Fredericton hip hop luminary Ceeb Dread doesn’t waste time chasing unobtainable identities or character personas. He knows exactly who he is and that identity stands strong on his latest full length, Ceeb the Day.
At this point, Ceeb Dread is practically an institution in Fredericton. Whether he’s on stage performing his own music, as a guest emcee backing up a friend or just biking along the walking trail with a coffee in hand, he is consistently on his game. He lives and breathes hip hop. A friend to all, a community diplomat and a true original, there is no one else like Ceeb Dread.
Over the course of 11 releases, Dread’s music has always carried with it a few defining characteristics that help set him apart from other New Brunswick hip hop artists. Singalong choruses, humorous word play and positivity come standard on everything he releases, comfortably wrapped within a do it yourself framework.
Working within a genre shaped by cutting edge, crystal clear production, Dread is an outlier. At times, his vocals sound as if they were recorded using an earbud microphone and his overdubs are rarely precise in pitch, but none of that seems to matter. If anything, it adds to the authenticity of his work. Unlike a lot of hip hop artists out there, Dread is not chasing an unobtainable identity or character persona. He is not trying to be someone he isn’t. He knows who he is and by now, so do we.
Ceeb The Day, his latest album features ten tracks of pure Dread. Though rough around the edges, his heart is present and accounted for and his sincerity is always on point. Above generic beats that may at times be trying a little too hard to mimic the West Coast sound of the early 2000’s, Dread raps words of positivity and peace, each their own chapter in his quest to find the good in everyday situations. Standout tracks include Tides Change, I Am Incredible and Bookin.
Despite being nearly a dozen albums deep into his exploration of rap music, Dread still has a lot of gas in the tank. Even though every album he releases includes a few earworms – Ceeb The Day being no exception – Dread has yet to land the front to back, rock solid album he is capable of. An outside producer would certainly change the game, but does Dread need to change his game at this point? He has built a loyal fanbase doing what he does, how he does it. And that is part of what makes each new Ceeb Dread album worthy of our attention. Anticipation and hope are perfect complements to his homespun brand of East Coast rap meets West Coast beats. It’s all part of the fun. It’s all Ceeb Dread.