Cleveland native CW Allen returns with new EP The Dream Baby 2, sticking with hard-hitting and personal lyrics based round his life’s recent trials and tribulations.
You can always tell when an artist is able to honestly wear their heart on their sleeve. New EP The Dream Baby 2 form CW Allen is one example of this, as the rapper plays out hardships and turmoil from his recent life, backed by deep bass and steady beats. This is all based around strong hooks that play a vital part in allowing the listener to see the light at the end of the tunnel by the EP’s conclusion.
Lucid starts the EP off strongly as heavy beats and bass drop in against downplayed synths and samples. The track touches on the effect social media has on society and the addiction to attention it can create: “Follow, click it, like it…it’s a paralysing morphine”. This atmosphere is further heightened by some tailored female vocals that succeed in bringing the track out of its shell.
Gentle lo-fi keyboard opens second track Bad Dreams, written around the heavy-hearted time when CW Allen’s 19-year-old cousin was murdered. His lyrics are sincere and hard-hitting as he entices the listener with his emotional honesty: “Wake me up from this dream it’s sounding like a nightmare”. The horrific event obviously left him mentally drained and not knowing where to turn, with the lyrics backed by a repetitive chorus, almost feeling like the rapper is stuck in an atrocious loop of his own that he’s unable to get out of.
Care For You carries on with the theme of hard-times but sees the artist turning to God for answers in those darkest moments. This is all set out amongst an overall attitude of redemption and saviour as soulful, deep basslines lead to a chilled out chorus. Cloud follows with its lo-fi beats and samples, perfectly fitting with Allen’s vocals that are subtly comparable to Kanye West in tone and delivery.
The emotional tide is turning as we head into EP closer Everything, finishing off in a much needed uplifting way by being based around the news of the rapper’s daughter that’s due to be born in the Autumn. It’s a song of hope and a ray of light amongst a tumultuous time in Allen’s life: “Girl you changed everything, girl you’re my everything girl you know I’m never gonna leave”. It’s nice to hear the artist sing about an overwhelming happiness at bringing a new life into the world and looking forward to a new chapter after the hardships he’s been through. This is all set out to some of the strongest beats on the record that push forward to a satisfying conclusion.
The Dream Baby 2 is a testament to the artist’s strength in tragedy and played out through strong beats, heavy bass and soulful drops. The EP gives the listener an insight into the difficult times CW Allen has recently been through, with the lyrics offering up the rappers pain for all to see. The saving grace for the artist was turning back to God and the pending birth of his daughter, managing to turn the EP on its head and end on a high of redemption and a happy future. It almost feels as though the EP is therapy for the rapper, with the listener able to join in on the emotional journey, and see it through to its cheery conclusion.
By Jamie Parmenter