Split Decision - EP

Split Decision - EP

Released on Dave’s 25th birthday—the day after Central Cee’s 25th—surprise drop Split Decision showcases some of the powers that have embedded the Londoners at UK rap’s top table at a relatively tender age—specifically, the wit, agility, and nuance of their rhymes. The occasion and the artwork—a Ferrari F40 being loaded onto a yacht in Monaco—set a celebratory tone that summer-ready lead single “Sprinter” emboldens, playfully weighing the pair’s success in cars, women, and Amex cards. Characteristically, though, they rarely let bravado run unchecked for too long. Before “Sprinter” is out, Cench has paused to ponder the mental scars left by his journey (“Bare snow in my hood, no Aspen/Can’t get rid of my pain with aspirin”), while over the graceful strings and punchy bass of “Trojan Horse,” a romantic encounter suddenly evokes the trauma of wrongful arrest for Dave. One of Dave’s cleverest rhymes here calls back to the struggle—“Being broke, I can feel that, Mummy had to squeeze into the flats/Like she was borrowing some shoes and her heels snapped” (“Our 25th Birthday”)—but it’s also a joy to hear him skillfully reference Rudimental, Tony Soprano, Nelly Furtado, and Manchester United’s Amad Diallo in the space of seven lines on “UK Rap.”

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