Earlier this month, Streatham rapper Dave closed the Brit awards wielding an electric guitar that shot flames out of its neck while he thumbed a lyrical solo. Behind him, a gospel choir provided a euphoric crescendo of melodies, while to his right stood rappers Ghetts, Meekz, Fredo and Giggs, all nodding emphatically to the flow of his bars. The O2 audience was on its feet, anointing this eight minutes of music as a rock star’s homecoming, proof that only three years after his debut album release, Dave can keep an arena rapt.
That debut, 2019’s Psychodrama, won the Mercury prize for its canny blend of earworming hooks and dextrous lyrical content that took aim at everything from political apathy to the stigmatisation of mental health issues, all in the form of an extended confessional from Dave to his psychotherapist.
Read the review in the Observer.
[This piece was published on 19/02/22]