D.O. North Starr

D.O. North Starr
With a few years of positive, slow-building hype highlighted by a Guinness World Record for longest freestyle and the voiced blessing of hip-hop legend Chuck D laid as an enviable foundation, T-dot mic-man D.O. takes the plunge into Canada’s tepid rap waters with his debut disc North Starr. At its best, the record snaps along confidently with a smart and typically Canuck combination of down-to-earth rhymes and tight, diverse beats that draw their sonic cues from the genre’s most distinct regional inflections. Tracks like the popping "Let’s Be Real” and driving "Just Forfeit” provide that trademark East coast flavour, which lies in stark contrast to the thick down South thud of "Yes Y’all” and the funked-out goodness of the Saukrates-esque "Thin Air.” The album’s lower points, however, suffer from being a little underweight, with the beats either coming off just a tad flat (as on "Breathless”) or losing their pace completely ("Lost Time”), bringing things to an unappetising crawl. Sentimentality shouldn’t mean you have to throw the head nod out the window. (Independent)