Album Review: C.I.T.Y. – Death Before Dishonor
C.I.T.Y. – Death Before Dishonor
Day & A Dream Rating: 4.0 out of 5
There are many instances of a rapper making a second first impression. C.I.T.Y., known to those primarily through the streets of New Orleans and its eclectic music scene, has emerged through the ranks of Kickback Sundays, the long running cypher and battle league started by SF2. He’s cut his teeth, performed and showed a form of perseverance most artists who believe they’re close to a perch of success wouldn’t have shown.
What separated C.I.T.Y. from that class of artists is evident on his most recent release Death Before Dishonor. Cloaked in tones of red and the mask of “blaxpoitated” change, the album represents everything about C.I.T.Y. musically. Dark tones, welt beating moments of thought and invoked malice, the album serves almost like an audio pamphlet to a Black Panther rally in the vein of Huey Newton. C.I.T.Y. doesn’t just want outright change with DBD, he wants revolution while wearing the flag of New Orleans proudly.
His pride becomes the tape’s major ethos, a small pebble when considering the grand magnificence behind it. “Keep Chasin” takes a weathered but easily enjoyed Adele sample to allow C.I.T.Y.’s voice, slight husk and clipped elevation give himself a mantra for continuance through music. It barrels on with “The Temptations”, another Yinfluence crafted cut with guitar stabs, marching band drums and the new Houstonian echoing his voice against the grain. When Yinfluence yields control of the sound, we get the bluesy “G Nikes” from K.O., a slight ode to New Orleans shoe culture but more about the surroundings of the Crescent City. Plain and simple, the city will never leave C.I.T.Y., nor should it considering where he lays his head now.
The hand claps and weaving synths of “The Most Beautiful Ambition” blends chaos with promise, Lyric Michelle’s rapid fire, rap until her last breath delivery makes the two an easy pair, for DBD is a mostly serious album with little undertones regarding anything else. It’s made to thought, to exchange intrigue and expression – something that C.I.T.Y. most certainly doesn’t lack. It runs well within the concept – the best first impression of a second kind in C.I.T.Y.’s eyes to to simply plow through anything with firepower and unflinching nerve. What does it say about an artist who consistently showed his worth for six months before a release? Nothing, except his train of thought runs in a singular direction – with no detours in sight.