Dan Bull – Generation Gaming Album Review

Dan Bull – Generation Gaming

Dan Bull is an internet rapper who has release a variety of material. His YouTube channel is filled with fiery political raps, and his previous two albums were softer and more introspective. However, the topic of this album is the topic that brought him the most attention: video games. Generation Gaming is a compilation of some of the most popular gaming-related tracks.

The album starts off with the title track, “Generation Gaming”. “Generation Gaming” is a softer track that you can tell came around closer to his Safe years rather his later gaming tracks. It, like the album, is more of a personal story, describing how Dan got into gaming and the consoles and game that he played over the years. It’s got this violin in the background that makes the lyrics seem big and cinematic. Also the hook, man, that hook. It’s got this really awesome guitar trill that I just love, and those lyrics are just so anthemic.

This day is grim
It's raining
What wonderful weather for gaming

Listening to this song just makes me imagine someone walking home in a rainstorm and when they come inside, they take off their rain-soaked jacket, and start up their console and just play.

“E3 2010” is not exactly my favorite track. Dan brings some slick lyrics about the lack of  innovation in the video game industry, but the beat is too cluttered. It just has too many sounds going off at once, and I especially hate that telephone ring. Also the flow isn’t consistent at some points, and it really feels disjointed. One of the weaker tracks on the album.

“Take Me to Oblivion” is a track about, what else, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This is the only track on the album that has a feature, this one being from rapper Baron Samedi. The track opens with this nice orchestration that makes really evokes the opening line “This is a letter to Bethesda”, and Dan Bull, as usual, lays down some interesting lyrics. Then the horns come in and make the song feel really epic, as Baron Samedi describes his joy when playing  Oblivion.

“Fallout 3” is a fantastic track. I love the piano in the tracks, it really works well with Dan’s rapping. The trumpet trills are also great, I just love when they come in. Also despite switching to a sing-songy “Ladadadada” part at the end, the song maintains the momentum that it had at the beginning.

“I Wanna Put My Willy in GTA V” is also great. The beat makes the song feel like an older rap song that you’d hear from the G-Funk era. The descriptions of the game makes it seem like one of those songs also. When I listen to this song I just get this image of Dan Bull sitting in a throne, wearing a purple suit and a fuzzy hat, with a pimp cane in one hand and woman in the other one. Also he has diamond teeth, like Kanye.

If you’d heard of Dan Bull before, it’s almost certainly because of the next song, “Dovahkiin”. Dan Bull’s famous Skyrim rap blew up on the internet. The really epic orchestration and Dan Bull’s expansive vocabulary make this some just rise up and feel like it could be in a fantasy movie soundtrack. If only it was longer, as the song only lasts about 1:26.

“One More Block” is the Minecraft track. The instrumentals are really bright and fun. It’s got this twinkley xylophone, or similar percussion instrument, matched with this really bass-y piano. I really like how Dan goes through a chronological progression in his lyrics, as if he’s telling a story about him playing, as a opposed to him rapping through a character like he does on “Dovahkiin”.

“Assassin” is one of my favorite tracks. The Arabic strings sound really great. It gives Dan this awesome sound where his voice sounds like he’s two people. It’s got a nice quickness to it, and is one of the only songs that feels that the short length isn’t handicapping it. Also the lyrics are epic.

Dropping so fast
You're probably having
A problem to follow the captions
I'm probably rapping backwards

I’m going to be skipping “Skyrim Accident Helpline” because it’s just a skit, if you find it funny, you find it funny, if you don’t, you don’t.

“The Old Republic” is another weak track, I feel. I really don’t like Dan Bull’s robotic flow on this one, it just sounds to disjointed to me. Also the beat just feels too inconsequential and stuttery.

“Modern Warfare” picks up the album after the last track. This song is mostly carried by Dan Bull’s intricate wordplay.

I'll kick your RSASS with an mp7
Then I'll kick your arse (ass) send you to the heavens
Yes, I'm quite divine with a type 95 ha!
I bet you couldn't even type 95

It’s just fucking kickass. The beat is also really awesome, the clangs of piano keys really bring out the epic desert-trekking of most modern wars that the game tries to emulate. It also continues to show that Dan Bull is excellent at the same in-character rapping that he used in “Assassin” and “Dovahkiin”.

“Mass Effect” is the final track on the album. The beat is both spacey and electronic, very evocative of a Sci-Fi landscape. The lyrics are broken up into three verses, one for each game. Dan’s lyrics still stay on point with the game will continuing to mix in braggadocio and other common rap themes.

Overall I like this album, it’s got some really great lyrics and good beats. However I feel that it was too short, clocking in at 23:40. Also while Dan’s lyrics and beats are good separately, they feel somewhat disconnected separately. The whole album also feels somewhat disjointed, but that can be forgiven as it’s a compilation of already existing tracks. Overall I give this album a 7/10, as it’s enjoyable, but not fantastic.

If you want to listen to it, I compiled a playlist of the YouTube videos here, and you can buy it on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, 7Digital, or if you have no money you can pirate it from The Pirate Bay (don’t worry, Dan Bull approves of it, no problems), or listen below. If you have already listened to it, tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your opinion.

[spotify http://open.spotify.com/album/3HfOUjKuJjXobVnBYPsOZP]
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