Review: Deca, ‘The Ocean’

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A ‘household name’ he’s not, but Deca has plenty to offer

Deca⎪The Ocean ⎪⎪ US Release Date: September 24, 2013

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deca-producer-original-72Deca is certainly no household name – that is a fact.  Regardless, the Denver, Colorado born MC definitely has skills. While he hasn’t ascended to commercial relevance as of yet, Deca has invested his services in the game, both collaboratively and as a soloist.  After three solo albums (Top of the Line Bottom Feeder, The Hedonist, and The Veil), Deca returns triumphantly with 2013 effort The OceanThe Ocean is an incredibly smart album, truly highlighting Deca’s cerebral nature as an MC.  His own reasoning for the title is higher level thinking: “The ocean is one of the most familiar symbols of the unconscious mind.” Impressively produced with soulful backdrops inciting Deca, the often dusty beats match the prudence of which the rappers spits in his rhymes.

Night’s Preparation” serves as the first of several interludes, all of which are unscripted. It precedes the fine “Gabriel Ratchet”, which finds Deca’s flow easygoing, matching chill, soulful production. Follow-up “Salome” is even more alluring, characterized by it’s lushness and perhaps most notably, the reference to the biblical figure.  “I saw the light that day / like we don’t ever have to live our life that way / Salome lead me down the the right pathway / take my head, watch the light cascade…” If you’re unfamiliar with Salome, you should do some research…really, whether you’re a believer or non-believer. :-/

“The Ocean (Interlude)” separates “Salome” from the next biblically-referencing delight, “Edenville”, which alludes to The Garden of Eden.  “One day, one became two / I sat beneath an apple tree with you / one day, I welcome change when I see him…”, Deca poetically delivers on the hook.  A cut with a return to the good, easier times before paradise was lost and innocence was stripped, “Edenville” is quite intriguing.  “Big Time” continues Deca’s introduction to many, though it doesn’t quite achieve the illustrious nature of “Salome” or “Edenville”.  “Pretty Things” (featuring King Foe) makes up for any loss of momentum, where Deca suggests that life is filled with ups and downs (“and I know how it goes, I get high, I get low… but that’s life…”).

Dreamscapes (Interlude)” continues to deliver an intellectually driven sound, regardless of being an interlude.  “Angel Butter” builds upon that braininess solidly, buttressing the poetic lyrics with hard drums.  Regardless of how solid “Angel Butter” is contextually, “Breadcrumbs” is the show stopper, no questions asked.  “Everything’s sunny, everything’s lovely, put me on a pedestal, hold n one above me / everything’s pleasant and good, eating breadcrumbs like the little peasant that could / fuel for the furnace combust, learn to adjust, you view the world on the surface with a certain disgust / but everything ‘s sunny, everything’s lovely, put me on a pedestal, hold no one above me…”  What is there to say to that? The lyrics are touching, honest, and incredibly artistic.  Oh and my homeboy’s love of all things biblical just makes it that much better (“Catch a stone cast at your dome by a / self righteous sinner that would send Gestapo to tap your phone…).

pressphoto_whiterabbitI’d never call myself a big interlude fan, but “Tariq Abdul Hamid (Interlude)” definitely brings something to the table, specifically the spoken words of prudence: “Don’t get hung up in that game man… stay away from that dope, stay way from dissipating yourself…what frees you is awareness.”  The reference to “paradise lost” shows up once more in “Sailboats and Trains”.  The theme is weighty, but the results worthwhile for sure.

Ultimately, Deca more than proves he has plenty to offer The Ocean. Sure its a brief 29 minutes of music, but the MC packs a punch, and goes ‘smarter’ than many would dare.  In an age where the next ‘dumb’ rap track seems to be the trend,  Deca goes against the grain to deliver something truly meaningful and deserving of wider recognition.  He gets my approval, easily.

Favorites: “Gabriel Ratchet”; “Salome”; “Edenville”; “Pretty Things”; “Breadcrumbs”

Verdict: ✰✰✰✰

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