I’ll peel back the curtain for a second and tell you that Grant, Matt and I commiserate at times on how many albums get released per year now and how utterly impossible it is to keep up with them all. I’m sure that disappoints many would be rap artists who would like to get coverage through us, but we can’t even get to every release that goes through mainstream channels let alone every one that’s done with DIY hustle. Dax’s “I’ll Say It For You” seems to be somewhere in between. This was released through Dax’s own Living Legends Entertainment, not to be confused with the Cali super group of the same name. According to his Wikipedia bio though he’s with Columbia/Sony Music, which if accurate and up-to-date means he’s a major label artist who slipped right through the cracks since this album came out over three years ago.

That’s even more astounding to me when I read that “Dear God” had racked up 50 million+ views on YouTube, and to check the accuracy of his Wiki page I looked up the clip to see if it was true. They weren’t lying. It’s well over 50 million and could even be 55 by the time you read this. It seems like both the imagery of portraying himself as Jesus Christ bearing the cross and his own questions about the nature of faith and religion might have upset some pearl clutching reactionary right wing Christians. Frankly though the questions he asks are the ones I asked all through childhood.

“How do believe in a concept
where I speak to a man I’ve never seen with my own two eyes?
How do I know that religion wasn’t made just to separate the world
and create a whole disguise? Just to keep us in these chains
while the rich get richer and the poor pray to you, and perpetuate a lie?
How do I know this ain’t some big joke?
How can I have faith when there is no hope?
How the hell does one man have 100 billion dollars
and we still have people on the street that are broke?”

If I had heard this song sooner I’d have probably been a fan of Dax’s a whole lot sooner. He’s certainly led an interesting life from his birth until now — born in Canada, went to college in the United States, living everywhere from Ottawa to Wichita and Detroit to Los Angeles in his 28 years on earth. He’s been everything from an aspiring basketball player to a janitor, but it seems like rap music was his ultimate calling, and those experiences shaped the nature of songs like “Love Hurts.” Every rap word Dax spits comes from a personal place, and this one more so than most as he feels completely betrayed by the relationship he was in.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat
My heart skip beats
Social media don’t help
They’ll think I’m weak
I’ve been screaming that I’m cut but you just watch me bleed
I can’t love another woman ’cause the cycle repeats”

Since I’m now going to trust the voracity of the aforementioned Wiki page, I should also mention that it points out there was a public beef between Dax and Tory Lanez where the former took offense to the latter calling himself the “best rapper alive.” Frankly I take offense to a guy who calls himself a rapper who never raps, so I’m on Team Dax for that one, but Dax decided not to ride the beef and apologized to Lanez for calling him out. That’s probably the right call. Dax is a better singer than Tory Lanez too though if “I Need a Break” is any indication.

What’s the bottom line here? Well it’s simple. The marketplace of rap is so crowded right now that you can be as talented as Dax is, with a story as interesting as his, and be signed to major label distribution yet still fly completely beneath our radar. Even with “Dear God” doing what could genuinely be called a VIRAL amount of views on YouTube, he still didn’t make a blip. That’s bad news when talented people can get completely drowned out by the signal to noise ratio, and while I certainly don’t want rap to go back to the bad old days where distribution was controlled by a tiny few people who kept all of the profit for themselves, there was at least something to be said for a finite amount of physical albums per year versus an infinite amount of their digital equivalent.

Dax :: I'll Say It For You
7.5Overall Score