D.A.D.E The Album is a hip-hop project by artist Yooda. Throughout its one hour run time, Yooda fleshes out his ideas and concepts through lyrically dense rapping, stellar production, and a rich list of guest features. I appreciated how he portrayed himself, his experiences, and his hometown through story-telling and incredibly scenic bars.
From the get-go, Yooda cares about how he crafts his message. Starting with a vintage audio clip on the intro, he contextualizes the album’s setting: Dade, Miami. The album then formally begins with D.A.D.E, which establishes the dual meaning of the title: Don’t Assume Demand Everything. Yooda has a penchant for presenting things through his songwriting. Here he shows his present state and how things are going for him.
The samples on this album stand out for me. Tracks like You Don’t Know, Product of My City, There It Is, and Freedon Tower utilize mesmerizing samples that give old-school vibes to the album. Listening to Yooda and his cast perform over these instrumentals is a treat for me. Product of My City serves as a highlight here as it reminded me of Madlib’s production. There is great potential for Yooda to make an early Kanye era album by using soulful beats and samples.
The sampling on this album does not mean that other beats and instrumentals are lacking. Wasted Time delivers an island-influenced sound full of energy and trance-inducing vocals, thanks to Nubawn. Other than that, Freaky and All Mines have instrumentals that are tailored towards the subject matter they are addressing. Yooda knows where to slow down and enjoy the slow, intimate moments that this project offers. He has a sense of tailoring his production according to the style and subject matter he’s going for, which helps drive the album’s cohesiveness.
Let’s talk about the features of this album. Every song has a guest album that leaves with a lasting impression. Moon and Nubawn shine because of their melodic hooks that form the backbone of the songs that feature them. Other artists such as Lamborghini law, A-Sis, and Kavince also stood out to me. They all have different flows, perspectives, and styles to offer—Lamborghini Law, especially, for his creative and clever wordplay.
Undoubtedly, the star of the show is Yooda. Throughout the album, he deals with a wide range of issues, ideas, and themes. He fleshes them out in his songs and drives the point home. He deals with some themes better than others. For example, he talks about his come-up and being a product of his environment on Product of My City. His level of introspection shows how mature he is. The environment, which is Miami in general, is also a central focus of the album. Tracks like There It Is, Mcduffie Riot, and Sweetwater help construct this environment. He relays information quite well in his lyrics and crafts an impression of the Miami that he’s lived in. On a macroscopic scale, his presentation of Miami leaves little to the imagination as he can walk us through its history and the current climate in his songs. For an album that carries Dade county’s name, it does a very good job presenting its arguments.
The next level of ideas surrounds Yooda himself. This is where he gets reflective and intriguing. Songs such as You Don’t Know, and Freedon Tower dive deep into the personality of Yooda. He talks about his struggles and roots. There are grim realities that he’s faced and seen. Being at a better point in his life doesn’t mean that Yooda hides from his roots but he embraces them fully. While these songs go a long way to establish his current philosophies and outlook on life, he also shows his softer and more vulnerable side on tracks like Freaky and All Mines. These two songs help show how multi-dimensional Yooda is.
Yooda carries the album with a ton of energy and experiments with different flows as well. A high point in the album for me was Product of My City. The soulful singing, heartfelt lyrics, and the theme of hustling despite external factors were amazing and well-executed combinations. There were enjoyable and club-centric moments such as Waste Time and On My Shit, Convertible Burt. These tracks were absolute bangers because of their catchy hooks, braggadocios tone, and spurts of pure energy. Having a mixture of introspective, slow, and banger tracks keeps the experience fresh even if the album has a relatively longer run-time and track-list. I never felt it stagnate too much.
Overall, I really enjoyed D.A.D.E the Album by Yooda. He has something for everyone on this album, and this helps solidify him as a versatile artist. I highly recommend listening to this album!