Re-entering the work force after an extended time away is never easy, especially when you’re a female rapper. Even as the digital age has opened the floodgates for aspiring artists, the number of females getting shine has continued to dwindle. Undeterred by the current state of affairs, Rah Digga emerges from the uncertainty and teams up with producer extraordinaire Nottz for her sophomore effort, the boldly-named Classic.
There’s no denying the chemistry between Rah Digga & Nottz as her husky vocals sound right at home on top of his layered, sample-driven backdrops. Showing she’s still fully confident in her abilities on “Who’s Gonna Check Me Boo,” Ms. Thugman sends a salvo to any remaining competitors that she’s back. The jabs continue on the titular “Classic” as she spits “Hoodrat from Nazareth/Vote for the Maverick/Top Gun, not one of them see D-I/G-G-A, all of them CGI/cropped & photoshopped, they not in my caliber/Who would want to challenge her/They’re outta my league…” over Nottz’ smoldering organs. Still as gully as ever, there’s no question Digga still has fire in both her pen and lungs.
While Classic is comprised of the cocky, battle rhymes that a Hip-Hop lifer would look for on the surface, there is still one thing missing: content. Once all of the punch lines & similes are sifted into their proper places, the listener knows as much about Rah Digga as they did before they pressed play. One of the biggest hurdles that rappers have to clear when dropping material on a yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily basis is to come up with fresh material. Coming off of a ten-year hiatus, Digga had plenty of experiences and time to craft rhymes that tell listeners more than tooting and blowing the horn she was born with.
It’s one of the reasons why “Viral” blankets its fellow selections as she runs down random quips about her from various spots around the net. Not because she’s hurling out a ton of clever lines in succession, but because her creativity is focused on more than trying to do so. And as good as Nottz & Digga sound together, they seem to get a little too comfortable with each other. The album never raises any higher or lower than it’s opening, making the standout moments few and far between. One would assume that “Straight Spittin IV” would serve as a lyrical showcase for Digga, but there’s nary a differentiation from say “You Got It” or “This Ain’t No Little Kid Rap.” So while it was a noble act on her part to handle all the mic duties, a few choice features could have added a much needed spark to the album.
As it stands, Classic is a welcome addition back into the rap fold, even if it does fall short of its lofty title. Hopefully, it won’t be another decade before Dirty Harriet does some chin-checking again.