By Jasmine Wing
Hangman on Spotify
Hangman on Apple Music
Hangman on iTunes
Santan Dave comes back after a slight knock from a controversial tweet about stop and search laws. ‘And I don’t know what i was thinking with the tweets about the searches. But when Harry got murdered man was so emotional. Tryna find resolutions. I had some good intentions but i guess I couldn’t word them’. Similar to something he has touched on previously in his Fire In The Booth in 2016 he says, ‘I’m a mix between Heath Ledger and Malcolm X. Outspoken but I don’t make sense’ The track titled ‘Hangman’ referencing the game where one player tries to guess the letters of a word and the other player records failed attempts by drawing a gallows and someone hanging on it, line by line. Dave is speaking on the concept of others trying to ‘draw him out’, specifically in relation to his recent twitter drama over knife crime and police intervention strategies.
The beat is by London-based producer Nana Rogues who also produced Passionfruit for Drake which was one of the most successful singles off of the rapper’s album More Life. Rogues also produced huge records, including Section Boyz hit song “Trapping Ain’t Dead” and Skepta, Bashy & Kano’s “Can’t See Me Again”.
Hangman mirrors the slow paced yet hard-hitting bars of some of his other tracks such as Question Time, the second extended play by British rapper Dave released in November 2017 and ‘Picture Me’ created by English music producer and songwriter, Fraser T Smith, of his first project, a six track EP entitled Six Paths released in September 2016 which debuted at 11 in UK Albums chart.
Streatham’s Santan Dave has stayed loyalty to his narrative and style throughout his career which took off from his Street Starz freestyle in September 2015. His socio political commentary and articulate metaphoric flow continues in his latest track. The melody to ‘Hangman’ has the similar piano backing that Dave features in the majority of his tracks. In his blackbox freestyle, that gained him serious recognition and respect in the industry, he spat, ‘I’m piano boy now’ and again in his SB.TV Warm Up session he explains ‘I taught myself to play piano, I put that music in my hands’, Dave plays piano up to Grade 7.
Santan has been known to discuss his brothers who are incarcerated, something he spits about in his SB.TV warm up sessions and touches upon in hangman –“My bro ain’t got a bird he got an ostrich”.
The creative, yet simple visuals were produced by the talented Dir.Lx and Jeaniq. Dave stands just slightly in front of some of his closest friends, the same faces you will see from his debut Street Starz from 3 years ago and those who he continually references in his songs. Set on the road, somewhere in South LondonI am assuming, as his mates are stood against and sat on the road signs just behind him, supporting him, with graphics appearing on the screen of certain lyrics from the track. Dir. Lx has also curated various music videos for Dave’s such as Two Birds No Stones and 71 on his trip to America.
The talented young rapper, who won his first MOBO Award for the Best Newcomer Act in 2017 continues to rise to fame yet staying true to his message, something which he has battled with. Dave never fails to drop bangers and Hangman is no exception!