“Not At All, Volleyball” features an opening track by the name of “Dreamteam.” This fresh dose of young feel-good rap is only what I can describe as the strongest flow from Duzzo Dave since he carried his voice into the college scene.
A native of Norwalk, Conn. and a sophomore Stag who has been rapping for about seven years, David “Duzzo” Valasquez builds his latest album in collaboration with his best friend Eduardo “Elz The Don Lorduy.
Elz’s old role of adviser to Duzzo has now matured into a new team dynamic that adds strength to the glorious groove of the lead song.
After the light introduction to the album, Duzzo Dave digs in a bit deeper with a heavier fashion on the second track. Called “40s,” this is the song that most brings the listener back to the thuggish side of rap lyrics that was bumping hard in the mid 2000s with lines like, “For those who disagree, I got a right to disagree back. But I don’t give a f*** about your feedback.”
It is nice to see the influence of the true rap we used to see, in Duzzo’s style. The only regret I have is that the third track, “Innerlude,” doesn’t last longer. This dreamy two-minute break in the middle of the album is not without some looks into Duzzo’s self-made school of thought.
About a quarter of the way into the song, the rapper even confronts the track’s jazz-influenced background, saying, “Damn, I’m winning. Getting’ on beats that your grandpa listened to.” It’s a style that the early greats of hip-hop like “A Tribe Called Quest” relied on, and Duzzo’s musical influence Kanye West kept alive.
While Duzzo says that the style of the album’s first two songs were designed for Elz The Don “to really do his thing,” the fourth track, “Shnodat,” is a song where the package that both artists put together is flawlessly blended.
Duzzo’s increased comfort with the microphone is also a development that is spoken with his hints of singing amidst the rapping toward the end of the song.
Duzzo says that during his search for beats on YouTube last summer, he had stumble upon the one he used for the album’s final track, “Thursday(s),” that forced him to start writing right away. It is a background that was originally used by J Dilla under the title “Sometimes.”
The mood of the song could be likened to a satisfying nightcap at the end of a summer chill session that is the album’s origins.
The mood of the album is clearly derived from the care-free summer recording sessions made possible by Elz’s vacation trip up to Norwalk from his home in Florida. It seems to have been released at a very appropriate time considering that only a couple of weeks are left before Summer Break 2012.
“Not At All, Volleyball” is some of Duzzo’s fun foreplay in the face of some complex mix-tape projects that he’s working on. Those works-in-progress are due for release next semester.