In Rhode Island hip-hop, there is a pool of unique talents, but only a few are truly making their mark on their own terms. One of those select few is B. Dolan, who’ll celebrate the release of his brand new album Kill The Wolf on Saturday, July 11, at The Met. I had a chat with B. about curating this unique event, the music video for the single “Jailbreak,” performing in Europe and the current state of hip-hop in The Ocean State.
Rob Duguay: The album release show for Kill The Wolf features a stellar all-local lineup including punk acts Dropdead and Ask The Dead, fellow hip-hop artist Sage Francis, and Roz Raskin from the indie pop act Roz and The Rice Cakes. What inspired you to curate a night that includes all sorts of genres of music?
B. Dolan: I’ve been a fan of Dropdead for years. Since before I started putting music out, even. Doing a show with them is a longtime Providence goal realized for me. Roz and The Rice Cakes are a band I found out about thanks to DS3K, the engineer who runs The Chamber studios where my album was created and recorded.
I’ve always thought part of the greatness of the Providence music scene comes from how small the city is. Your friends who are into rap drag you to their rap show and you drag them to your hardcore show. Everybody knows everybody and kids are in and out of a lot of different kinds of shows. At least that’s how it was for me coming up. So I’m a student of a lot of styles and genres, and I like to remind Providence of its potential to blend those things and collaborate within its little sub-scenes.
RD: A couple of weeks ago you released the music video for “Jailbreak,” the first single off of the new album. Along with having underground hip-hop phenoms Aesop Rock & Buck 65 on the track, the chorus is sung by the late Dave Lamb of Brown Bird. It’s not every day that you see a roots music artist be part of a hip-hop song. What made you want to include Lamb on “Jailbreak”?
BD: I happened to see Brown Bird perform at The Met in 2010 and was a fan immediately. A little while later I was recording something for Sully’s Cafe the same day as Brown Bird and bumped into Dave in the parking lot. I bigged him up and it turned out he knew who I was, and we talked about doing a song and exchanged contact info. While writing “Jailbreak” I created that chorus that I thought Dave could sing the hell out of, which I asked him to do and he immediately did. That song was really a joy to work on, man. Every single person killed it and did what the song needed them to do.
RD: After the show at The Met you’ll embark on a world tour that’ll take you all over Europe. What city are you most excited to perform at and why?
BD: That’s really hard to say. I enjoy a lot of things about a lot of cities at this point. I miss them when I’m gone, and I have a lot of fun traveling. Tour life is grueling, but I’ve developed a long list of record shops and food spots that I’m excited to get back to from place to place. I’m playing Athens on this tour and it’ll be my first time in Greece, so I’m pretty pumped about that. An anarchist collective is bringing me out for a free show, and given the current political and economic climate in Greece, I have a feeling that’ll be a really interesting one.
RD: In your opinion, what is the state of hip-hop in Rhode Island? Are there any local artists that you like to listen to?
BD: There’s some cool shit going on, and some corny shit. Succeeding in rap at this point takes more than just bars or even great music or a great live show. It takes more than any one thing, and more than anything, it takes the right attitude and approach. There are local dudes who show a lot of promise, and you can tell by interacting with them and watching them do their thing. DirtyDurdie are dope, they have a great live set, interesting presentation and they’re humble dudes offstage. As a fan, they leave you wanting to see them again even if you didn’t know their songs at first, and as professionals they leave you wanting to work with them again. All of that is important. I can say the same for Chachi Carvalho and Hayes from Night Enders. You also got Milez Grimez, Ioneye — shit, there’s a lot of local cats I respect at the moment. The rest shall remain nameless and talking shit on Facebook.
Tickets are still available here: https://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSale.do?method=restoreToken&performance_id=6395424
B. Dolan’s website: http://bdolan.net