It is fitting that Dappy entitled his latest release Eros Apollo as Greek myth reveals Eros – the god of love and Apollo a feared warrior and god of war; is a complex tale of two enemies who became allies after a long period of insult and disagreement, along with the general tone of the EP this also represents the struggle Dappy seems to have with himself and the media. One minute he’s the harmless joker prancing about in one of his many bobble hats which is when he is seen as a loveable fool bussin’ jokes to the ‘up middle finger’, I don’t give a f*ck generation, or the next he’s speaking without thinking and manages to incite anger and upset (i.e. for carelessly using a word which has caused many generations pain and not thinking about the social connotations and the backlash he could face in doing so – yes he’s from the endz but it’s a word which should be avoided at all costs especially if you don’t want to take the chance of insulting a race of people different from your own.) Judging from his latest controversy (and there have been many.) Dappy has learned his lesson the hard way.
So what mood does Eros Apollo find ‘Dapper’ (As Alexander O’Neil amusingly called him throughout his stint in the Big Brother House) in? The E.P opens with ‘Tarzan 2.75 At it again’ Ft. Tulisa, the track is heavy on the vocoder in places where it’s not necessarily warranted and the track would have sounded crisp and clear without its presence as Dappy’s non vocoder bars prove. A barely audible (on first listen) Tulisa adds tone by singing under Dappy’s vocoder influenced vocals, it’s a shame Tulisa’s vocals are somewhat swallowed up by Dappy’s as she does have a pleasant voice and can hold a tune.
‘Guilty Conscience’ is a summer light-hearted sing along song which reminds me of those burst fire hydrants in the U.S with the water sprinkling the kids playing jump rope on a hot summer’s day. The track sounds as though it could have been influenced by the Tyga and Chris Brown track “Ayo” it’s a feel good song with a catchy chorus and a quirky “Brrrr” which runs throughout and becomes a signature for the track. The track ‘Whipped’ also sounds American influenced and is also light hearted, it’s doesn’t do anything different to the jams which were released last summer but again it’s pleasant and has Dappy comparing his girl to ‘bad gyal Rhi Rhi.’It is notable that Dappy’s rhythm seems out of sync with the instrumental as though he’s crammed his verse full of lyrics and couldn’t bear to lose any so kept them all; perhaps he takes some time to settle into his rhythm because he has chosen to experiment with a style he doesn’t usually explore and is attempting to perfect his flow on a U.S sound.
And now we come to THAT track which has seen a blizzard of controversy fall upon Dappy’s bobble hatted head. When Dappy, of Greek heritage drops the word “Ni*ga on the closing track ‘Tarzan 3’ I fully cringed and put my head in my hands in disbelief for two reasons; by now Dappy is media savvy after spending years in the spotlight as the charismatic and slightly arrogant front man of N Dubz, he knows how press, media, opinions and social commentary can merge together and react to cause an explosion, Dappy may use the word freely with the man dem because it’s his ‘environment’ but deciding to use it on an E.P available for mass consumption was asking for trouble as the topic divides opinions and is extremely sensitive, complex and in-depth which is why Dappy should have left it off a light-hearted E.P. The second reason for my disappointment and why I’m tempted to burn his collection of bobble hats is that on this track Dappy wakes up and his flow is strong, his energy is up and he seems passionate. The echoed biblical chants which feels as though you’re about to witness a baptism of mighty proportions, fit better here than Tulisa’s subdued and short contribution on ‘Tarzan 2.75’ It is a shame that the track which shows the most promise has been overshadowed by Dappy’s error of judgement…or maybe he made a calculated error to court controversy and draw attention to the E.P for the sole purpose of sales.
This is definitely what I like to call a ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ E.P due to the fact that it floats about inoffensively with little direction and doesn’t make any startling revelations or bring anything fresh, it’s easy listening and there are summer sweet jams to sing along to. The sting of course is found on the last track due Dappy’s ferocity in his delivery and the carelessness of his lyrics. Eros Apollo will likely become a fan favourite and remind Dappy’s supporters that he’s still about causing trouble and making musical mischief.