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5 Years On… Dave’s ‘Game Over’

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

3 Nov 2022

Dave is considered one of the biggest artists in the U.K. right now, let alone its Rap scene. With number 1 singles and albums, Brit Awards, and even a Mercury Prize, he has an illustrious career. But, today celebrates a 5-year milestone for Dave’s second EP, ‘Game Over.’

On the 3rd of November 2017, Dave was an established name in the U.K. Rap scene, but nowhere near as popular as he is now. He had made waves with collaborations with AJ Tracey, J Hus, and even Drake; making a dent on the charts. Through his ‘Six Paths‘ EP and these collabs he had gained a fanbase but had not quite broken through to the mainstream. This project was about to change that.

Firstly, we have to talk about the lead single ‘Question Time.’ Dave had been known for his social commentary, yet this track was a big statement and made some noise. The U.K. was under the premiership of Theresa May at that time. It was fresh off the divisive Brexit vote, which had highlighted some ugly truths about this nation. Dave was not afraid to question her rule on this song. He commentated on our involvement in wars, the lack of spending on the NHS, and the Grenfell tower fire. He also had criticisms for departing prime minister David Cameron and expressed his doubts about then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

These questions have not been answered and are still issues the U.K. government is critiqued on. But, the track had an impact and showed Dave’s maturity and songwriting ability. It made him a shining light for justice in the U.K. scene. The song won an Ivor Novello award; the youngest winner of the prize at just 19. It would be the first of many honours for David Omoregie.

He also garnered his first U.K. top 20 hit on this EP with ‘No Words‘ featuring MoStack. The track was produced by Dave himself alongside the hitmaker Steel Banglez, with additional production from Fraser T. Smith and 169 giving it that addictive edge. The chorus line was just as catchy, having fans new and old singing along to their hearts’ content.

I don’t wanna dead no beef
I don’t wanna sort it out
I don’t wanna hear no words
I don’t wanna talk it out

Dave-No Words

Both artists went back and forth with rhymes about girls, money making, and calling out the haters. This was not as complex as other tracks on the project, but that wasn’t the point. It highlighted Dave’s versatility, something he would be rewarded for then and further down the line. The song reached number 17 on the charts and has since gone Platinum, making it an anthem that has stood the test of time. It also paved the way for Dave to release his huge hit ‘Funky Friday‘ a year later.

The man from Streatham got introspective on ‘How I Met My Ex‘ and ‘My 19th Birthday.’ The former found Dave reflecting on a relationship and how his insecurities led to the downfall of this partnership. This showed not only the storytelling of this MC but also his vulnerability. This can be frowned upon in the world of Hip-Hop, making it a risk in some ways. However, this tale felt honest and potentially relatable, keeping you intrigued for its 7 minutes and 25 seconds of runtime.

My 19th Birthday‘ was another insight into his life. It finds him reflecting on his newfound fame and wealth. Money had allowed him to help his struggling mother. Yet, he had mixed feelings about the newfound attention from women. This closed the project nicely, highlighting that Dave was here to stay. It also provided an insight into how fame isn’t for everyone. Dave still had his own issues behind the scenes, like reflecting on his brother being on trial. This showed the listener, that while he was now a recognised name, he was still a human being with real-world problems.

This project charted at number 13 and went Gold in the U.K., having a big impact on Dave’s career. Working alongside Fraser T. Smith and 169, allowed him to improve his craft for production, whether minimalist piano beats or the more mainstream sounds of tracks like ‘No Words.’ His craft as a lyricist was even better here, showing maturity and intelligence in a way most rappers in the mainstream were not willing to show. It’s not as concise as his two studio albums, but being an EP it allowed him to experiment and work on his shortcomings. It showed the many faces of Dave, which have only grown stronger on future releases.

This project was followed by MOBO awards, Brit Awards nominations, and tours outside the U.K. The Dave we know today is very different from the guy of 2017. ‘Game Over‘ was an important time and pivotal in helping him reach the heights he continues to ascend in 2022 and beyond.

Dave is on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

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