Album Review :
Playdough - Writer Dye

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Band: Playdough
Release: Writer Dye
Label: none
Release Date: November 2010
Reviewed By: BMer

Track List:

  1. Modest Mouseketeer (2:24)
  2. Stickabush (2:26)
  3. Adidas Have 3 WhiteStripes (2:35)
  4. Nirvanding with Chucky Sly (2:54)
  5. Kick in TheDoors with Othello and Theory Hazit (3:54)
  6. Leon is King with Sivion (3:29)
  7. Violent Feminine with DJ Sean P (2:38)
  8. Pearls of a PigJam (TempleOfDogma) with SevStatik (2:59)
  9. Arrowsmitherines (3:49)
  10. Bending Benson (2:39)

Writer Dye is the most recent mixtape released by the hip-hop artist known as Playdough. You probably already know some of Playdough’s work, he’s a key part of Deep Space 5 and also Ill Harmonics. Writer Dye is his second mixtape released, both for free (or donation), and both in preparation for his release of a full-length album coming out in the spring of 2011 titled Hotdoggin’. Writer Dye is somewhat of a concept album, taking parts from popular pop songs and creating a song around those borrowed parts.

If you’re a fan of rap music, or hip-hop, there are definitely two ways to go when it comes to Christian hip-hop; one way would be to listen to artists that sound somewhat like the rappers you might hear on the radio, Christian rappers like Lecrae or Trip Lee. Their style is big beats, catchy hooks, auto-tune and other gimmicks. That style is definitely on the rise in the past few years, recovering from the post-DC Talk Christian rap debacle, artists like Lecrae carry serious respect in the music industry, Christian or not. The other route you could go would be Christian hip-hop, a genre that has always been underground and continues to stay just below the surface. You probably already like hip-hop and you don’t even know it, groups like Black Eyed Peas were once hip-hop, or Jurrassic 5, or Tribe Called Quest. Christian music fans have never really enjoyed a wide selection when it comes to hip-hop, with groups like Deepspace 5 and LA Symphony dominating the scene. Chances are that if you’re listening to Christian hip-hop you’re probably listening to someone connected to either LA Symphony or Deepspace 5, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Playdough is part of Deepspace 5, and while the group is solid, i think Playdough is even better on his own. Writer Dye stands on it’s own as a very creative collection of quality hiphop tracks, and it is obvious that Playdough is full of raps. Not only does Playdough write whitty, whimsical lyrics, but his delivery is also terrific. Playdough’s rhyme’s come across as effortless, like maybe he converses in rhymes:

“This is Billy Grahm, Jean Claude Van Damme, kickin’ gospel Good News rap in band jam […] call it Christian rap, call it God’s sound, call it Next Year / whatever it’s called now, it was falling down, now it’s falling up, speed-dial freestyle buddy call it up. Get your fist ball it up in the air and feel the wind God won’t let you see but it’s there…”

Songs like “Kick In The Doors” are great with it’s walking bass-line and guest spots from Othello and Theory Hazit. “Pearls of a Pigjam” is another hit with a killer driving beat, it borrows from Pearl Jam’s “Hunger Strike” Playdough tells his story about growing up without excess “…give a what for what you showin’ on Cribs, i got a cardboard box where the homeless live…” Playdough ties each song back to the Bible, telling stories like in “Nirvanding” where he sings about Lazarus and use’s “Lake of Fire” which was made popular by Nirvana (although not written by Nirvana). “Leon is King” borrows from Kings of Leon’s “Revelery” is an introspective track that acknowledges “…wherever i end up God will be lifted, that’s where success is…

OVERALL Writer Dye is a great little mixtape, 10 tracks that are each about three minutes longs, short and sweet. There are plenty of guest spots scattered throughout from Sivion to SevStatik, the production is upbeat and energetic. The concept of borrowing from other popular songs is only really noticeable if you know the song being reference, when i say “borrowed” i mean that he sings the borrow lyrics as opposed to sampling the song. Playdough shows that he can hang with most MC’s today, tight lyrics with a faith-based message.

Get it for free here