fotm-reviewDoughbeezy – Footprints On The Moon
Self Released; 2014
Day & A Dream Rating: 4.0 out of 5
DOWNLOAD: Audiomack | PayPal

It’s 9 AM on a Tuesday and I’m breaking a review code, I’m reviewing a release on the day it came out.

People know I let tapes breathe a bit, sit around and stew in the ecosystem of my conscious. Get dirty, get bent, like a concept, hate another. That kind of thing. But for some damn reason, a stream of consciousness was necessary just to wrap my head around this particular tape.

So it happened finally. After pushbacks, delays, new interviews, more features and even more restless nights in the studio – Doughbeezy released his third proper mixtape, Footprints On The Moon on Tuesday afternoon. And it couldn’t have come at a more interesting cross point for the rapper.

Two years ago after making one of the few great all freestyle tapes in recent history with Reggie Bush & Kool-Aid, the first bit of Dough with original production surfaced in Blue Magic. It worked, from Sade samples to haunting chords and anthems such as “Fuck You” with Killa Kyleon, declarative and at times even emotive in opening up about his two children and the small bits of paranoia he has in regards to success.

A year later, it seemed as if he were following a tried and true template laid out by rappers before him. Instead of immediately jumping back into the booth to record another tape he toured, sold merchandise, played around with concepts and became even more of a regional name than before.  Then the delays kicked in on Footprints On The Moon, our original preview with the tape wound up being a full fledged Lost Tapes moment as everything on the project now is brand new – including mentions of his recent appearance on Channel 39’s NewsFix program.

Anticipation for the tape has been building for months on end, with every little bit of information the Houston rapper tweeted out or used via social media. There were fan Q&A sessions, very few leaks in terms of new music, artwork revelations and more. All the press had to hold before Monday night’s listening session at iMix Studio was “I’m From Texas”, produced by TrakkSounds and Chinky P.

From the onset there’s plenty of bite to be had from Footprints On The Moon, the self-championing of his own hard work making him sound more like Richard Sherman than rapper transported from up north according to his life story. TrakkSounds’ “Lift Off” splices voice work from Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 and lets Doughbeezy kick around while sitting on the throne, without the need of “dope boy financing or a partner in the league to back him”. How that ultimately works in the long run is up for grabs. It may make for Dough’s first literal sub shot at others depending on how you interpret it but there’s even more of a sneering displeasure in his voice after every enunciation. Dough’s pissed at something, mainly at anyone who dare doubt him.

Dough’s lyrics here still dig into various depths of creative hilarity. He creates the greatest Houston stripper ever via the vicious vixens on “Feel Free”, continually digs into bravado thumping on “Bumpin” and eat through a rather nifty Mystikal chop from Donnie Houston on “Still Smokin” but the question that will revolve around this tape, unlike the other two tapes is whether or not this transitions Dough from being a Houston darling, a regional monster into a national star with radio beginning for a clean single or two from the release. Dough only knows a few emotions on wax here, mostly moments of id catering. He teases his main woman by adhering to his other marriage to music on “24/7” featuring Rich Andruws and Jack Freeman’s cognac burning coda on “King” drives the point home that nobody will out work or out heart Doughbeezy at a moments notice.

“She’s On Top” with BeatKing may be the easiest marriage of two men with common themes that we’ve heard in quite sometime, bawdy and vociferous in nature and stretching out all it needs to in less than two minutes. There’s a question of where depth possibly could be when it comes to The Southeast Beast, about what makes him tick and drives him to push harder but its clear he wants brevity on those subjects – his kids and his desire to be on top. The touch from North to South on “Cruisin” with Slim Thug feels like a victory lap, bookended by a Thugga verse that tells us who’s up next.

It’s Dough, angry and ready to take aim at whomever.