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DillanPonders – The Boy Who Lived [Review]

Toronto, ON – Earlier this month, SmashMouth Music Group’s one-man reign of cocaine – DillanPonders – launched his sophomore LP entitled The Boy Who Lived. Just so we’re on the same page, here, DP is one of my favourite MCs in the game right now. When people ask me what’s popping in Canadian rap music, I tell them about DillanPonders. My dad even knows who DP is because I’ve told him about DP and made him listen to Dillan’s songs about blowing coke and receiving fellatio. THANKS DAD! YOU’RE A TROOPER! Anyways, Dillan represents a new sound in Canada’s rap game. He takes custom-fitted trap beats from his SmashMouth posse, dusts the beats with a thick cakey coating of cocaine, and hits us with introspective raps on a flow that goes like 6,987,654,654 beats per minute (I’m exaggerating – but you get the idea). He can flow.

Dillan doesn’t flex about his drug usage, though (most of the time – at least). He’s not one of those cats to glorify it. He simply raps about his life; and hard drugs are a pretty big component of that. Sometimes he gets into the dark chemical-induced mental struggle of it all. And sometimes he’s perfectly happy to get his dick sucked while prancing around in heaping piles of powdered snow. Anyways, I wasn’t really sure how to go about doing such a review for such a groundbreaking project. So I did a really long over-analytical breakdown of every single song on the LP. Stream the LP below, and check my review after the jump.

1. Death Proof (Prod. MMac)

The LP kicks off with an eerie fiddling intro. Wait. You sure this is DP? Oh yes. It’s totally DP. Because if you listen to that hoedown hook, you’ll hear the following: “You do a line/ I’ll do a line.” This isn’t referring to line-dancing. This is referring to snorting powdery mountains of pure white cocaine. And then 37 seconds into the track, the beat drops. And DP is already going into explicit details about coming inside of some other dude’s girl and – potentially – making her into a baby mamma. And then he gets right into his coke rhymes: “I don’t even need more blow/ I just want it.” Basically, this dude is death-proof. Unstoppable. The phoenix that rises from the ashes, etc, etc.

At 2:20, Dillan uses the phrase “Suck my penis.” Which is hilarious. Because no one says “Suck my penis” anymore. Except – I guess – DP. There are so many euphemisms for “penis” that get thrown around. Rap cats are pretty partial to the word “dick.” So I giggled when he said, “Suck my penis.” Cool story, right? The track winds down with some chemical-fueled ponder of DillanPonders. He refers to people as “drones.” And criticizes their chasing a lifestyle that doesn’t exist. And then the voiceover you heard in DP’s third promo video wraps it up: “My vision is blurred/ Faded/ But I see clearly.”

2. SMCG (Prod. BatmanOnTheBeatz)

“SMCG” is the trappy DP version of “Or Nah.” Sort of. “SMCG” stands for “SmashMouth crew gang,” by the way. So think of it as a drug-laced bromance ballad, with some side girls and fornication thrown into the mix. Actually, when the audio for this first dropped last month, I said this track was like “getting blown on blow.” When you listen to the featuring-everyone-on-the-planet-who-raps version of “Or Nah,” you get the sense that those cats are all a little droopy and entitled. Like, “Hey girl. I’m so faded that I can’t even take my own pants off right now. So, you want to do all the work here, or nah?” DP plays it much wilder than that.

On the real, though: I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting deep into the SmashMouth crew’s tuneage. These guys are ferocious. Shout-out to Brenden Hewko – Brenden is one of my favourite people to work with. He writes solid press releases and is pleasantly persistent when it comes to making sure we stay on-top of posting SMMG releases here on HHC.

3. Swallow ft. Ziba (Prod. TallBoy)

“Swallow” is – hands down – the best song about oral sex that you will ever CUM across (Har har har). Abel Tesfaye has some competition for the friskiest joint of the year. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a blow job song, either. It’s very smooth – as far as DillanPonders music goes. Like, you could throw this on when you bring your first date home. She would probably detect sexual undertones on the track. But if she wasn’t listening to the lyrics, she’d be none the wiser. Also, the female vocalist on here – Ziba (who you may remember as the featured songstress on DP’s remix of “XXX”) – is amazing. Very few women can pull off such raunchy lyrics without sounding completely ratchet. Ziba makes ass-y sound very classy. And she’s featured all throughout the project.

For a brief moment on here, Dillan gets insecure and questions his idol-status. But then he’s back to accounting his escapades with blow…jobs. There’s a lovely little anecdote about an Aquarius girl who evidently made the mistake of performing fellatio on DP and found herself with a sore mouth afterwards. Dillan thought it was hilarious. I can just picture how that conversation went down: “Hey DillanPonders. It was really nice giving you oral sex last night but now my mouth is so sore.” And then DP would be all like, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Dumb Aquarius.”

4. Vitamins (Prod. TallBoy)

This is a song about drugs. I asked the Internet to define “vitamins” for me. Wikipedia said, “A vitamin is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that an organism requires in limited amounts.” Seems legit. Because DP’s drugs are necessity.

The TallBoy production on here is so haunting, though. TallBoy is SMMG fam and he has a knack for making signature DillanPonders beats. It’s this weird intimate producer-rapper relationship where TallBoy understands every fibre of Dillan’s being and makes beats that bring you deeper into Dillan’s drug-dosed thought process. This is one of those darker joints I mentioned. DP’s having a moment where he recognizes that his daily vitamin-intake is leading to self-destruction. He’s finally got some money, and he’s going to go spend it on some Molly.

5. After Hours Are The Devil (Prod. DJ Hoe)

DJ Hoe made a killer beat for this joint. It sounds exactly like last-call. It’s got this fuzzy minimalistic trap sound. And it brings you back to your last 3 a.m. night out-on-the-town. Everyone is faded to the point where tiredness becomes obsolete. Folks are sloshing about with lust-filled ambitions of getting SOME SORT OF ACTION. The booze-heads are fiending for that next sip. And the drug lords are in the bathroom stalls, bumping the remnants of their powder. And the morality of it all fades away. That’s when Dillan hits us with this, “High ’cause I like it” hook. There’s no “this is right” or “this is wrong.” It’s simply a matter of indulging in drugs because reasons.

“I can barely hear what you say/ Don’t know what you’re saying but I like it/ I know you wanna get it in/ I’m a psychic.” And that pretty much sums it up. After hours are – in fact – the devil because doing socially unacceptable things after hours is completely socially acceptable.

6. Sailor Moon (Prod. Zhu)

This track starts off with a PSA about the serious side-effects of hard drugs: “I won’t cum/ Bad bitch took me to the bathroom stall/ But I’m on cocaine/ Baby/ I won’t cum.” The struggle is very real. If you do drugs, you’ll find yourself unable to ejaculate. Thanks for the reminder, DP! Also, the Zhu beat on here is very Sailor Moon. If DillanPonders wasn’t DillanPonders, I’d definitely be visualizing him dashing around the seedy underbelly of Toronto with a Sailor Moon heart sector; slaying virtues and purity, and stuff like that.

7. The Woods Are Lovely At Night (Prod. Majin Skye)

Apparently the woods are really lovely at night. That being said, DP’s having a very grumpy high on this track. He’s on ecstasy – for the record. It’s in his Pepsi. Anyways, he’s going on about how he doesn’t like his homie’s girl; who’s standing beside him in the club. He doesn’t give a f**k about the radio. He says “whore” a lot. He doesn’t f**k with religion. Basically, he’s just a real Debbie Downer on here.

Ziba returns at the end of the track with some very haunting vocals about painting white stripes on her body (i.e.: lines of cocaine for DP to BLOW!!!!) and then she’s all like, “All these drugs can fix my addiction.” OH DAMN. That is deep. Think about that for a minute, people. That’s a serious commentary on substance use, right there.

8. Vincent Vega (Prod. Bob Moses)

DP really likes Quentin Tarantino. To the point where he frequently raps about Tarantino films. Back in July, Dillan teamed up with Shome and Tay Lewis to drop the Kill Bill-sampled joint so appropriately named “Kill Bill.” Now he’s giving us this ode to Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction (Hi, John Travolta).

DP uses this track to compare himself to Vega. Vega does heroin. DP fiends for coke. They both have luscious long manes of locks. And they both have a knack for defying the odds of life. I bet you Dillan even orders his steak “bloody as hell.” Unfortunately, unlike Dillan, Vincent was the boy who died – not The Boy Who Lived. DP continues to beat the system; one high at a time.

9. Somewhere In Chinatown (Prod. BatmanOnTheBeatz)

Chinatown invokes memories of anonymity; a place where you can remain nameless and wander about and do as you please. It’s a surreal experience. DP uses this track to make sense of his recently-acquired fame and reaffirm his identity. Very introspective. It runs much deeper than the naked babes and blow he’s telling us about. He feels like he’s famous. Because apparently your best friend knows DP’s name – actually, everyone knows DP’s name. And he’s got naked bitches on his table. But despite all that, DP is still the dude who couldn’t give a f**k about anything. He admits that he’s the kind of dude who’d “Show up late to my own funeral.” And he probably would, too. Then he’s all like, “I don’t make plans/ And I don’t make breakfast.” Which is not 100 per cent true. DP CAN fry eggs. I have proof.

10. Evicted (Prod. Beebs Production)

So we made it all the way through the lovely woods at night, somewhere in Chinatown, various clubs and bathroom stalls, like 8,954,543 bedrooms, cocaine highs, ecstasy highs, drinks, limp dicks and then some – and DillanPonders is STILL ALIVE. He really is The Boy Who Lived. Except he’s getting “Evicted.” Which kinds of sucks. But not really.

It seems like the term “evicted” is synonymous with “higher than a motherf**ker” in DP’s vocabulary. You feel me? He’s evicted; he’s gone; he’s in another world and on another chemical-hazed planet. He takes us on one last high before concluding the LP. Take it in, people. This is the essence of everything DillanPonders is about. Now you’re vicariously high. Congratulations.

Twitter: @DillanPonders

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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