His civil name is David Orobosa Omoregie, but just call him Dave. We’re on a first-name basis here. Both because you’ll feel instantly familiar with this stunning South London rapper – but also because he is someone everybody is talking about and, let it be said, someone everyone will know about.
Just be warned, Dave will put you through the emotional wringer.
The 21-year-old rapper’s debut album Psychodrama came out in 2019, and it swept everybody off their feet. The album went straight to no. 1 on the British chart, the critics love it (just look here) and Dave went on to win the much esteemed Mercury Music Prize.
On Psychodrama Dave brings us into his therapy room while he grapples with societal injustice, industry contradictions and private pain. The album’s sound is spare and sullen, its beats lightly decorated with moody piano figures and ghostly snatches of warped vocals, its tone unsparingly downbeat and sombre.
Like Stormzy before him, Dave’s gift is to take an awkward kid’s view of his London postcode and make its struggles universal, through storytelling, flaming wordplay and pugnacious production. That he has done so outside the major-label system says something about the quality of his output. Stormzy is, of course, a fan and appears in the video for “Black”.
Where the album is bleakly beautiful, Dave’s live experience is more of an emotionally driven party. When you witness thousands of voices rapping along to “Streatham”, a song about a traumatic youth, you’re in for a mass catharsis. He also has some true party bangers in his bag, like “Location”, “No Words” and “Funky Friday”.
Catch the perfect emotional rollercoaster in the company of one of the most promising rappers in the game. You know his name.