A planet unto himself that far exceeds anything that is “Rhyme”, Dave Dub delivers his born-in-analog autobiographical opus ”The Treatment”, finally, in 2012. I say “finally” because as a resident of San Jose, or as Dr. Dave Dub prefers 'San Hopeless...', I've been privy to their various incarnations on crusted, eighteenth generation dub tapes. Yet here it is, in some cases fifteen-years in the future, and assembled on Stones Throw's wax, they've all undergone an arrival. A facelift of sorts: one that makes Dave Dub's diatribes palatable. Because before now they existed only on the random, occasional, “official” guest spot while the rest were relegated to their tape-based guts and grime. Ugly style.
Conducting the discordant and disrespectful symphony is Dave Dub's partner/producer-in-crime Tape Masta Steph. Blasting his EPS Classic like a reliable sawed-off he provides his cohort the necessary room to breathe. A landscape comprised of half-burnt joints and wound-down seventies flourishes. It's the expansive claustrophobia so prevalent in the 90's since lost. “Space Nigga” is a defiant ode at its core, creeping at you. Menacing siren call in tow. It is one of the many surprises jutting out of this mountain. In many ways encapsulating the same lethargically frenetic pace that runs through the center of “The Treatment.”
Where Dave Dub shines the brightest, though, when he is at his most ferocious and uncompromising is when he is pitting his own conflicted spirituality against the overwhelming secularism...encroaching on all sides. “Upside Down Lineage”, “As They Worship, “The Tribulation”, and “Fire Laced Fragment” are almost an EP-inside-of-an-LP. An account of reformation that serves as a rejoinder to anyone so fickle as to not examine this conundrum more readily and with the plodding finesse of Dave Dub.
The apex is the closer: “Domination.” It's a seven-minute declaration of war. Flanked by Keno and the indubitable Zest The Smoker, Dave Dub & Co. proceed to catch wreck on a battlefield splayed with the innards of inferior contemporaries. I'd first heard an unmixed, unmastered version in a smoke-choked bedroom studio in San Jose in '95. It shattered all my preconceptions and erased boundaries. While Dave Dub and Keno are amazing on their own, Zest The Smoker is a tour de force of cacophony and crushing. He doesn't merely rap here; he runs breakneck laps around the earth. Skewering all in front of him, it is difficult to pick out a single quotable from this monolith of a cameo, but it'd likely be this: “His blood brains crawled to the wall...toward the Redman poster/I knew that nigga was on your mind, can't come with ya own muthaFuckin' rhymes??!!” Yeah...it is that serious.
“The Treatment” harkens back to a better time and provides a window into the past that is sorely needed. Dave Dub is a legend and rightly so. He has finally, officially, legitimately cemented his legacy as San Jose's ultimate antihero.
“Doctor Dave Dub, catchin' a buzz, weak never was, pick up a mic and every TV in your neighborhood straight catches fuzz”