nobigdyl. the Canopy rapper isn’t out to make much of himself.
With his new album Canopy already topping the iTunes charts, I got to sit down with “purple dinosaur” emcee the day before the drop. We talk his origins in music, the 90’s, how to correctly spell his name and more.
nobigdyl! whats good man?
Was up! happy to be apart of this man. Thank you for having me.
Share about your roots in hip-hop and then into making music as a Christian artist?
I was introduced to Hip-Hop at a very young age. I’m from California and started my life there. My mom went to Cal Berkley. She didn’t want me listening to rap because, she thought it was bad for my development. But, my dad… he introduced me to Onyx, Naughty by Nature and other artists. My uncle introduced me to spoken word in jazz clubs. Seeing that shaped my mind musically and writing wise. I grew up in a Christian family and he put me onto my first Christian Hip-Hop artists when I was about ten. Ambassador’s Christology was my first CHH album.
Your name and the name of your crew are both really dope and original. What’s the meaning behind nobigdyl. and Indie Tribe?
My name is Dylan… hence the “dyl”. The heart behind it is that in my interactions, I don’t want it to be about me. I don’t want to be an artist that points to myself. I want it to point to something greater: God, Christ, the Gospel. I want to make songs that point to hope, freedom, point to justice, that point to love and all the attributes and teachings that made me feel in love with God. I want people to experience and hear that. I’m not the point. That is why it’s all lower case with a period at the end. People that don’t understand why, its a opportunity to explain the purpose behind it. Indie Tribe is more a proclamation of free thinking within hip-hop. We want to show that we aren’t riding the current wave or talking about the same things (content wise) that the popular wave is. You’re the first person who has gotten a full explanation of that since I dropped my video “Indie”.
You’re a 90’s baby. Do you feel like you could bring the 90’s back? Or are you just trying to bring that vibe back?
I’m not really trying to bring them back. I’m happy with where hip-hop is at right now. But, I just want to bring what was poured into me to the forefront. If I do something reminiscent of the 90’s, its just because that’s what I’m made out of. I want to take dope aspects of art from that time and give it the twist of what we do with a current feel. Even with “Purple Dinosaur”, I wanted to take the diversity and happy feeling that Barney had and re-expose people who grew up on that to that feeling again. There is a lot to learn from the 90’s: musically, culturally, and socially.
Speaking of your song “Purple Dinosaur”, it definitely has a 90’s vibe. I felt the nostalgia in place watching the video. How fun was that video to make?
Bro, it was crazy… Filming it was one of the most fun things I’ve done in my life. Took a lot of planning, but thanks to my wife, we were able to get it done in a timely fashion. She’s responsible for the organization of it all. We did a fountain scene, like in friends, and it was still cold out here in Nashville. The water was freezing and we had to act like we weren’t freezing to death. Besides that it was fun having the help of my friends to make it all come together.
What’s your opinion of the current state Christian hip-hop and what example do you want to be as a CHH artist?
Right now, it’s sounding better than ever in the areas of artistic development. There are fewer gates and things are somewhat affordable for artists to make something happen. The only thing that I would like to see less of is, pride and thinking too highly of ourselves. That has been creeping in and showing itself more lately. It’s always been there, but it’s displayed differently these days. Right now, I really don’t think I’m in a position to set a huge example. I’m still looking up to my mentors and learn from them. I think we should be quicker to listen and soak up wisdom. For Indie Tribe and I, our mission is to bring glory to God through encouraging believers, and pointing to hope, justice, and love for all who listen.
What’s your favorite movie from the 90’s?
Dunston Checks In. You gotta go watch that. I could name several more movies because there are so many. I really love the kids movies.
Our last question is important, at least to the Hip-Hop community. Pac or Biggie?
I have to say Pac. I think Biggie was a better rapper, but Pac has def been more of an influence (in regards to his more conscious content) for me.