"Dave's latest single, "Black" is an impassioned track that explores black identity, excellence, and diaspora. I was touched by Dave's recital of a life I could wholly connect to."

I remember when I first heard of Dave, I was sitting at home working through a university essay and received a text from my friend that said, “OMG Mon, you would love this!”. Always eager to ditch university work, I opened the link and was introduced to Dave’s ‘Fire In The Booth’, a rap segment on BBC Radio 1xtra where rappers flaunt their lyrical content. Instantly I was hooked, Dave was paving his way as an artist to watch out for. His ability to weave his experiences into music takes you on a transformative journey; I was in his shoes, trudging through his pain and frustration while absorbing his words. Two hours later, uni work forgotten, I was ten songs deep and began following him on all his social media.

A few years later, I still consider myself a huge Dave fan. I’ve been to all his concerts, taken a video with him and even got a shoutout on my birthday– miles away from a wedding ring, I know, but still. Since following him (and I mean on socials!) Dave has proved to be a versatile artist. From catchy songs like Funky Friday’, where Dave cockily spits about girls that could be ‘Bajan, Trini or Haitian’ (ouch) to bass heavy tracks dealing with street life and British politics, his music in an impassioned collection. With his new album, Psychodrama set to debut on March 8th, Dave’s latest single, ‘Black’ is an incendiary centerpiece that explores blackness in all its glory and woes:

“Look, black is beautiful, black is excellent

Black is pain, black is joy, black is evident

It’s workin’ twice as hard as the people you know you’re better than

‘Cause you need to do double what they do so you can level them”

Dave’s ability to vocalise political and societal issues with level headed intelligence often makes me forget that he’s only twenty. Through his effortless flow, he is able to explain the struggle many, if not all black people live. It’s survival of the fittest, smartest and fastest. My parents constantly reminded me that I didn’t have the leisure of fooling around, “it’s a white man’s world” they’d say. We see the benefits of being white in almost every narrative: it’s being a ‘young lad’ when smoking weed, it’s being edgy when wearing hoodies and oversized clothing and as Dave implies it’s a constant cycle of second chances and benefits of the doubts:   

“A kid dies, the blacker the killer, the sweeter the news

And if he’s white you give him a chance, he’s ill and confused

If he’s black, he’s probably armed, you see him and shoot”

Don’t get me wrong. There’s more to being black than just pain and suffering. The song paired with a striking video reflects the vibrancy of blackness. The music video sneaks scenic peeks of Nigeria, London, and Manchester, and features an array of faces and colours: dark skinned, light skinned, big aunties and small aunties (a title we give to our elders out of respect, despite being unrelated), you can see yourself in almost every second of Dave’s 3-minute clip. He reiterates this when he says:

“Black ain’t just a single fuckin’ colour, man there’s shades to it

Her hair’s straight and thick but mine’s got waves in it”

The video also includes the likes of Stormzy and Raheem Sterling, both admirable figures within the black community. Early January saw Stormzy alongside other black British influencers grace the cover of Elle magazine. He took to IG to express his thoughts in a candid post:

“There’s been a history of reducing us to whatever it is that fits the negative agenda at the time but we’re a whole spectrum of incredible things and we’re on a mission to showcase that to the world. Young, Black & British – What a time to be alive.”

Indeed. What a time to be alive. ‘Black’ is currently on repeat. Watching the video, and sharing it with my mum, sister and friends filled me with a sense of pride. Dave’s new release showcases black identity, excellence, and diaspora and I cannot wait for his album drop. Until then I’ll stick to stalking his socials…


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