Stay Gold

Love this track.  It’s my ringtone, in fact.  It’s by local Dallas rapper Dustin Cavazos (He’s the one on the left in the video still.)

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http://dustincavazos.com/staygold/ (download the ep for free!)

His next album, “In And Out of Sleep” is set to drop this year.  In case you missed it, check out my review for his debut full-length, the impressive, “I Think In the Shower I Dream On My Bike”, here.

Album Review: Dustin Cavazos – I Think In the Shower I Dream On My Bike

Dustin Cavazos – I Think In the Shower I Dream On My Bike
©2010 Dustin Cavazos Music

Dallas born-and-bred rapper Dustin Cavazos burst onto the local scene last year with his debut album, I Think In the Shower I Dream On My Bike.

Rather than trying to write a play-by-play for each song, I’ll give you the basics and then let the music do the talking – it says it all better than I could anyway.

The first half of the disc is the most radio-friendly and accessible from a mainstream perspective – but Cavazos’ art is anything but conventional and mainstream.  He knows how to spit a meaty verse, but remains organic, indie, and legit throughout.

“Skip This Day” opens the set as a slow burning short track, a sort of intro to the meat & potatoes of the disc.  He quickly segues into “First Things First,” a tune that establishes his priorities – getting up off the couch and “getting on his grind” to make something happen.

“Everything Everybody Told Us,” one of the album’s standout tracks, plays on the familiar “someday we’ll understand our parents were right about everything” theme many people realize as they enter adulthood.

“Fresh,” arguably the best cut on the disc, deftly samples the Chi-Lites, which serves to compliment Cavazos’ hand-clapping beats well, as he raps about dismissing his haters and his strapped upbringing in a close-knit but poor family.

On “Eye to Eye With Myself,” Cavazos gets a helping hand from the talented R&B/gospel darling Ayiesha Woods.  The track builds from a bubble of sound to a frenzied peak, with the two voices melding effortlessly into the soulful finishing lines.

“The Last Song I’ll Write About You” cleverly turns from Cavazos’ own personal final farewell to an ex girlfriend, into a shout out to the scandalous Everywoman, thanks to help from fellow MC Ty City.

The disc’s midpoint, beginning with “Fountain,” sees Cavazos take a distinctly cerebral turn for most of the last half of the album.  While the bulk of his work introduces musical experimentation, with interesting and unexpected blips and twists abounding, it is this slew of tracks that really turns the pace down a bit, but the headspace up to 12.  Cavazos creates lush walls of luxe sound landscapes, and truly puts his focus into perspective on superb tracks like “Is This It?” “You Choose,” and “I See the Future.”

The album serves not only as Cavazos’ open book of his philosophy, but also a love letter to his beloved Dallas.  (seriously, the city practically plays a recurring character – rarely do hometown shout-outs sound this sincere, rather than zip-code posturing)

While the disc is chock-full of homeboy-with-a-heart rhymes and clever lines about growing up relatively poor, and his staunch belief and support of his friends and family, his overall message of positivity connects each and every track like a chord running throughout the middle of the disc.

It’s perhaps on the album’s closer, “I See the Future,” where the philosophy of Dustin Cavazos the man becomes most clear – he’s not too troubled by the rough patches in life, because he knows in his heart that he has himself to rely on, and his friends and family as a never-ending source of support.  As he raps in the song, “Is it over? / Or will I wake? / Tomorrow’s never promised / And I will never finish / And you could never handle what it is that’s on my plate…”

Cavazos leaves the tired raps about “bitches, hos, and money” to lesser MCs (“Money and fame is better off in the toilet,” he raps early on), preferring to simply rhyme about the daily struggles of life in the hood and trying to make a name for himself, with his friends, family, and fans in tow.  He may just be the future savior of the local rap scene…and if music fans are lucky, he will be.

This review comes just before the highly anticipated (hopefully this month!?) release of his sophomore set, Be.Leave.Me.

Now, for that music I was telling you about.  For more on Dustin, visit him online at:

www.dustincavazos.com
www.myspace.com/dustincavazosmusic
www.twitter.com/dustincavazos

The Soundtrack To My Life

Just thought I’d post some vids to a few of my very favorite artists, just to give you readers a little further insight into me & my interests…probably a “real” post coming later.

My FAVORITE song of all time, by my favorite artist, Stevie Nicks.  www.rockalittle.com

/www.teganandsara.com

www.dustincavazos.com

Sadly, disbanded, but lead singer Johnette Napolitano is still very active.  Love this woman – she’s the reason I became a writer.  www.myspace.com/johnettenapolitano

She taught me being different is cool.  www.cyndilauper.com

www.tompetty.com/

www.sufjan.com

I’ll post more of these from time to time.  There are MANY, many more.