Here is a review that i wrote for my man D-Major under my phatmass pseudonym:
Review: D-Major – Street Manna
Emcee/producer David Rey hails from Chi-town originally. Formerly known as the Apologist, he used to put his explicitly Catholic raps to classical music, now as D-Major he has returned to his hip-hop roots of fresh rhymes over “soul and jazz samples and chops” appealing more to all lovers of hip-hop.
D-Major describes his debut album Street Manna:
“[it’s] Just my contribution to hip-hop. To provide an old school meets new school sound… to go back to my old style and give people something to enjoy bumping in their ride.”
What does the title Street Manna mean?
“The new Manna on the streets… the Heavenly Food falling down to the people on the streets…the common man.”
The title track Street Manna sets things off on this album and really gives the listener an idea of what to expect from D-Major in terms of that old school meets new school sound. Who says that Hip-hop is dead? Scratches compliment, courtesy of DJ 86.
Is this whatcha want is “full of rhymes that you wont find on CDs at BestBuy” such as my favorite line: “they throw tomatoes dead at me, carrot sticks and celery, I turn the other check and smile and just receive it readily”.
All They Want is Love is the story D-Major tells of three broken, troubled youths and the difference that someone made in the life of one of them. Hard-hitting horns accent this meaningful song with a twist in the last verse–pointing to a deeper reality.
D-Major just flows over Feel the Vibe, a banger with 90’s old school goodness, replete with horns and almost hypnotic bass line. It’s one of my favorites on the LP.
Ultramontane rapper Akalyte joins D-Major as they set out to serve emcees for breakfast in Butta on ma Pancakes. Fun lyrics aimed at wack emcees and rhyme biters: “a slave to sin but somehow ya master?” and “you bite so hard you even included my typos” plus more. A Tribe Called Quest jazz kind of beat on this.
Priest in the Hood is the second storytelling rap on the LP. The more darker and hardcore baseline really works with the subject matter. D-Major raps about a priest ministering to victims of gang violence.
Say What and Prolific are the explicitly Catholic songs on Street Manna. While I wasn’t really feeling Say What? I did like Prolific—it sounds like the Apologist transforming into D-Major and features dope voice sampling on the hook.
Next up are four unbelievably bangin’ tracks in a row! As follows:
Footprints features a crazy dope beat and reggae hook by D-Major! Akalyte and D-Major—collectively nicknamed Rome’s Finest with the flava. “Thought you heard Akalyte before? Well here he is once again with more seriousness.”
Broke Pockets’ production tempts me to put D-Major up there with DJ Premier. No joke. Hot beat with vocal samples of Rakim and Nas highlight this song about unemployment. Wow.
There’s No Way Out of the next track featuring beautiful sampling of The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hanging On”. Non-stop talkers may be annoying—we’ve all experienced them, but they make for fun hip-hop subject matter on No Way Out.
Rome’s Finest rip the mic up on Let the Beat Spin. Head-nodding sick party type beat with the dopest rhymes ever.
Giving the listener something different, Sentiments is D-Major’s love song to the Queen. Featuring the R&B vocals of Manuel3.
After Mass is a song to just chill out to. Speaking of Primo (DJ Premier), there’s some nice Jazz samples on this. In verse two, D-Major paints a picture of emcees spitting dope verses on the church steps after Mass: “bros flex and show that dope flows’ in pro-gress, circle forms heads bop slow and focused, beatboxers hold the whole mode in dopeness”
And that brings us to…
Do Right, featuring a dope verse by guest emcee Paradox, is about the struggle to do right. I’m really feeling this beat and the lyrics—they really work together to make this a memorable song. I’m not sure if the duration of the Aretha Franklin sample helps or hinders.
So ends Street Manna…but wait…there’s more. The hidden track comes up—a track dedicated to D-Major’s homeboy from Chicago. There’s a great line that goes: “put your arms in the air, keep ‘em up there, but please put ‘em down if I see armpit hair.”
Don’t sleep on Street Manna. It’s good hip-hop. DJ 86 provided scratches throughout. D-Major’s got skills, he’s dropped a solid album with production nothing short of stellar.
The only real gripe that I can muster up is that the Holy Waterholic skits are just not funny…well ‘T-Bone’ made me chuckle. But I digress. If you liked hip-hop from 1993 or ‘94…you’ll especially enjoy Street Manna.
I think the future looks bright for D-Major.