DShade The Water Principle

The title refers to the familiar kung-fu adage, "be like water," the movie dialogue a popular sample choice in hip-hop, and is used once again here as the intro on Montreal rapper DShade's new album. The concept resurfaces and is succinctly summed up on "All Good" when he raps, "my way of being: Bruce Lee water principle." Water also figures heavily in two interludes and again with "The Rain," a moody ode to hip-hop hustle perseverance on which Lisa Mackey's smoky jazz vocals and a plodding drum beat lend the chorus a trip-hop vibe. Mackey also lends her voice to "All Good," while Meryem Saci hits soulful, sustained high notes on hard rock hip-hop jam "Get That," another ode to the grind. An energetic rapper, DShade delivers his lyrics with conviction, although he goes for something a little different ― a monotone, Guru-like delivery ― for old school-influenced "The Story." Also standing out are posse cuts "They Want It All," with the Narcycist and Omar Offendum, and "World We're In," with Buckshot and Blurum 13, as well as the remix (the oddly titled "World We're In 2"), plus the chaotic psych-rock rap of "Demons" and the wobbly "Feel Dat," with a chorus containing shades of Cadence Weapon. DShade has two decades of rapping behind him and The Water Principle reveals that his perseverance, attention to quality control and interest in incorporating new elements into his music may be responsible for this longevity. (Mirror Lens)