Dame D.O.L.L.A. nearly shoots 100% from the field in “Different On Levels The Lord Allowed.”
5. The Juice
“The Juice” will definitely quench your thirst (Sorry, I had to).
Still to this day, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing to have “the juice” (I didn’t fully understand the ending to Juice). Whatever the case may be, in “The Juice,” Dame sounds as focused as he’s ever sounded. Throughout the song, he hits us with punchlines that you will have to hear a few times to understand, flows that cannot be broken by a full-court press, and most importantly, lyrics that indicate that he is woke to the bulls**t that is going on around him. As expected, featured guest Jane Handcock adds some well-needed soulfulness to “The Juice,” as she blesses the song with a hook that might f**k around and give you chills.
4. Right One
F**k Wikipedia pages, Dame, Lil Wayne, and Mozzy let us know exactly who they are in “Right One.”
Dame, Wayne, and Mozzy are all professionals at keeping s**t 100 with folks (Wayne be keeping it 156 at times). In “Right One,” over a trap-Western-Esque beat, each rapper lets us know why they get respect in their hoods, why you shouldn’t double cross them, and why they will get to a billi before all of us. Do you know why you should believe every word that comes out of their mouths? Because they each rap using a very sly style (it’s always the calmest that tells the truth).
“Overnight” combines commercial vibes with both trill and infectious vibes.
The day Dame D.O.L.L.A. gets his songs to consistently play on radio stations, I will be extremely surprised. Not because he isn’t capable of making a really good commercial hit but because too many folks see him as a baller that happens to know how to rap. With that being said, “Overnight” is a track that has everything that is required for a commercial hit: Appealing raps, an irresistible hook by Blxst, and a bouncy beat. The only thing missing is lyrics about drugs (C’mon, Dame, just say “Percocet” once for the people).
I don’t know how Dame and Q-Tip got together for “Meditate,” and I don’t care how, what they bless us with in the song is hard as f**k!
If you are a fan of real hip-hop music, there’s no way that you can ignore the precision, the consistency, the ferociousness, and the slyness that both Dame and Q-Tip spit with in “Meditate.” Also, how can you not absolutely love the catchy hook Dame drops? All in all, “Meditate” is harder than a loudmouth rapper that has security backing them up during an altercation.
The Black Mamba will never be forgotten.
Do you know what I love about “Kobe?” It isn’t a mushy song at all; instead, it sounds grungy and action-packed. Not only do Dame D.O.L.L.A., Derrick Milano, and Snoop Dogg do great jobs of explaining to the world how great Kobe was, but they also don’t force s**t (Kobe wouldn’t want folks sounding like ultimate groupies when talking about him).
Man, Kobe’s death will never resonate with me…
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. The Juice (4/5)
2. Overnight (4/5)
3. Right One (4/5)
4. IYKYK (4/5)
5. For Me (3/5)
6. We The Ones (4/5)
7. Him Duncan (3/5)
8. Home Team (4/5)
9. Meditate (4/5)
10. Mentality Interlude (N/A)
11. Kobe (4/5)
12. GOAT Spirit (4/5)
A few months ago, I viewed the music video to “Goat Spirit” on YouTube and noticed that Dame D.O.L.L.A. was literally thanking every single person that took their time to leave a comment. What that told me was that Dame truly cares about this rap s**t, and that is hella refreshing. With caring usually comes continuous improvement, and based on what I heard on Different On Levels The Lord Allowed, I can tell that the Portland Trailblazers star has made vast improvements as an artist.
If we were living in a world where content was king, Different On Levels The Lord Allowed would win tons of awards. If you are a real one, you will love how Dame tackles everything from loyalty to royalty to real love to having hood emblems in the album. In other words, every single word that comes out of his mouth is meaningful, so no need to worry about losing brain cells.
If we were living in a world where standard rap songs were king, Different On Levels The Lord Allowed would win tons of awards. I feel like Dame relies on the old-school way of putting songs together (Most of the songs on the album boast your typical two to three rap verses and an R&B hook). Dame doesn’t step outside of his comfort zone as a musician at all (aka he doesn’t use autotune or toy with melodies); instead, he tries to catch our attention with impressive punchlines and very steady flows. In a world where we want our Big Macs Saweetified, our power forwards to be able to guard five positions, and our iPhones to come in all kinds of colors, I’m not sure folks will appreciate a one-dimension rapper.
I feel like Dame only asked real ones to feature on this album. Seriously, everyone from Snoop Dogg to Q-Tip to Lil Wayne to Mozzy all gets serious respect in this game. Since the album oozes nothing but real feels, only real ones should be on it anyway.
I purposely refrained from calling Dame D.O.L.L.A. by his real name in this post, and that is because I am someone that truly believes that he needs to have respect put on his rap name. What I love about Different On Levels The Lord Allowed is this: Just like he does on the basketball court when he sinks a three-pointer from the logo, Dame doesn’t wait for his defenders (aka his haters) to dictate how he plays (aka raps), he takes his shots at gaining respect by making music his way.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.