Dat Boy Supa
Reviewed by Kahron Spearman, Fri., Nov. 21, 2014
Dat Boy SupaSupaCabra (The Fraternity)
Aside from overtones of street grit mixed with occasional camp, tonal gradation existed within the blaxploitation film genre. Filled with biting social commentary and stereotype inversions, it also gave glimmers of hope for the inner city. Camp Lo's slept-on Uptown Saturday Night highlighted the lingo-heavy, Black Hollywood take on the era, while Roc Marciano's low-key near-classic Marcberg illuminated the cold-hearted and dirty underbelly of the hood: drugs, pimping, and wholesale gangsterism. SupaCabra lies along another parallel: the everyday man turned accidental hero just trying to exist, and hopefully thrive. "My Ish" begins as a pimp's soliloquy, but it's clear Dat Boy Supa's speaking to personal exceptionalism. "Higher" nods to Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man-era orchestration and spotlights an exceptional verse from G-Jet. Standout "Boss Nigga" takes a sample from the film of the same name to another level. Tone Jonez contributes vocals to his instantly radio-ready production, "Love Unconditional," for which Supa's easy flow is tailor made. Venturing into the sociopolitical on "Dreams/Interlude," Supa opines: "Prisoner of policy, while politicians politicking/ Without a pot to piss in, guess that was their mission?" The colossus of sound from Showdownbeats and SFTA, respectively, occasionally swallows the local (by way of Dallas) rapper's verse, but on the urgent "Let Me In," an amped wordsmith demands your respect for his no-bones approach to wordplay, while the album's other R&B tinged offering, "That's Life," provides a break with a spliffy, evening drive feel. SupaCabra wins with efficiency and dedication to central ideas. At around 45 minutes, it keeps a lean profile that plays sharper as one piece, never straying from its overall tone and message. Supa doesn't bombard tracks with lyrical/miracle bars (on top of bars). He maintains a level of consistency necessary to stay "in the pocket" for an entire album – an almost miraculous feat for a rap album. The everyday man claims victory for once.