D.C. rapper Doe Cigapom doesn’t like the city’s changing demographics: “The hell is a Columbia Heights. All I remember is 14th Street, man!” a male voice exclaims on CagedBirds, Cigapom’s new collaborative EP with producer Soulful!. (Set aside the fact that the neighborhood was called Columbia Heights long before gentrification took hold.) A few seconds later: “This ain’t muh’fuckin’ Dodge City no more, man.”
Tough narrative rhymes are everywhere on CagedBirds. Out yesterday, it’s an overall decent, nine-song compilation of gritty funk breaks and obscure vocal samples. On “Summertime Stroll,” Cigapom describes the dangers of D.C.: “Coming from the city that I’m from/You can die for money or shoes without the tongue.” Other topics aren’t so grim. “GreatPotofYeah” is a straightforward tune about smoking weed; “S’Mone” riffs on sexual frustration over drum chops and guitars.
CagedBirds won’t stop gentrification, but there’s always room for more real talk on the issue. Listen below.