Love Money & Life, the latest album from Milwaukee native Dashawn (pronounced DAY-Shawn) Carter, is the perfect blend of pop, hip hop, R&B, and soul. A full album that runs 51 minutes with 19 tracks about exactly what the album title suggests…Love, Money, & Life. The themes throughout the album are ones that literally everyone can relate too. The songs are personal and full of soul. You can feel the sincerity on every song, something you can’t always say about pop music. A few times throughout the album Carter has spoken word tracks that set up the next song. It’s very storytellers like. It works to great effect as it really shows the personal nature of the songs.
After a spoken word intro, the album kicks off with a blazin’, straight hip hop track, “Goin’ Crazy” featuring Stick Porter and Jay Paid. “Do What I Want” follows it up with another hip hop track where Carter laments “I just worry about myself, I don’t worry about the next man.” Just a guy doing his thing, is something very relatable.
It’s when you get to track 4, “Live it Up”, where Dashawn unleashes all of his talents, in what is one of the best pop tracks I’ve heard over the last few years. It’s start with some keys and Carter sayin’, “C’mon, c’mon get up” and you just feel where this upbeat track is going. It has that megahit, Pharrell Williams “Happy”, Bruno Mars “24k Magic”, Jason Derulo “Want to Want Me” ultimate summer song vibe. It’s a song about going out, leaving your troubles behind, and just letting loose for a night. Carter already shows he can rap with anyone, but on this track he shows you that he’s not a one trick pony. The man can sing. The catchy chorus on this track will have you singing along right with him.
There are several other standout tracks on this album. “I Like” is perfect contemporary love song that definitely has R&B influences from earlier decades. “IOU” is another slow jam that recalls artists like Tyrese and Jodeci. “Freedom (feat. D Rose)” is an honest track that deals with the police shootings in recent years. “Runaway” is another radio ready track that features an acoustic guitar behind the verses, as Carter sings about facing your problems head on. It’s a perfect composition, honest and full of soul that really shows Dashawn at this best. Just like “Live it Up, you wonder how songs like this aren’t in heavy rotation on radio stations all over the country. It’s that good.
The album as a whole is great. If you like pop tunes, “Live it Up” and “Runaway” need to be on your playlist. If you want straight up hip hop, several tracks like “Goin’ Crazy”, “Do What I Want”, “A Regular Day”, “Lituation”, “Motivated” and others will serve you well. If you need some R&B and Soul in your life, “I Like”, “IOU”, and “Trust You” have got you covered. If you enjoy any of these genres, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out this album immediately!