Is DB a force to be reckoned with in the rap game? Check out this in-depth review of her debut EP "Aether".
Baryo Berde has been making waves in the local hip-hop scene ever since its inception. We’ve seen the rise of acts such as Row 4, Migo Senires, and Mr. Pahinga himself, Al James. In 2015, the collective added another promising artist to its roster. She goes by the name of DB, and she’s here to represent girl power to the fullest.
After rocking the crowd at various gigs and releasing a few critically-acclaimed songs, the femcee from Cavite finally dropped her debut EP called “Aether” on July 7, 2018. Helping her out are some of the country’s best producers today. So is it worth listening to or should you just skip it? Let this track-by-track review help you make up your mind.
1. Live Evil
From the title alone, you might assume that this is a straight-up horrorcore track, but it’s much deeper than that. In “Live Evil”, DB describes the various forms of inner demons and how to deal with them. This kind of concept doesn’t really need overly technical lines, and the femcee took note of that. She went straight to the point with her bars, thus painting a vivid image. Serena DC successfully captured the overall vibe of the song with her menacing production.
DB proves that she’s bad to the bone in this second track produced by Mocksmile of No Face Records. Her battle-oriented rhymes hit hard thanks to her creative pen game. Here are some of the lines that will surely make you nod in approval:
“Skeletons in my closet and they all well-dressed”
“Death grip, choke on your hope, now this ain't a joke
Breaking necks when I walk while I hold a rope”
“Think you heavy when I checked your contribution is blank
Play my tunes on your party where we're all wearing black”
Apart from her remarkable writing, DB also demonstrated her impressive flow. It’s crystal clear in this joint that she has mastered rapping on a Trap-inspired beat. All she needs to work on now is her delivery. Since the topic is braggadocio, she should show more aggression and attitude.
“Santelmo” is the Tagalog word for St. Elmo’s Fire, and DB stayed true to its definition. For 3 minutes and 39 seconds, she spits fiery bars and continued to represent herself in the most badass way with another dope Trap beat. The first two English verses are packed with solid punches, but the third one is guaranteed to shock you even more. She decided to switch to her native language, and she killed it in every line. The aforementioned transition may not work for some, but DB executed it perfectly.
DB slays all the misogynist pigs with no mercy and represents Filipina pride in track number 4, which features the veteran Apoc on the beat. If you think that DB can only rock a Trap instrumental, then this song will prove you wrong. She effortlessly switched her flow to suit the rugged boom bap sound. The old schoolers will surely bob their heads to this. DB ends the track with a Tagalog scheme, and just like “Santelmo”, the writing is flawless.
5. Now What
“Now What” is a well-written semi-biographical track mixed with some braggadocio lines. DB provides a summary of her humble beginnings in the scene and then, goes on to say that she’s headed for the throne. Alisson Shore produced this joint with his own brand of Trap, and as always, DB flowed on it with ease. The chorus also guarantees to make you sing along after the first listen. It’s reminiscent of the early to mid 90’s chant-style hooks in hip-hop.
Just some minor adjustments in her delivery, particularly the battle-oriented tunes, and DB will undoubtedly reach the top in no time. She needs a bit more of that Lady of Rage or Foxy Brown type of swag. As for her lyricism and choice of beats, there’s really nothing negative to say. “Aether” is a must-listen for fans of real hip-hop.
The EP is available for purchase at an affordable rate at Bandcamp. Let’s keep the local scene alive by buying the projects of our independent artists. Hopefully, we’ll get a full-length album from DB in the near future!