Artist of the Week #24 is Newcastle rapper John Dole after the release of his self-titled debut EP last week.
The 10 track project sees Dole put pen to paper on a variety of different subjects, from the monotony of the local hip-hop scene to corrupt political agendas. However, the most poignant cuts from this tape are deeply personal tracks like “Lola”; a song about struggling to support a daughter and having to work for exploitative corporations in order to do so.
The Kaneda Records rapper makes a real effort throughout the tape to ensure all of his lyrics are measured and meaningful. His soft cadence and smooth delivery on every track makes for a relaxing listen, and rather than sounding like he’s restricting himself, this measured delivery in fact makes it easier to connect with his lyrics.
Here’s what Dole had to say about the project in an open statement that accompanied the release: “Here are some songs I wrote a long time ago, that are finally getting released. At the time of writing, I was in a totally different headspace, I felt there wasn’t an audience for what I was doing, (sometimes I still feel like there isn’t) and back then I was drowning in debt feeling like I was struggling to keep my head above water.
So I put pen to paper to vent. I didn’t think much of the chances for success, for myself or other artists making similar music up here, I guess I still have my reservations in that sense, the scene here is quite insular. But I’m having fun doing it, I’ve got a lot of new music lined up, and I wanted to get this out, so you could all see me step forward and progress as an artist.”