Your wallet seems real heavy, a little too heavy to carry,
I'm just trying to help 'em out by any means necessary,
Suddenly I'm in the game and suddenly I'm legendary,
Suddenly your permanent position's turning temporary,
Turn away before it's too late, I'm too great,
No more time to eat you old n***as, I'm on a new plate.
It's tracks like this that make the blunder that was Sex Tape all the more unbearable. People forget how groundbreaking Dyme Def were when they first dropped. When I first put Space Music into my car back in 2007, it was like nothing I'd ever heard before and certainly like nothing that had come out of Seattle. I didn't want to listen to anything else ever again and played the album constantly for a three-four month period. From the minute that you heard "Intro-Ducing," you were hooked. The album started with so much energy and so many one-liners that you didn't have a choice but to listen to the entire thing over and over again.
It was as if OutKast and the Beasties had an unholy trio of love children and an adopted son (BeanOne), then subsequently abandoned them in the Upper Left. They had out of this world rhymes and subject matter that seemed to be descended from ATLiens and out of the world BeanOne and Brainstorm beats that took what the Mario C did for the Beasties back on Hello Nasty (see "Super Disco Breakin'," "Intergalactic") to an entirely new level. Like the Beasties, the trio fed off each other, trading bar for bar and at times word for word with an impeccable chemistry that made them the best local live act.
Space Music and their follow up 3BadBrothaaas showed that you didn't have to solely be a conscious rapper to be popular in The 6. In the process, Dyme Def kicked in the door for an entire post-Massline generation of Seattle emcees from Fresh Espresso to Champagne Champagne.
And while everyone loves the high energy tracks like "GetDown," "TheGameNeedsMe," and "3BadBrothaaas," it was down to earth songs like "LetitBe," "Conscience," and "DontEverGo" that made the trio the complete package. Everyone knows and loves "LetitBe," but these two songs off 3BadBrothaaas deserve credit in their own right.
While not directly related, I've always seen "Conscience" as a reversal of the Eminem and Dre song, "Guilty Conscience," where Slim advices different men to do increasingly reprehensible acts. While Slim plays the devil on the shoulder of the song's subjects (to the horror of Dre), Dyme Def plays the guardian angel, trying to save young men from themselves. It's one of the better examples of the trio as storytellers removed from their usual bravado-filled songs.
"DontEverGo," which follows directly after "Conscience" is another perfect example of the group's talent as storytelling. As Choklate swoons, Fearce Villain paints a beautiful, sorrowful picture of a deteriorating relationship.
After the momentum built up by their first three releases, the trio abandoned these down to earth songs on Sex Tape in an attempt to speed up their rise to mainstream popularity. This could have been pulled off if they had maintained the high energy tracks like "GetDown," but instead they produced an album that simultaneously fell flat in the mainstream while alienating many of their fans.
There was a time in the pre-Macklemore days when many expected this group to be the first Seattle act to blow up nationally. Instead, the group has had trouble recovering from Sex Tape. 2011's Yuk The World was a positive step (though many of the songs had been released pre-Sex Tape) while Fearce & BeanOne's There Goes The Neighborhood was a very encouraging sign last year. Here's hoping for a Dyme Def resurrection in the near future. Until then, we still have these three classic cuts. Look for all three (along with several other DD songs) on the forthcoming 64 song 206ness Bracket.
Peace, Love, & Dyyyyyyyme Def,
"DontEverGo" (feat. Choklate)