Forgotten Fridays returns to evaluate "Ride Wit Me," the 19-track release from Double Or Nothing Entertainment rapper, Q-Dub.
Q-Dub, a.k.a. DuB (not to be confused with Oklahoma rapper Double, who is also referred to as Dub), is a Central Oklahoma emcee who brings some East Coast influences to this Midwest scene. Though Q-dub is based out of the OKC metro, he calls South Carolina his home, as evident by his reminiscing of the "843" throughout the mixtape.
While the release caused quite a buzz on the underground rap scene in Guthrie, Okla., and Oklahoma City areas, there seems to be some mystery concerning Q-Dub. When Examiner reached out on the website that the mixtape was posted on, no response from Q-Dub was heard, and no real personal information on the rapper's social media could be found. Although this album caused a stir upon its release, it unfortunately weighs more heavily on the con side of the pro and con scale, so the upsides of the album will be addressed first.
One of the upsides to "Ride Wit Me" is that it has a sound unlike other releases from artists in the same scene. With South Carolina loyalist lyrics, and several beats that have more old-school Atlanta and Mideast influences, it helps it stick out from other Central Oklahoma projects.
Many of the beats have an atmosphere of earlier work by Lil' Boosie and 50 Cent, providing a nostalgic quality. Another positive about this release is that, though it follows many hood rap traditions, for the most part, it avoids degradation of women and emphasis of "getting hoes" like many other releases in the same vain.
Lyrically, Q-Dub has good timing and also manages to sneak a clever line in every now and again, even though he doesn't pride himself on being a "punch line rapper." Also, Q-Dub doesn't spare any honesty in his lyrics. He talks about his former endeavors as a drug dealer in a way other rappers rarely do and that is humbly instead of arrogantly.
This album has some admirable traits, but it also has its share of downfalls. The first thing that does damage to the album's quality is the choice of the DJ. South Carolina DJ K-Smooth is the host of the mixtape and is not the best selection, in all honesty. Between the unrelenting rambling through a karaoke machine-quality mic and bad-glitch break beats, it makes the DJ work annoying. "Ride Wit Me" also has a some lackluster features on it, with amateur rapping and singing and basic, un-engaging lyrical content.
Another quality that hinders this project is Q-Dub's own lyrical content. While he is committed and honest, he rarely strays from spitting about pushing drugs or getting money. His delivery also sometimes crosses the line from laid back to monotone every now and again. And even though some beats are very unique on this album, many are unmemorable or poorly mixed.
Even with Q-Dub's album spawning enjoyable tracks, such as "RedRum," "One Take" and "P.I.F. (Paid In Full)," it doesn't outweigh the negatives. With all taken into account, this album eeks out with 2/5 stars.