The pairing of skateboarding and hip-hop culture could be a good combination, as artists like Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco have proven before. And recently, New York rapper Black Dave has used this mix to build a pretty respectable fan base around the U.S.

With his latest effort, 'Black Bart,' the young rapper clearly shows that he was influenced by southern hip-hop growing up, which is most evident on songs like 'New NWO' and 'Take It Back.'

On the latter, producer Shy Guy uses a catchy vocal sample that coincides nicely with Black Dave's tight and bouncy flow. And he does the same on the song '9:40,' which sounds Wu-Tang-inspired, due to the main sample used.

Some of the other producers on the project include KE On The Track, Brady Becklo and Tom the Baby Couch, and some of the featured MCs are D Stunna, Smoke DZA, Riff Raff and Grande Marshall.

Overall, 'Black Bart' has a very rebellious spirit to it, as there are plenty of rhymes about not going to school and not settling for a 9-to-5 job. You'll probably hear this most on the cut 'Quit Ya Day Job,' as Dave tells listeners not to work at a place that doesn't pay you well or fulfill you.

Most of the songs on the tape score well, in terms of having beats and rhymes that complement each other. However, a few missteps can be heard on songs like 'Mind Off Da BS,' where the New York rapper uses a boring Soulja Boy-styled hook that completely falls flat.

And on 'Fake ID,' producer VeryRVRE uses an electronic dance style track that seems to drown out what Black Dave is trying to say.

But things do pick up on 'Wadadaang' featuring Bodega Bamz, where Dave borrows from Boogie Down Production's classic tune '9 mm,' and on 'Million Man March' he mixes black-pride-rhymes with a little braggadocio, which work well.

In its entirety, 'Black Bart' is a good release for its ambitious pairing of skateboard culture, hip-hop and black nationalism, and production-wise, most of the beats fit Dave's rhymes in adequate fashion. However, very few of the beats have that wow-factor that separates the good producers from the great ones.

And for that reason, the tape doesn't score as high as it could of, however, Black Dave has definite talent and a clear vision for what he wants to represent and convey. And that's a nice thing to have as an MC.



Listen to Black Dave's 'Black Bart' Mixtape

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