Daily Distraction: Rappers Dave Zup, OG Vern team up, branch out with 'Lemon Tree'

Listen to the cross-country, Oakland-Columbus collaboration now

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Dave Zup (left) and OG Vern

"They always try to box me in and just never could seem to do it," Dave Zup raps on "Lemon Tree," his new collaboration with Columbus rapper OG Vern, out today on Bandcamp. "Self expression made me money, self-doubt made me elusive."

The low-key, soul-inspired "Lemon Tree" follows course, the rapper and producer continuing in the more personal direction of prior EP Vignettes, from 2021. "“I’ve never tried to suppress those things, but I think having the extra time to sit at home and reflect [during COVID-driven stay-at-home] allowed me to open up that much more,” Zup said in a February interview with Alive about the EP. Zup, currently based in Oakland, California, continues his inward dive on "Lemon Tree," at one point describing himself as "all smiles with trauma beneath the surface."

The track is a collaboration with Columbus rapper OG Vern, who kicks things off with a verse more sweet than sour, essentially surmising that, past circumstances aside, his life is pretty good now — a more hopeful mindset that also surfaced on Vern's 2020 album Natural Selection.

Give the track a listen below.