D.O.A. ‘Never X Settle’ Official Album Review
Legacy Over Money Records head honcho, D.O.A. released a 7-track project, titled Never X Settle. How’s it sounding? Let’s listen in!
Before we get to the album: D.O.A. is like a Rap created player with the “veteran m.c.” package. His sliders are high where they need need to be to claim a legit productive player in the league. Simultaneously, his potential is still in the “B-” range. If there was an actual draft in this metaphoric league, D.O.A. would be a high pick.
Let’s start at the ending.
“3AM in KC” (no doubt, a nod to Drake‘s AM/PM series) deals with his current personal trials, including custody & child support matters. “It’s a shame you try to bite the hand that’s feeding you/ But since it don’t affect me like you think, guess you can teeth with it” D.O.A. spits with vigor on the aforementioned track. It’s a “moment in time” memoir disgused as an outro track.
Sitting in the middle of the tracklist, “Changes” is exactly what it sounds like. Similar to Tupac‘s track of the same name, it has an emotionally upbeat tone while speaking on downbeat topics. It ends appropriately with a speech centered around “knowledge of self” and standing in your own kingship.
One track prior, “False Prophets” explains how they come in many forms. It’s one-verse format makes it play more like an interlude & actually makes it that much more impactful. “No Excuses” uses a double-time flow over a drowned out tropical melody. Per the name, it plays as a purely motivational track. Nothing more or less.
“Self Love” is the true highlight here. On it, he prophetically utters: “N*ggas turn to dogs, when a woman do ’em wrong/ They tend to call me selfish when it’s really self-love/ I heard it all before, from women wanting for more/ Ain’t satisfied with themselves and think I can fill the void“. The quarrels of a man willing to love but equally jaded. It’s Wale-esque (who he shouts out on “3AM In KC”) but not a bite by any stretch.
The introduction, “Visionary” features the project’s best delivery, possibly hook & for sure the most braggadocious lyrics. Proper set-off, going into “Supersede“, which doesn’t up the ante but keeps the vibe.
Downsides are minimal but include a lack of intermission from D.O.A’s semi-monotone voice. Whether it be a rap feature, singer or skit, it could have been employed at some point. At times, it can feel too external-based in content. You kind of want to get deeper into who D.O.A. is as a person, outside of his grind and morals. That’s why we started this review off with the most important track in that aspect, “3AM in KC”.
Overall, a fool can see D.O.A. has actual talent and Never X Settle is a testament. With a producer’s ear and a solid theme, he can most definitely pull off a good to great full-length project. The lyrical prowess, confidence and content… it’s all there.