Independent Hip Hop Artist, Dylan Andre, Transforms into a “Wendigo” with New EP

Artist: Dylan Andre
Album: Wendigo – EP
Label: Independent
Release Date: January 22nd, 2021

1. “Retcon” – 2:44
2. “Soul to Take” – 3:16
3. “Speak No Evil” – 3:14
4. “Hank” – 3:40
5. “Bad (ft. Alaina Cross)” – 3:18
6. “Blood in the Rain” – 3:49

Some artists choose to use gimmicks to promote their brand. Some, though, are the genuine article and in no need of these tactics. Independent hip hop artist, Dylan Andre (also known as DNA) is one of the latter, choosing to use real life experiences to fuel the fire that he spits from his lungs. While some may compare him to artists like Eminem or NF, this writer can tell you that he’s got a style all his own and, while the influence of the formerly mentioned artists is there, it’s his ability to weave a dark, intricate tale that sets him apart. A past filled with darkness, tragedy and ridicule along with an industry that shunned him or looked at him like he didn’t have what it takes has turned him into a personification of his new EP, Wendigo. The Wendigo is a creature who, according to lore, is a person who has been transformed by the devouring of human flesh. While the transformation isn’t a literal one, in this instance, the title is symbolic of the way he devours any who stand in his path.

One of the most prominent things about his music, from the release of Psycho Theory, has been his use of drama to build suspense. He has a unique way of exploring just how much he can hold back, causing listeners to be on the edge of their seats before exploding, showing his true potential. His flow? Unstoppable. His ability to create hype? Undeniable. His talent? Limitless, as he’s proven time and time again. Not to mention that he creates a realm of darkness & fear, to present to listeners his story and does so without profanity. Starting with the proclamation in the intro track, “Retcon” that he’s not like other rappers in the game, his choppy flow style, coupled with the intensity in his vocals quickly shows just how vicious he can be without even trying. The lyrics get deep on this one but we haven’t heard anything yet.

“Soul to Take” takes a bedtime prayer and turns it into a nightmare. Music box melodies underlie a heavy beat. This is where we begin to hear the cockiness in his lyrics (and also how he manages to inject humor into them: see “nose goes… all the bars in the world and you chose those?” You can also get a feel for how he uses word play with references to Lord of the Rings, Farcry, etc.

One of my favorite tracks on the EP comes in the form of “Speak No Evil,” which is a bit more introspective. It also speaks on his decision to no longer swear in his music. There are a variety of different vocal styles used here, showing his versatility as an artist. This track, seemingly, has to do with the struggle of overcoming personal demons and how he has used them to push himself forward.

They say you can decide how good an album will be by the intro and outro tracks. However, because Andre follows his own rules, each track on the EP stands alone, even within its ability to flow perfectly from one track to the next. “Blood in the Rain” (which is mentioned in “Retcon) is the darkest track on the EP. Rooted in orchestral melody, this track is where we hear him get more vulnerable than ever before. While his lyrics have never shied away from tougher subjects or been revealing, this is where we hear him get more emotional in his delivery.

If you’re looking for something that stands out in the hip hop realm, something that’s real and unique… Dylan Andre is that. While he remains more in the underground at the moment, all it’s going to take is for the right person to hear what he has to offer. If you enjoy artists like NF, The Jokerr, Logic, etc you will find something of interest in his music. Wendigo, though, is the embodiment of his transformation as an artist, despite the setbacks he has endured. The six-track EP is easily his best, most diverse work to date and will appeal to more than just those who listen to hip hop on average. If you like your hip hop to be introspective, deep and thought-provoking, though.. this will appeal to you the most. Whatever your poison, do yourself a favor and give Wendigo a listen.

Buy Wendigo

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