Brooklyn’s Dan Dillinger releases a seven track EP titled Skinwalker. Interestingly, he labels it an EP because, while he believes the tracks have a certain degree of sonic cohesion, it didn’t have enough of a thematic thread to call it a proper album. This is telling of the type of emcee Dillinger is as he remains of the mind that an album demands a narrative. And, in conjunction with his submission’s distinction between Hip Hop and hip hop music, suggests he respects the traditions of the culture.
Dillinger discovered his love for making hip hop by way of an interest in poetry combined with an appreciation of the likes of Blackstarr, Wu-Tang, and Aesop Rock. While he claims he was late to the game, in reality, he entered at a time much before many of hip hop’s current mainstays. As result, though it wasn’t until college that he began taking the pursuit more seriously, he champions a throwback sound.
Before Skinwalker, Dillinger released two mixtapes — Follow My Lead and Razors Out. As a whole, his catalog boasts a host of influences ranging from classical to metalcore. Despite the opening claim of “Research Development,” Dillinger has made a habit of going on tour, accompanying acts like Astronautalis and Homeboy Sandman.
I would characterize his sound as aggressive yet introspective boom bap. It’s not crisp, warm boom bap but disconcerting and smugly sinister. Definitely see some punk influences or something along those lines. He employs a technically sound flow to talk of the dark underbelly of the struggle of existence. Boasts about his craft are the most uplifting lines we get. The rest see while his life largely in shambles culminating in an anticipatory posthumous address titled “When I Die.”
Check out the project below, it’s a manageable length for sure. But best not to listen to when feeling some type of way as it isn’t exactly uplifting. I am interested to see what his debut album is like, given that it promises a cohesive narrative. Based on this offering, I expect it to be unfortunately relatable.