Da$H – V.I.C.E.S. (Throwback Thursday Review)

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While A$AP Mob was slowly moving their ways from the underground of NY to the mainstream, Da$H was there in the shadows. Carving the darker, grittier side of the Beast Coast with cohort RetcH, the Jersey duo became nearly a genre amongst themselves. Their blend of eclectic samples throughout their projects (Da$H’s V.I.C.E.S. & RetcH’s Polo Sporting Goods) was unmatched within the scene, managing to feel luxurious yet grimy. To this date, its maintained as Da$H’s strongest work lyrically.

Standing for Very Ignorant Content Exposing Success, he does just that throughout the tape. He consistently manages to take the life of reckless behavior & make it sound luxurious. Due to his broad vocabulary, these beautifully poetic verses despite describing low life activities.

Catharsis, doing numbers, Dustin Hoffman

And I split it with my family, like I’m Danny Partridge

I did all this, Ichabod Crane couldn’t behead the horseman

The flawless foreign, skin color porridge

The activis I poured it, boss shit

Keep it same through my recordings, people shall applaud him

Went to Hell and came back cause it was boring

In the same Jag Travolta had in Swordfish

The Bat$

Throughout the tape, he manages to pack in all these film references that pair perfectly with his drug usage. Most of the content he refers to is ones that have a heavy focus on copious amounts of drugs. “The Bat$” in its title alone is a reference to the bats Johnny Depp sees in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. That, along with all the references to various films such as Rain Man & Swordfish, takes you into a wild whiplash of vivid worlds amongst his bleak drug addicted reality.

Da$H – The Bat$

That’s not to take away from the Ignorant part of the title though. Songs like “So Cold” are easily the most belligerent track here, bass booming as it encourages drowning in drugs from Da$H. A$AP Ferg’s adlibs echo throughout as A$AP Nast also appears to kill it lyrically. Its an extremely barebones track that grabs you immediately.

Its a project that captures any & all vices. Even though the track “SeXXual Interlude” is fairly short, its a necessary addition as it captures lust. He likens his own sexual achievements to that of a weapon, something so powerful that it overtakes for an entire track. Despite the power of drugs, there’s just as much power in the other vices.

While beat changes have become more common place, they’re rarely used sufficiently. There are a few tracks here that actually pull this off well. One such track is “Parachute Escape / Counseling,” where he’s aware of the consequences in the first half & suffers them in the next half. He describes all these ill-gotten gains in “Parachute Escape,” meanwhile he describes how other people detach from his hellish behavior. It doesn’t highlight his regret, but it does show that despite all the drugs, these thoughts do cross his mind. Never fully escaping reality.

Da$H – Parachute Escape / Counseling

A rare Earl Sweatshirt production is here in the form of “Whalé.” As he’s assisted by RetcH & Ab-Soul, who deliver their own dense verses in their own right, Da$H does another deeply packed film referential verse. The hook bluntly spelling out “I HATE YOU,” this is a track that lives within its own vices.

Wake up and read about my capers in the Sunday papers

Young Vincent Vega

Got a date with Uma Thurman later

Prescription drugs run through the arteries

Tell myself, this what a god should be

Whether its the money mission, the drug benders, or the women, this tape is a exemplary statement on the vices that surround all of us. Diving directly into all of them, Da$H crafts a world that captures a moment of loss. One that captures the loss of self, and letting your vices consume your being. One that was hopefully cathartic for Da$H along the way.

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