Dave Amazin’s Young Solomon mixtape quietly appeared on the internet halfway through January. It clocks in at just over 25 minutes spanning twelve tracks, making the affair an immensely concise and consumable experience. The 21-year-old rapper is not beating you over the head with repetitive saccharine hooks or fake swagger anthems – he commands his flow with confidence, but doesn’t overstay his welcome.
Dave’s voice changes from track to track, sometimes reflective, sometimes aggressive, and his tone on “City of Win” stands out as sober and levelheaded. The title is a victorious pun on Chicago’s misunderstood “Windy City” moniker, and the song begins with Dave taking his listener on a tour of his hometown via the Red line: “City of win, got the city on my back/like a CTA tattoo.” The beat, credited to Massology, is an urgent strut balanced by a moody jazz-fusion sample. The lyrics both celebrate Chicago as the place where “lil’ ni**as can rap too,” and remain conscious of the urban violence that has become the stereotypical narrative of the city. While he enjoys his old-fashioned donuts and Al’s Beef, Dave Amazin’ is at the same time weary of “a city full of haters and some fake shit.” Despite his ambivalence, his love for the “City of Win” is congenital: “I love you from inception/that’s beginning to end.”