It’s been a long time coming, but Old Lights New Lights (OLNL) is finally here. After spending days in my bedroom and car with this album all I want to do is talk about it, so let’s go!
The album is available for purchase on iTUNES, or you can stream it on SoundCloud. From an underground artist’s stand point I think that is extremely clever and considerate- let your fans buy your album, or let them stream it for free. Knowing our fan base is so dedicated-we are bound it buy it, but also knowing that some can’t afford it. Nice!
Old Lights refers to the street life that Dub-O used to live, and New Lights refers to the stage lights he is now under. Push play and the introduction completely captures attention- it’s like ‘Oh damn he wants out, let Dub out the car!’ and maybe you haven’t quite caught on, but this introduction, for me any way, explains the title “Old Lights New Lights” perfectly, go ahead PUSH PLAY, you’ll feel it.
“I’m out this shit fuck that” annoyed, he is eager to get out of that car and away from that scene, but between the helicopter noise, sounds of him running and being out of breathe, you know it was a struggle to get away, just as it is for any rising artist to get from their old lights to their new lights. A lot of hip hop artists have struggled with leaving the streets behind and focusing on music. As he steps into the venue he is immediately yelled at by the promoter, “You’re fucking late get on the stage, fucking rappers.” Although this guy wants to shit on him, Dub-O doesn’t let it get to him, with pep in his voice he asks, “Ay where my mic at?” ready as ever.
The first track P.O.M. (Peace of Mind) gives us a head-bobbing melodic flow enticing listeners to focus on the words, and the rising tempo brings us to it’s smooth hook, getting listeners singing along. Holding tight to the optimism, on his first verse of the album he raps “Hello bright lights, what you got for me?” After listening to this track it is evident that Dub-O’s not trippin over his haters, and he’s adamant as ever, only looking up.
Delving into the stoner side of Dub-O, that we all know and love, he gives us Choppin Trees. The perfect track to smoke to, cruise to, and most importantly, bounce to! (As I’m writing this my friend texted me a video of him performing this song in Edmonton last night, and boy I can’t wait to be bouncing in the crowd for this track! His shows are hype you have to catch him on the Guilty 4 Grinding tour this summer! guilty4grinding.com) The lyrics to this song are much like this whole album, in your face. My favorite lines include “Back to that bread imma stack it
Makin it harder to see ya
Boss decisions I’m makin see that’s the difference between us
Man I be grinding like I’m bout to go and re-up
Plastic crack on the scale get you 12 grams for your speakers and let it bang
Like ‘Do I Know You’
Fuckin foolie this that life now let me show you”
Plastic crack refers to a CD, which weighs 15 grams, I looked it up, but close enough this line is DOPE, like DIKY(his first mixtape)? Fuckin foolie!!!
I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a favorite track, number 3, Doubt It. Maybe it has a little to do with the fact that this song was recorded while the boys were on The Lace Up tour, aka the best tour ever, but mainly for the way it makes me feel. Right off, the piano pulls listeners from the previous energy of Choppin Trees and shakes ones emotions, starting with the line “They ain’t fuckin witcha boy”. For serious Dub-O fans, wanting nothing more than for him to shine, that line really hits deep. By the end, this song assures us Dub-O has been grinding, whether ‘they’ know it or not. And he has what it takes: swag, flow, focus, his crew, and bitches (but not before business). “Man I tell em I get it, got it, been about it, along way comin’ I’m from the bottom, so for the sake celebrate”
There’s several hype tracks on this album but I’m not sure they can compete with the upbeat jam, Reppin Dat. Featuring MGK, the two give us a great new EST anthem song, “I been reppin that!” This is definitely one of those songs you pray Dub and MGK perform together, EST fest perhaps? You just can’t fuck with these two when they jump on a track together, “No way!”
Track number 5 is well… DOPE. Play this song and immediately feel yourself swaggin. This song is the shit, “introduce the world to that LOUD DOPE” friends! No really, play this song for all your friends, it’s catchy and entices people to want more Dub-O music. Jp always kills it on the beat, but man, this one! Check out the intense video for it as well on Dub-O’s youtube channel: Dubz216.
The funniest part of OLNL is the skit before That’s That ***** goes into its first verse. Those girls are hilarious, “Bitch oh my fucking gosh he got the fucking bottles…Duuuub Dub Who?” And then they come back at the end to conclude that yes, he is that *****. The lyrics are crazy “Now and later I tell a candy ass hater, suck it DX,” referring to the wrestling group ‘D-Generation X’ and their signature slogan, ‘Suck it’. So many cool lyrics through out OLNL.
Can I Live, so how many of you have started this song over? Like damn, isn’t that how we all feel? CAN I LIVE LET ME LIVE. You just want to rap this in someones face. He talks about the things that have tried to hold him back like cops, and relationships, with this crazy attitude and accent in his voice, it’s similar to that in ‘Dope’. It’s new, and it’s different from DIKY, I like it. Next level shit. “Positive my energy, let me live eternity”
There isn’t a skippable track on this album.
Next we have Doin Numbers featuring fellow Cleveland rapper, Ray Jr. and while he doesn’t want to be included as a feature, our very own Slim Gudz on the hook. This song is fire, a banger, it goes, whatever you wanna say, it’s a hit. Both Dub and Ray are in-your-face with the verses. My favorite line is from Dub, “EST I rep a team a family came from nothin’ EST I rep a gang it’s family over numbers”
Since Reppin Dat started you’ve been hype, rocking out, but now towards the end of the album he starts grabbing at your emotions again with Can’t Help Myself. The voicemail at the beginning cracks me up, she truely could not help herself. Anyways, the beat comes on and Dub hits us with “Man I got old flings I cant shake
Old habits I can’t break
Double back on my mistakes, nobodies perfect”
Dub-O you so real. So many relatable lines in this song. He taps into your guilty conscience. All the bad shit we do that just makes us feel good at the time. Whether it’s a going back to a bad relationship or smoking, we all have bad habits we can’t break. And if you don’t well, still, nobodies perfect. The hook is great.
Better Days seems to be a very popular favorite amongst Dub-O fans. While it’s the shortest song on the tape, at almost 2 minutes long, it seems to be a tear jerker, getting you going all at once and then coming to a quick positive end. In the first verse alone listeners go from feeling like nothing is going their way and life is hard, to being grateful to just be alive. The hook, which comes only once right between the two verses, makes you really connect with Dub-O. He was in the rain, and now he sees you there, but he knows from experience that the rain will wash away your pain. He gives you hope. The song wraps up with confidence, “Better days on the way, I promise just wait and see”
Onto track 11 we have Chill *****. This song is super cool, super chill. You’ll be swaggin out listening to this song. He is serenading females on the hook. Is this song the new Chill On 100 or what? Much like the rest of OLNL he is very open on this track.
New Lights is like the anthem of this album. Fuck the Old Lights..it’s all about the future. This song reminds me of his work ethic, making every day his bitch. “I took my clock out the garbage quit wasting time now it’s precious.” His flow is crazy and he gives us 3 hefty verses to seek motivation from. Get lost in the rhythm and find some inspiration.
To wrap up the tape Dub-O gives us a genuine, and authentic look into his past with Look At Where I’m At. Pay attention and once again you’ll hear Slim on the hook. Dub tells us about the hardships he went through growing up, a lot of it we can all relate to. It makes you proud of Dub-O, and his brother Slim, hearing all they have been through and knowing where they are now.
I hope you find inspiration while swaggin to Dub-O’s highly anticipated album. It was WELL worth the wait. Oh and I think it’s pretty neat throughout the tape he references not only DIKY but many songs off of it including On Deck, Same Ol’, Moves to Make, Made It, Paid, and Hy for Dayz. Super cool shit!