February 10, 2020

B. Dvine - Times Have Changed EP Review

B. Dvine - Times Have Changed Review

As our interview with B. Dvine makes light of a lot of things going on in this Long Island producer/emcee's life, so too does his latest release, the self-produced, ever-changing, and forever-growing Times Have Changed EP.

B. Dvine - Times Have Changed EP Review

Contained herein are five original tracks that are both different from one other, and also different from the rest of B. Dvine's expansive catalogue of rhymes and beats. As a prolific producer and emcee, B. Dvine has already been featured with a number of prominent artists, and found himself on a wide array of releases. It's no wonder the first track of this release, Selfless Pride, opens up with a mental note of gratitude and an essence like Dvine's been to the other side and back, with his struggles and losses over the past few years. He raps, "it's a new age, a new dawn, a new B. Dvine, grow with me" and "like the smiling Robin Williams, for years masking pain, watching my family dismantle made me feel insane, but my sister's health inspired me to diet and train." It's a tough pill to swallow for Dvine, but overall his empowered state of mind, winning attitude, and invitation to grow with him sets the stage for the themes and lessons of Times Have Changed.

B. Dvine - Hush Now Single ReviewHush Now, the first single of the five, is the only song to feature guest rappers, and it's a first for B. Dvine to invite celebrated artist, EPMD's Erick Sermon, to the stage, while Cuban Pete and D-Rage make the necessary rounds on hook and verse. Sermon raps, "unbelievable, we not equal, E and Dvine, we do it for the people, Cuban Pete and D-Rage, we on stage, every time we step out, we front page." Cuban Pete follows up, "closed mouths get nothing inside 'em, so you know how my people ridin', hush now!" Don't Mean Nuttin' is a necessary follow-up, with its wavy synth beat and Dvine's cutting lyrics as he breaks it down "to the core". The realness of B. Dvine's message pulls the facade off of fake hardcore, gangster rappers in this one, as he raps, "actions louder than words, that's why it's not serious when it comes to you birds, talkin' all like gang gang, nothing ever occurs."

Come Alive thumps with 808s and a club vibe, as Dvine hollers "keep your hands in the sky, make the dance come alive!" It's an easily head-bobbing beat, while Dvine takes his music into a more adventurous and fun detour. His vox fx, 808s and beat syncopation all come together nicely and are signs of more stylized hybrid hip-hop tracks in the future. Chocolate Syrup combines trap hi-hats and women's vocals for a sensual and hypnotic flow. It's another logical follow-up to Come Alive and it's a full-on love song that Dvine executes with lyrical bliss. Mr. Dreams, featuring singer Xavia, brings Times Have Changed back to the beginning of what started it all. What did B. Dvine do with a dream that awoke in him at a young age? He not only chases that dream, he gets it, as he raps, "around that time school couldn't get me to focus, all of my teachers thought I was just hopeless, daydreaming over music they took notice, enrolled me in trade school so I could grow this, dream to reality then I hit the streets, got tired of waiting started rhyming on my beats, sharpened my sword by doing a bunch of feats, then dreams turned reality rocking with elites." As a closer, Mr. Dreams is hard-hitting and inspiring and it ignites the fire that burns in the hearts and minds of those who have also nurtured big dreams.

What B. Dvine shows us with Times Have Changed is a hip-hop release that honors living life to its fullest potential. It does everyone involved, whether it's artist or listener, a favor in its celebration of a life worth living, and stands out amongst a genre saturated with hardcore rappers who honor just the opposite. B. Dvine's got some major stories to tell and lessons to teach within the walls of this EP, and it's all a part of a journey he wants us all to take with him, to grow and evolve together.

Times Have Changed - 9/10

Recommended Tracks: Selfless Pride, Hush Now, Mr. Dreams

B. Dvine - Times Have Changed EP Review