Published Jul 29, 2020Overhauling vile old rap tropes can be surprisingly fun and fulfilling. With 2020 the Album, DijahSB makes that modernization sound like the party of the year. The Toronto MC does so with both celebratory conscious rhymes and astutely selected instrumentals. Prime example: "C'est la Vie." On it, they rhyme about catching your girlfriend's eye and tempting those among their audience to toss their bras onstage, as strutting bass, warbling synths and tinny high hats resound with nary a wasted note.
The forward-thinking rhymes are precisely, yet unfussily delivered. With that juxtaposition, DijahSB both evokes and builds upon the legacies of economically cadenced, progressive '80s rappers like Roxanne Shanté and Queen Latifah. As they pull off those feats, DijahSB is backed up by lean, upbeat production. Be it the rattling percussion and clipped synth squeals of "Broke Boi Anthem" or the purring keys and swaggering drums of "Frontin' Like Pharrell," listeners will shimmy shake their shoulders to this eight-track release even as they mull over the project's deeper themes.
The good time vibes are in lockstep with the triumphant narrative DijahSB spins throughout. That is especially apparent on the cash-strapped recollections of "I'll Pay You Back on Friday" or expressing gratitude for support systems on "Mama Said." By spinning their pain and elation into tracks instantly fit for the dance floor, DijahSB's 2020 the Album is sure to bring joy and solace to listeners. (Independent)