Dez Nato’s LaDolceVita Impresses and Connects at Every Level
Jacksonville, Florida rapper Dez Nado, which stands for “The D.efinition of E.ffort and Z.eal iN A.mbition and D.edication to .Opportunity,” presents his fourteen-track hip hop album: LaDolceVita, released March of 2016.
The album opens up with the first track also named “LaDolceVita,” and features the vocal work of Jermeka Monae. One thing that really stands out to me about this track is how raw the sound is. Nothing sounds heavily processed, and every instrumental and vocal track has that kind of authenticity that places Dez Nado, Jermeka, and the band on stage in front of a listener as if it’s a live show. Everything, from Dez Nado and Jermeka’s vocals, to the electric guitar, to the percussions, and the synths – everything is perfectly levelled with each other. The vocals are clearly heard, and the instrumental does a fantastic job supporting the vocals. The song delivers memorable rap lines from Dez Nado, addicting melodies from Jermeka, and gripping drum fills.
After “LaDolceVita” slows down for the end, the song switches to a fuzzy recording of a gospel choir singing and a man shouting a prayer before a battle, where they’ll “fight with a rifle in one hand and good books in the other.” And trust me – there is a lot of spoken word in this album, another unique standout feature of this album. This speech transitions into the second track, “Soulja Up.” This one has way more of an aggressive sound, with a more heavily-thumping beat and Dez Nado shouting to “soulja up” because war has been declared against oppression and destruction. The ending of this song breaks into full chaos, complete with sound effects of gun shots, air raid sirens, screaming, and more meaningful spoken word through various speakers. This transitions into track three, “Prelude 2 Revolution,” which is fully spoken. Panning is used on the voices, which allows them to surround the listener and bring their words to life. Listen closely and pay attention to the meaning behind the words, which are reflective of the real-life problems the world is facing today.
“American Dream,” the fourth track, features Jana Mizik and Tyler Norris. It has a very eerie instrumental, and the opening lyrics, wishing various people to rest in peace, sets the overall vibe of the song. This song adds a horrifying atmosphere to the American dream. The fifth track, “Already Turnt” features G-Slim and Bangem and has a little more of a party-hard sound with the all-familiar drum beats and fills. The last two minutes of the song is a little scene that takes place at a public basketball court, with the narrator who spent time overseas catches up with family members and friends.
“Duele,” featuring Jermeka Monae, Gabrielle, and Twenty8, has a gripping, celebratory-sounding, latino-esque beat to it that goes both fast and slow. Keeping up with the latino sound, the seventh track “Cuando Estoy Contigo” takes a more slower approach with a heavy, hearts-beating, romantically lingering atmosphere. Track eight, “Luv the Way U Do It” which features Chase Turner, is another love song which delivers a more classic hip hop sound, a smooth guitar riff, and a chilling drum beat. At the song’s conclusion, we hear a thunder-and-rain sound effect with an accompanied, distorted speech. This transitions into the ninth track, “Rainy Day” featuring Jana Mizik. This song has a tight reggae beat that brings sunshine to a rainy day. After the song, the listener is taken on a car ride with the narrator who talks about “fear, pride, arrogance, narcissism … all that good stuff.” Track ten, “Southern Discomfort,” features Lankdizzim and has a sizzling beat with a dominant 808 cowbell. “Fed Up” is the eleventh track featuring Royal Francis and has a heavy-pounding beat with attitude. “Pain” with Jermeka Monae has a synth riff that gives the overall sound a simultaneously creepy and calming atmosphere. Jermeka appears once more in “Will of Fortune,” and has another excellent vocal performance. The album closes out with “More 2 Life” featuring Meanz of Operation, reminding listeners that there is more to life than just going through the same, repeated motions.
Overall, Dez Nado’s fourteen track album LaDolceVita is impressive. It has a lot of varying content for the listener to dissect, listen to, and reflect. It’s absolutely nice to have an album these days like LaDolceVita that talks about ongoing issues in the world.