Why I'm Pretty Sure I Like Dustin Cavazos

I used to like Dustin Cavazos. Then I didn't. But, now I think I'm starting to like him again. Too confusing? Take a look at this simple time line.

The Oak Cliff rapper's first album, I Think In the Shower, I Dream On My Bike, proved him as a major player in local hip-hop. His sobering delivery, with a slight lisp that hangs on to the back of the rhythm like molasses on a pan, touched on his love for the city and his bike. In the words of a former Observer intern when asked if he wanted Jersey Mike's subs: "I can vibe with that." Even more impressive, Cavazos made his own beats, which hit hard -- especially on the Chi-Lites-sampling track "Fresh."

But then, six months later, in an attempt to outdo his previous effort, he hit the dreaded sophomore slump. Hard. His second album, Be.Leave.Me., traded in big electronic beats for a live band, and subtle emoting for hyperbolic sincerity. It basically combined a Sunday morning church contemporary service rock band with hip-hop. It basically used a sledge hammer to crush a mosquito. Basically, I didn't like it.

But now, Cavazos tells me that, with his new album, In and Out of Sleep (out sometime in May), he's going back to his roots. Smart move. And by the looks of his new video, which offers a thrown together live version of "I'm Feeling It," we can anticipate another good record from Cavazos. Maybe his recent performances with Big K.R.I.T. and Raekwon, and guest verses with A.Dd+, have put him back on the right track.