A-Game DON (Double or Nothing)
Published Feb 19, 2016Toronto hip-hop duo A-Game's latest offering, DON, was a while in the making, but bears none of the inherent benefits of taking time to perfect one's craft.
Any hip-hop from the Dot will inevitably draw comparisons to Drake, but DON makes no attempt to stifle the likelihood of it; in fact, it seems to welcome it. The EP's sound, handled by a handful of producers and largely comprising 808s and auto-tuned hooks, sounds like it was poached from an OVO studio (A-Game have collaborated with OVO producer T-Minus in the past, but he didn't work on DON). That's not always a bad thing, but here, it falls apart: Opening cut "I Will" oozes retail Drake from beat to cadence, while "Shit" doubles as little more than a brash prelude to "Worst Behaviour" without the quotables.
As for their pen game, the twins' bars suffer at the hands of cookie-cutter attempts at anthems. The line "We fly like a jet" is just one example of the bars here that could have been stomached if hip-hop was still in its embryonic stages, but in 2016, they don't suffice. And besides, groups like MOP and Lords of the Underground have proven you don't have to sacrifice bars for accessibility and sing-along potential.
DON finds A-Game latching onto a formula whose success has been undeniable yet now sounds dated and trite. As they'll tell you on the last track, appropriately titled "Wayve," Nov and Chase are riding one — unfortunately, the tide just isn't very high. (PilotmodeMuzik)