Datin | The Roar
Darin’s “The Roar” is a good start for already seasoned artist.
Datin is the newest addition to the God Over Money Family and people have been waiting with baited breath to see what would come of it. Let’s be honest, in the world of CHH, Reach Records are the cultural ambassadors, Humble Beast are the social commentators, Lampmode are the ivory tower theologians, and God Over Money are the street corner preachers. With so few street preachers left in the world of CHH, the house that Bizzle built is a breath of fresh air for those who remember a time when all CHH had were street preachers.
As would be expected, Datin’s lyrical flow and focus are very similar to that of Bizzle. You might even call him Bizzle Jr. But, don’t get me wrong. Datin is certainly trying to be own artist. His GOM debut The Roar is proof positive of that. Full of slick beats, top-notch production, veteran-level lyrics, and smart collaborations, The Roar is as strong a debut project as I’ve heard.
Datin’s “Intro” sets the overall tone for the The Roar and he pulls no punches. He establishes early on his sense of urgency by claiming we’re in the last days. His flow is reminiscent of T-Bone when he was at his height, but has the cultural prowess of label mate Bizzle.
“Had Enough” (feat. Bizzle) and “Hallelujah All Day” were the first two singles released off of the project. They definitely had me salivating in anticipation of the newest GOM artist to join the roster and drop an album. The former takes to task GOM’s critics who armchair their attacks about “strategy” or “approach,” while Bizzle and Co. are hitting the streets with the truth of the Gospel. The latter talks about what it means to be a martyr, shining a spotlight on those who have given their lives for the faith, both ancient and modern.
“Giants Fall” has a nice East Coast vibe to it. No surprise, given that the track was co-produced by DJ Official. So, if you were a fan of Entermission, you’ll get that classic Fish sound with a new twist for 2016. Of course, Datin steps effortlessly into the mix and tears it up. Additionally, the beat is split in two—fast-paced and thunderous on the front 9 and slowed-down and measured on the back 9.
“He is Here” is a piece about the presence of God in the midst of life’s struggles. Sevin and Franky Bells collaborate on the record and things are a bit more jazzy and mellow with this one. I’d generally frown on a track like this following so soon after “Giants Fall,” but given that the back half of the previous track is mellow, it works.
The project is not without its drawbacks, though. While I love the forward trek of mainstream and CHH in a more instrumentally honest direction, here it leads to an album that feels disjointed here and there. One minute, Datin is hitting the listener hard with Scripture and colorful cultural commentary, the next he has slowed things to a snail’s pace. It’s not a bad thing, per se. Track listings are like a jigsaw puzzle. I don’t feel like it was put together in such a way that creates a lyrical and narrative flow.
The concern I have for the second project will be whether he can differentiate himself from Bizzle a bit. Despite being on God Over Money, he won’t survive very long if people think of him as just another Bizzle. We already have a Bizzle. I’d like to see people meet Datin.
Overall, The Roar is a good start for already seasoned artist. Datin’s been making the rounds in CHH for a little bit now, so it’s nice to see him land on a label that suits his particular approach and disposition. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow an evolve as an artist and we’ll hear a lot more from him in the future.