On his latest #MusicMonday release, Dame talks survival, hardwork, recognizing what’s real, and staying true to your roots.  

Happy #4BarFriday ya’ll! As sad as we are that the Trailblazers aren’t still in the playoffs, I think it’s helped to know that Dame D.O.L.L.A. will likely resurface in the offseason. Damian “Dame Dolla” Lillard has taken to Instagram and Twitter recently to promote his #4BarFriday tradition and to tease his forthcoming mixtape, respectively.

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The newest release “Isley” came this week on #MusicMonday, a drop that continues to prove that Dame can progress as both a ball player and a rapper…even if he does just rap for fun.

I be rappin cause I like to do it, but don’t consider me a rapper I just like influence.

The direction I be giving like some life insurance; I bring positive energy that ignite endurance

I wise man told me always keep my cool, cause everybody in the world don’t believe in rules.

And you don’t wanna be the face when people see the news, hope the ones getting money living wreckless get a clue.

First of all, I really like the clean beat and pop production on this track. This song is completely listenable, although I don’t particularly care for the reverb/echo sound on his vocals. (Dame’s clear, commanding voice doesn’t really need any emphasizing effects, and I find the reverb somewhat distracting.) As per usual, his message and flow are positive and family friendly—not that I mind. It’s actually quite refreshing—if not Will Smith-esque—to hear some catchy, completely clean rap music.

I will be excited to see if he creates a music video for “Isley,” but even more so to hear how strong his mixtape is. Dame’s releases and features have been solid, but a lengthier project is needed to fully get an idea of his potential as an artist. And you know, booking a couple live shows this summer couldn’t hurt. *wink wink*

Have a listen to “Isley” below: