Dave - Game Over (Throwback EP Review)

Updated: May 18

Late in 2017 UK rapper Dave released his second EP titled 'Game Over', containing 7 songs with a mixture of bangers and songs that tackle social issues. This EP here was what portrayed Dave's maturity to the world and his ability on the mic, and quickly turned him into not only the UK's hottest prospect but the UK's hottest act. Even just over 2 years later, Dave dominates the British charts, and this EP was the beginning of that domination with hits such as 'No Words' and songs that grabbed the attention of the country such due to it's deep message such as 'Question Time'.

Dave's EP title 'Game Over' links with much off the subject matter found on this extended play. Game over is a metaphor for Dave's life being over - whether it be due to the government ('Question Time'), his brother's prison sentence ('My 19th Birthday') and the pressure from others such as family and friends ('Game Over'). This subject matter helps Dave's EP become a personal, conscious milestone in the UK rap scene as he had taken a different approach to usual trap sound of the other UK mainstream rappers. Dave's production is also very varied and solid. On certain songs we may receive a more synth styled instrumental while others focus on a piano or even a guitar. His word play is also very good - especially when it comes to one liners, punchlines and especially the football focused punchlines which I tend to enjoy. Also I have to mention his delivery is perfect in terms of the meaningfulness behind each word and how clear he pronounces them as if he wants us to hear every single word. This body of work is very consistent and only a few issues with it - which would eventually be cleaned up on his next project and debut album - the modern day classic 'Psychodrama'.

The opening track and title track of the project 'Game Over' is a perfect opener. The electronic synths sound great as does Dave's energetic energy and the way he bursts into the track is hard. In this opener he focuses on his come up, dealing with success, girls as well as his enemies - setting the tone for the 37 minute project. The following track 'Question Time' is an instant change in tempo. He spits non stop verses for 7 minutes straight questioning political figures in the UK (and a bar or two on Trump's America) discussing war, the NHS, Grenfell tower, David Cameron, Theresa May, Brexit & then finishes it off with some optimism for Jeremy Corbyn. It's simplistic beat puts all the shine on the lyrics where Dave spits hard hitting bars to keep your attention for the whole 7 minutes, e.g. while talking about Grenfell tower, "Everyone who knew about that cladding//Should really be going prison under rule of joint enterprise//But if it ain't a little kid with a knife//I bet that judge is going easy when he's giving him time". 'Attitude' is the next track and is a bit of a mixed bag. While the beats cool it's Dave's slurred/slow tempo delivery that doesn't compliment the beat well for the first two verses - but then it suddenly suits it during the third and fourth verse. The hook also isn't bad but gets old after hearing it three times in quick succession. Lyrically though as usual it's pretty solid with some great wordplay, "And all my friends know I don't do drugs but//When I stunt I want my ex to see".

Another higher tempo song follows titled 'Calling Me Out'. I'm not huge on Dave's singing on the hook yet his melodic tone on the pre-chorus works well. The cadence on the verses are fine as is the beat although it doesn't really stand out until the acoustic guitar comes in. After a couple of short tunes we get another seven and a half minute track in 'How I Met My Ex'. It's a deep yet relatable tale exposing Dave's incredible storytelling ability over a melancholy single-instrumented piano instrumental. Following on from that, we have one of Dave’s most popular songs ’No Words’. It’s a banger as it’s intended to be with the delivery with the party type vocals over a Steel Banglez piano themed beat. A MoStack feature is always a win as the two spit about beefing people and girls. Hook is addictive as well it serves it’s purpose brilliantly. The finale to Dave's EP is the outstanding 'My 19th Birthday'. A real deep cut off the project see's Dave discussing a lot of thing such as his depression, relationships, crime, family, and his music career. As the verses progress and the lyrics unravel we hear the beat become more slow and more desperate as Dave pours his heart out on this one. It's a great end to the EP wrapping all the themes into one sheet, and ending on a high note as he exclaims to his mum "Mummy you ain't gotta wake up for work in the freezing cold in the middle of the night for a cheque no more//Mummy you ain't gotta cry no more//You ain't gotta stress in the night no more".

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Game Over, Question Time, No Words


OVERALL RATING: Light 8.5/10

*REVISED SCORE: Review may not match favourite tracks and overall rating because I've since re-listened and changed my score.*

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