Truth be told, a lot of people don’t like hip hop. It has certain connotations, definitely, and the “rock” crowd tends to look down on the “hip hop” scene with some disdain. There’s no real reason for this separation, maybe just a bit of misunderstanding and some built-in prejudice. Really, though, hip hop and rock aren’t all that different, especially in the case of Calgary’s own King Dylan.
King Dylan has emerged from the mean streets of Calgary to inject some new life into the city’s hip hop scene. Self-described as a “Speed Skater turned Rapper turned Rocker turned Rapper”, King Dylan isn’t your ordinary hip hop artist. He shows influence from a number of genres as he incorporates flavours of rock and pop into his rap, and on his new album “Dinosaurs On Broadway“, he gives us reason to love hip hop. This is his third official solo album, and while he occasionally brings in the help of other artists and musicians, he shows why he’s known as King.
With 16 tracks, “Dinosaurs On Broadway” covers everything from singable pop (“Still Lonely”) to more fast-paced bippity bop (“Bad Guy” or “Talk About Me”) and shows an interesting mix of influences. King Dylan names everyone from Mötley Crüe to Ice Cube to Megadeath as inspirations for his sound, blending rap, rock and heavy metal into a signature hip hop/pop-rock sound. While he is worthy of comparisons to Dr. Dre or Eminem in songs like “What You Deserve”, he also has strong vocals that evoke a likeness to bands like Linkin Park (“Endless Days”). It is this diversity that shows off his musical and song-writing talents, as well as a well-rounded artistic background.
Even traditional “rock” fans will like this album. With its catchy hooks, fun beats and attention-grabbing lyrics, it’s unexpectedly appealing to most music fans, even against all stubbornness to the contrary. “Dinosaurs On Broadway” is more than just hip hop; it is a dance- and sing-worthy album that fits with almost every taste.
King Dylan’s stage presence is well-known, and as a show of allegiance to his fans he is holding two CD release shows in March: One 18+ (March 9th at Dicken’s Pub) and one ALL AGES (March 10th at The New Black). For a taste of his music, check out his newest video for “Entertainers“, featuring Ricca Razor Sharp, Transit & Jesse-James. He’s also got a ton of other videos on his YouTube page and has a great website. Like him on Facebook, and then get out to one of his release shows this weekend!
Hip hop isn’t so bad after all. All hail the King.