Skinny, white Londoner covering his polar opposite The Notorious B.I.G? Blasphemy? No, an act of bravery and genius.
Now I don't have much love for Biggie Smalls but 'Hypnotise' is pretty cool and the video (check the embed below) is a cinematic masterpiece compared to the typical performance video I see these days. But Dan Black utterly transforms the track - recycling the beat from 'Umbrella' and adding ethereal samples from John Carpenter's 'Starman' soundtrack. Dan's despairing vocals mean 'HYPNTZ' isn't just an homage to Biggie but instead a glowing tribute. A beautiful, timely reminder of The Notorious B.I.G's legacy in the hip hop world.
Apparently 'HYPNTZ' will be coming out as a self-released single at some point, we can only hope it gets the exposure it deserves. In the meantime, Dan will be playing some dates soon, undoubtedly dropping this stunning cover while showcasing his own material.
August: 21 - YOYO, London. 27 - Gold Dust, London. 28 - Adventures In The Beetroot Field, London
September: 05 - Mucha Marcha, London