretty mediocre tracks (see: cinderella, nosebleed)

whitearmor's probably the biggest loser out of all this though tbh

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

scarecrow is basically a carbon copy of one of bladee's 2016 tracks too, down to the melody and tempo

it's actually hilariously lazy

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2017


10566 Comments


Nicely written man, as usual. Stop abusing those poor parentheses though, they've been through enough.

Digging: Vampyric Blood - Howling in Candlelight

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

life is parenthetical thouuuugh

nocuffin
August 12th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

but nah fr I feel you, I'm just used to writing with tons of citations and shit so I hit them asides haaaard

TheSpaceMan
August 12th 2017


8855 Comments


Nice dude, I like your tangent on the word infectious, int pov

Kurisu
August 12th 2017


513 Comments


yeah i really didn't like this

have u heard the lil reese n durk tape sach? bit better than their solo works this year

hal1ax
August 12th 2017


7811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea ecco's voice crack verse on nose bleed is the besttt



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