Album cover The Treatment - Dave Dub
The TreatmentDave Dub6/10

Dave Dub - The Treatment

19 May 2012 macron1

Dave Dub had a good go as one of the 500 rap guys to appear on the recent Quakers effort, featuring on the track 'My Mantra' that was amongst the 25 or so highlights of that album. Other than that I don't know much about him. Research/Google algorithms show that Dave Dub is rapper from the S.F Bay Area, San Jose, USA, and The Treatment is his début out on Stones Throw. There are a couple of Dave Dubs on the internet including one who designs and develops bespoke software systems and digital asset creation pipelines, one who posted clips on YouTube back in 2007 that had funny comments along the lines of Dave Dub is a fucking savage MC, beat is sick, sound like escape from NY theme sample and who may or may not be the Dave Dub who made The Treatment, and the Dave Dub associated with this Myspace page. I think this latter one is the Dave that this review is about. The dude in the 2007 video does not sound much like the Dave Dub on The Treatment, but Treatment-Dave is also a pretty "fucking savage" MC and the beats too are sick. Just listen (mp3 link).

The label website says The Treatment is hip-hop at its "bare bones", which is probably a good thing? It sounds good and is reminiscent of some hip hop that was recorded 8-17 years ago, say something a little bit like the likes of Edan or Siah and Yeshua DapoED or perhaps some Kool Keith / Dr Octagon type stuff from about 1996, e.g. the track 'Upside Down Lineage' sounds like some kind of slow down version of 'Earth People' and the intro to 'The Tribulation' sounds a bit like the start of 'Make Up Your Mind'. The lyrical flow on 'The Tribulation' evokes memories of something along the lines of the Killah Priest verse on '4th Chamber' off of Liquid Swords. It's all a bit eerie how "out of place" this album feels in terms of its look and sound and aesthetic, but that was obviously on purpose and Dave Dub and that (think Tape Mastah Steph and Peanut Butter Wolf were involved) have done a fucking good job.

The Treatment is allegedly "a horror film as refracted through the mind of a man who’s seen it all and knows too much", and the subject matter on most of the tracks is fairly... obscure. For example the track 'Escaping My Voice' opens up with it won't renounce me, eccentric administer / I won't lose it however / after I recite, I spit out a mud* of mucous to baptise the night, then there is a bunch of shit about masters of concepts and demented spirits etc. etc., I have no idea what it is about, that one (like mostly all of the record) is a bit deep.

There are a couple of instrumental tracks, with 'Much Gratitude' dropping in as early as track 3, while elsewhere there is the mildly amusingly titled 'Space Nigga', and 'Day of Reckoning'. The latter features a piano part that is reminiscent of that 2001 Daddy Kev track 'First Things Last' that sounds like a skill drill scuttling down the piano's chromatic scale and is quite good.

According to the Stones Throw bio, Dave Dub from ’92 on ... abandoned even caring about commercial rap and detached himself from the genre, then there is some talk about escaping to Jamaica to avoid Y2k because there are no computers down there?, but overall the numbers check out. They also give you an idea of the kind of sound we are dealing with—something that sounds as if it was crystallised in a mid-90s underground weirdo type phase and consequently bears little resemblance to commercial rap from "nowadays", devoid of lame-wad boasting and umm mirrored shades and sports hats or whatever I dunno I haven't switched on a radio in a while and also I cannot remember what commercial rap sounded like in 1992.

In conclusion, The Treatment will make a great addition to your mp3 library.

*might not actually say mud. Could be mode? Or something else.

Sardless Tracks

  • Superfly
  • The Tribulation
  • Space Nigga
  • Day of Reckoning

Track Listing

  1. Superfly
  2. The Treatment
  3. Much Gratitude
  4. Escaping My Voice
  5. Upside Down Lineage
  6. As They Worship
  7. The Tribulation
  8. Fire Laced Fragment
  9. Space Nigga
  10. Daring A Ruler
  11. The Day Of Reckoning
  12. Planet Rhyme
  13. Domination