dream surfer by Natalee Gilbert April 29, 2019
Way before Netflix or social media, video games were our kryptonite.
As kids, we’d stay up till the break of dawn playing these innovative games on our system of choice but due to technologies growth, they may seem like yesterday’s news. J’Vons Dream Surfer proves that theory wrong.
In a word, Dream Surfer gives you some flavor in your ear. J’von takes a different approach to the rap game — using his “spoken word” rhyme delivery to motivate and relate with others.
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The production is reminiscent of our childhood and it levels up with a fine-toned organ, 808’s, 8 bits, guitar chords, and chiptunes.
Some might even add that Dream Surfer is a bit of everything — lo-fi, rap and even R&B! Nevertheless, it’s the perfect balance of today and the 2000’s music style.
Dream Surfer’s interactive nature begins with the first track called “Surf1000.”
The beat creates a nostalgic, warm ambiance for the listener. Still, “Surf1000” never changes its element. The introduction of the song tosses in coin effects, 8 bits and an organ that tries to keep up.
J’von’s message is just as powerful also.
The sun always shines somewhere/You just have to be in the right place.
Then the second piece follows in after the introduction with a blaring kick-drum. J’von goes on to speak about how he’s going to make the important ones in his life proud and give back the love that they gave him. “I’ma make my woman proud, make my mama proud/Make my ni–as proud, make my brothers proud.”
“Surf1000” then closes out with 8 bits and a pleasant guitar riff — assuring that “Money won’t save the world, little nigga.” J’Von then gets real deep, speaking on what he’s learned over the years.
“Bro locked up on a forced intrusion/Victim suffered all sorts of contusions/And they’ll wrap up the Black man/‘Cause the Black man gets wrapped up within court.”
Combative by nature, the second track “Mission Start” begins with the chant “we gon win’ still.” The beat even uses 808’s, synthesizers, and 8-bits to keep the same energy. J’Von is a force that can’t be stopped and he highly expresses that in this line “I’m the stone that the buildin’ refused ’cause I been real
“Mightier than the sword, I had the pencil, yeah/Stay waitin’, stay patient/Makin’ a shockwave blazin’ the plagued stations.”
Afterward, the beat segments with another message about his re-appearance in the game — the focus being more on its synthesizers and 808’s but it daggers in 8 bits every now and then.
He apologizes for his tardiness but he’s back and better than ever.
“I’m passin’ a tape, I’m sorry that you had to wait/I’m sorry if I left you behind but, ni–a, I had to shake (Had to shake)/Wasn’t actin’ fake, I had to escape, the comeback is great/I further the movement, I over-exaggerate (I over-exaggerate)/Lackin’ in faith, my face would exacerbate (What)/I’m glad to make half my people laugh at fate.”
“Loverboy Castle Music” falls in as the third track. Although there are no segments in the production, it’s still appeasing. “Loverboy Castle Music’s” vibe is created through its illusive synths, guitar chords and 808s.
Going even further, J’Von does a little singing — serenading his lady with the phrase, “I just wanna see you in that lingerie.” The two had plans to go out but once he saw her, everything changed. He wants her. She wants him so they rush out to get between the sheets.“Made plans to go out, but I don’t really feel it now (Yeah)/Fast-forward and I’m already wasted.”
“We lookin’ good, she tryna fit it out/She said her body called, I can hear it now (I can hear it now)/She said here and now (Right), she said here and now (Right)”
Clearing his throat in the beginning, J’Von uses the vacant space of “Ropechain” to say “Maneuverin’ with the groovy move through again/Who is him? They don’t know what to do with him/Grips loosen, losin’ him.”
The 8-bits, deep tuned guitar chord and synthesizer then follow in — yet at 1:31 the beat throws in a faint xylophone and piano keys. J’Von wants his current love to take things slow because he’s still recovering from his hiatus but it seems like she has other plans.
Towards the end, the song goes into her perspective and she sings “Hold up, hold up, wait, wait, I can’t slow down for you/He’s the most wonderful boy I’ve ever met my whole life/I can’t stick around for you.”
The fifth track “Thundersurfer” speaks from J’Von’s perspective after the split.
“Had to make moves, I just hoped that you would wait for me (Yeah)/Even when we done I pray your mama still pray for me/It’s dark outside and I’m runnin’ full speed/With these ghosts still chasin’ me.”
Even though he’s in the feels J’Von knows that she deserves the best. In unison, the xylophone, hi-hats, and organ help his delivery.
In the sixth track, “Water Lvl 9,” J’Von cries out “don’t fall in love with me.” At first, the beat is erratic with its laser beam effect and 808’s. But it helps to convey why J’Von feels this way.
He feels “all messed up inside” so he’s giving off a warning. Known for its segment in production thus far — “Water Lvl 9” then takes the listener back with watery effects.
Even when he’s just bared it all on the track J’Von still brings out his gangsta appeal.
“The shit’s deeper than shotgun blastin’, hot ones flashin’/Burnin’ through with passion, ain’t plot none/Ni–as be talkin’ about a spot but ain’t got one/I don’t know you bird ni–as lingo because I’m not one.”
“No More Toys” takes a futuristic approach/ The song features a xylophone and 8-bits to keep things going. It’s kind of hard to understand what J’Von is saying because his voice is altered with auto-tune but at 2:02 his voice is clear as day.
He speaks on how most of these dudes are jokes. They focus on things with no significance. Still, J’vom stays focused on himself.
“Where I come from, you either hide skeletons or become one/You a hatin’ nigga for real/He would always rock a fade but would never run one/Humble nigga, most of all my victories is unsung/Who you gotta go to when you really need someone?
A continuum of the third track, “Loverboy Castle Music Pt 2” seems a bit more upbeat but still uses the same illusive synths, guitar chords, and 808s. J’Von seems to be fooling around with someone but thinks he shouldn’t because it’s just messing with his emotions.
“It’s just some magic shit, you wack, Shadisha/Get adamant on who you happen to split the magic with/If you not okay with the splittin’ of the magic you have to quit/Because one-eighth of the magic is close to magicless.”
The end of “Loverboy Castle Music Pt 2” leaves build-up for the second to last track, “Red Beanie.”
The ninth track, “Red Beanie,” is “just too real with it.” The beat takes a 2000’s approach by using scattered warm synths and the famous low pitch bell sound.
Still, it never misses a beat. Also, bringing in a wave of 8 bits — J’Von uses this song to speak about how his feelings are resurfacing once he sees his ex at the function he’s at.
Still, he’s not tripping about her.
“Can’t front, she still look like nougat/And she lookin’ right at me like she knew it and I blew it/She don’t remember dinners or jacuzzis/But the things we used to do, but I guess it’s cool/Got a text about a function, I’ma come through/‘Cause I don’t wanna be at home thinkin’ ’bout you.”
Finally, the tenth track, “Ur Not Around Anymore,” speaks volumes on what he’s really feeling. J’Von is miserable without his other half and just wants her back. On the whole, it’s different when she’s not around.
“I’m a real ni–a, I got a troubled soul/But I feel no troubles when I hold you/She don’t see the demons or the things I had to go through/Told boo to roll through in slo-mo, too/So smooth, the way she did it right/Ghost chasin’ the boy.”
The production also uses a racket of effects to help J’Von express himself — a metronome, piano riff, and 808’s.
All in all, Dream Surfer is one hell of a sonic experience. Make sure to stream “Dream Surfer” now. It’s available on all platforms.