Anyone who ever said that hip-hop can’t possess humility and make fun of itself would do well to examine the comedic stylings of Kansas-based rapper Dawg Gone Davis (aka DawgGonDavis or simply Rebecca Rogers Davis). Whatever you want to call her, her new single “Butt on Fiya” is a hooky, whimsical song that is certain to put a smile on your face.
Hip-hop, much like punk rock, since its inception has had a difficult time not taking itself seriously. Hip-hop has expanded dramatically in the last quarter century, evolving from an underground music genre into a dominant aspect of modern pop culture. You could argue that the dedication and no-nonsense approach of its forerunners was what made this new found glory possible, and you’d definitely be right. But just because a scene found its fortune through tremendous discipline doesn’t mean that it can’t have a laugh once in a while. “Butt on Fiya” is very playful in its demeanor, but under its eccentric surface value is quite powerful in a certain respect. Davis defied all of the odds five years ago in 2015 when she conquered cancer after a courageous battle that resulted in the losing both of her breasts. But instead of being discouraged by her loss, Davis is empowered to live the life that she has been blessed with, as celebrated in “Butt on Fiya.”
Music can be a tremendous therapy tool for all of us sometimes. There is no shortage of suffering on our planet, and art has always been an incredibly useful outlet to express the emotions, passions and desires that there simply are no words for. “Butt on Fiya” might come off a little silly, but how silly is it for someone who has endured so much strife to be this relaxed and poised? Dawg Gone Davis doesn’t sound like a neophyte in the studio, either. Assisted by musical sage Hellmut Wolf, the droning synthesizers that play between stanzas are a throwback to some of rap’s smoothest grooves. The saxophone that dances around the synths gets downright hypnotic in certain spots, an unexpected treat from a satirical song.
Like her first release “Middle Age Woman – Hip-Hop Style,” “Butt on Fiya” is driven by old school beats and self-aware lyrics that unlike offerings from many other rappers, aren’t super predictable or coarse. And best of all, Davis donates all of the money she makes from her music to benefit Operation Breakthroughs, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy kids. A strong woman with a positive message is in this journalist’s opinion exactly what hip-hop needs going into the next decade. The 2010’s have produced a significant number of forward thinking entertainers with a conscience, but there haven’t been enough of entertainers actually impacting the community with their actions. I’m very excited to see what else Dawg Gone Davis does in the coming years, as her mission and material continue to impress. For more info on Davis, visit her on Facebook at facebook.com/rebecca.l.davis.948, and to find out how you can help Operation Breakthrough, visit operationbreakthrough.org.