Dag Savage is the duo of veterans consisting of: Johaz (formerly of Deep Rooted) and Exile (a producer way too many classics to name here). The duo has put out 2 free mixtapes in Salvation and The Warning Tape in addition to a self titled EP. This brings us to the release of their first full length album: E&J.
The album is a diverse piece of work both lyrically and on the production side of the project. Exile brings his patented jazzy sound to the album and Johaz comes through with everything from battle raps to love songs to personal anecdotes of his life. “For Old Time’s Sake” is literally an open book into Johaz’s life and everything he’s gone through. From dealing with molestation to going to jail, Johaz puts the his life out there for the listener to relate to and touch your soul while listening to this joint.
The personal joints continue on with what was the lead single for the album, “Cali Dreamin”, which features Fashawn and Co$$ on the verses. All three rap poetically about the environment that they live in and their worries about the future and even those that are still struggling in the hood. Exile brings one of my favorite beats on the album and possibly one of my favorite all-time from him. A piano loop and some light drums to really set the somber mood on this joint and it fits perfectly.
Now this part of the review is dedicated to the drug portion of the record, which while it sounds kind of weird, was actually really well done on this album. The two songs are “Drugs” and “Bad Trip” and Exile set the sound up real well to specifically set the tone for these two joints. “Bad Trip” probably has the most unique production on the album with these unique drums and 8bit sounds just bring this track full circle. Johaz brings Adad, Gonjasufi and Sahtyre to talk about their bad trip. I’ll let you guys listen to “Drugs” since it was actually on their self-titled EP.
The diversity on the album continues with the latter quarter of the album centering on love, which includes both the good and bad sides of love. “Wine and Cheese” has Johaz longing for someone to love, because he would treat her like a princess. The very next track “Darlin” has Johaz reflected on the hurt he’s caused his significant others. Exile has a way of fitting the mold and mood of every track and the love songs are just the same.
E&J is a very solid effort Exile again creates a beautiful sound scape for Johaz to craft some stories, speak to the people and motivate the people. The album is lyrically diverse with everything from love songs to social commentary and everything in between. The guests come through and don’t steal the show but give stellar verses (especially Choosey) and add some different voices to the project. There’s no excuse to sleep on this record, Dirty Science comes through again with another great release. I’m praying we get another release from these two, because E&J is stellar.