Damian Lilliard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A) made history with this album called ‘Confirmed’, becoming the first athlete to be featured on The Ratings Game! (He will be sent our signature Glutton-free Glutton in the mail for this accomplishment) Though this may be a huge accomplishment for him (Actually, i don’t think he gives a s–t), I think he’s good enough to become someone I see as just another rapper and not some bored baller that decided to hop on the mic during the offseason.
5. ONE AND ONLY
Yes ‘One and Only’ sounds a bit outdated, but you can’t say this song isn’t good music right?
Dame puts the tough guy rap persona to the back for this track, deciding to serenade his main chick with some lovely words instead. Guided by this altered version of Rell’s hook from ‘No Better Love’, Dame doesn’t hold back about how he feels about his girl, discussing the numerous plans he has to spoil her. Is his lyrics a bit cheesy? Yea, but that’s what I expected from a song like this.
Sappy R&B rap track: (Check).
4. BOSS LIFE
‘Boss Life’ is both smooth and tough at the same time, which to me fits Dame’s basketball persona perfectly.
Over this slow paced beat, Dame shows off his ability to rap about some boss-like s–t. The swag he comes with definitely sounds legit, and his bars do seem cocky enough to make me think his claims are believable.
Don’t you get the sense that Dame is holding back a tad bit on this song? Based off the tone of the record, he should be saying a lot more reckless s–t on his verses.
Smooth track displaying his ability to spit flames: (Check).
You really hear the West coast in Dame on this song, kinda reminding me of Coolio in his hayday (As long as he doesn’t have those struggle braids like Coolio, I am OK with that).
While most of this album has Dame showing off his ability to spit with the best of them, on this song I feel like he’s a little more laid back than usual. Don’t be alarmed though, you still get some really good punchlines from him on it, as he discusses how he’s different from these other n—as out there (aka the Kevin Durants of the world).
2 Chainz has so much fun on tracks, especially ones in which he only has to drop a verse to have his presence felt. I feel like his verse on this song is solid, as he sorta plays hop scotch with his flow.
Wavy track that has a 2 Chainz feature: (Check)
2. NO PUNCHES
This song serves as the ultimate introduction to the man we call D.A.M.E. Dolla.
On ‘No Punches’, the Trailblazer guard gives us heavy-hitting bars about his destiny to succeed, letting the listeners know that he sees no distractions or backwards movements in his peripheral. Not only does the beat knock on this track, but D.A.M.E.’s poise on the mic is also very impressive.
Super hero theme music: (Check)
1. THE LET DOWN
With help from BJ The Chicago Kid and Nick Grant, Dame created a heartwarming track that is impossible to hate.
On ‘The Let Down’, Dame actually holds his own against a rapper that I consider to be pretty good in Nick Grant. The 6’2 baller takes full advantage of the emotions of the beat, making sure listeners feel his every word.
I haven’t heard Nick Grant on a passionate record like this, and I feel like he is excellent on it! Nick sounds like an Andre 3000 clone to me on the track, pouring out his heart even more than Dame did.
Just having BJ on the song is a blessing, but when you are able to cater to the type of sound that BJ can excel in – that is a cherry on top.
All Around great song: (Check)
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. NO PUNCHES (4.6/5)
2. BOSS LIFE (4/5)
3. SWITCH SIDES (4/5)
4. RUN IT UP (3.8/5)
5. SHOOTA (3/5)
6. ANOMALY (4.2/5)
7. MARSHAWN LYNCH (4/5)
8. TRAP PARTY (FUNERAL) (3.3/5)
9. 5TH OF HENN (3.2/5)
10. ONE AND ONLY (4/5)
11. THE LET DOWN (4.7/5)
12. MEMBERS ONLY (3.7/5)
13. WONDERLAND (3.8/5)
Based off what I heard, Damian Lillard knocked out a few requirements that I needed to validate him as a real rapper in the game. So why did I give the album an average rating you ask? Because he’s missing a few key things:
- He’s sounds a little too anxious on the mic – On the basketball court, Dame succeeds because he has this coolness to his game that is predicated on him thinking that at his C-game he’s better than most at their A game; I feel like rap should be approached the same way. We can tell when you’re trying too hard on the mic, and on majority of the songs on this album it felt like he was. My advice for Dame is to relax a little.
- He’s missing that flair – Dame is really good lyrically, and he raps with a good flow, but he just lacks that appeal that makes him interesting for a full song. Is it his song selection? Maybe, but Dame still has to find a way to stand out on a track regardless of the tone.
Aside from those two beefs, I think Dame is pretty good on this album. I feel like he shows lots of good passion, emotion, and this love for rap that resonates in his music. I think with time he will learn to make his bars a lot less cliche, and establish a brand that truly makes him stand out.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.