This time around, the death is self-willed. Dot's latest is his first as Rotten, yet the burial isn't a complete success, with the ghost of Y. Dot running amok in the inclusion of Bazooka, the beat that made him a producer to be noted. As Rotten, the bars are appropriately greazier, as well as characteristic in that Dot is unable to refrain from gun-talk at least every other eight-bar. Consequently, this mixtape doesn't include the wealth of self-consciousness that occupied 'This is the Beginning', with the likes of Have To Get Out The Hood and Have To Stay Strong supplanted by My Guys (no homo not included) and War Mission. The flow has improved, and its now steadier nature suits his own productions well, although there are cases of monotonous delivery, including on the opening I’m Not One of Them, which is a shame given the brilliance of the slightly amended ‘Wildlife’ beat, and the synthesised vocals are at times overused, which leads to disinterest on I’m A Leader.
The grittier content is matched by the production, which still has the trademark drums, but is generally sleeker compared to his first mixtape, with the abrasiveness of an I Violate or a Dirty South Salute mostly having gone AWOL. The magic occurs when the right amount of distorted vocals on hooks, big beats, and bars that show Dot at his greasy yet comic best link up, resulting in the CD's fair few bangers.
These MCs Don’t Bother Me sets levels early on, and Rotten and Voltage arguably has the best hook, yet Can’t Test My Crew is the best track, with the simple sample adding hype as does Dot's focus on mic, sticking to tried-and-tested rhyme schemes in one of the few cases where great production is matched by great bars. Simply, Dot remains faithful to the traditional subject-matter, going all-out in representation of what good, current grime music should sound like.
The CD's high-points reach very high, and as a result the mixtape does occassionally become a victim of the precedent it sets. Still, it's easily worth the purchase for those moments, tracks that would rightly feature on any grime 'best-of 2008' compilation.
'R.I.P Young Dot' is available nationwide from 4 August 2008, and is available to order now from Avalanche Music Hut, UK Record Shop, and Uptown Records.