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Meet Dillom, the Latino Eminem: ‘I Was Living Between Two Worlds, I Was Like Hannah Montana’

Better late than never. 

Several decades behind schedule, hip-hop culture has finally conquered Latin America. At the forefront of this movement, mega viral artists such as Duki, Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee, Bizarrap or Nicki Nicole reach hundreds of millions of monthly listeners.

Now, a rare new breed of young artists challenges our notion of what makes a hit song, combining elements from the 80s, 90s, 2000s and today. Rap, trap, cumbia, reggaeton, indie rock… Post Mortem, the new album by Argentine artist Dillom, 21, has it all. And the graphic and audiovisual material that accompanies his work does not fall behind.

By his side, a crew like no other: the Bohemian Groove label, run by Ignacio “Nacho” Caiella, and the artistic collective that it comprises, the RIP Gang.

But who is this young artist, outlined as a kind of Latino Eminem? Where do his elaborate, bilingual lyrics, packed with cultural references and sordid personal stories, come from? How do this little musical demon and his team achieve sound and video clips that hover above international standards?

“We sent the album to be mastered in Los Angeles,” says Santiago de Simeone, the 40-something-year-old guy in charge of mixing the sparkling new LP, during a talk at Cromo Música’s studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “It shows in the final sound. It is impeccable.”

This is not an overstatement: the album is, indeed, flawless. And also, in its chemical formulation, it achieves an unexpected reaction, reconciling the hip-hop head, the avid rap fan, with indie genres, just as the Beastie Boys did for rock and rap years ago.

In his eclecticism, dwells one of Dillom’s greatest fortes.

Be Kind, Rewind

Although Dillom canvasses his life story in his lyrics, it’s not his favorite subject of conversation. In music, however, he finds catharsis.

“There is not much data out there about my own story, I don’t usually tell much,” he declares. “I don’t like being like, bringing up the subject of what’s happened to me in my life, makes me feel kinda dumb. But, well, my name is Dylan, I grew up with my parents, I was born in the Argentine neighborhood of Once [the most commercial and multi-ethnic neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina] and then I moved to Colegiales.”

At age 8, Dillom’s life was disrupted by his parents’ divorce. Although he does not love to admit it, the experience left a mark on him. From that moment on, his life would take quite turbulent and unexpected turns.

He recalls living back and forth between his mother’s and his father’s, while the latter built another family, with another woman. “My poor vieja [mom], she did what she could and got into some dark stuff, addiction and depression. She had several boyfriends who were kind of violent.” The unfavorable circumstances led his mother to get into situations of dubious lawfulness.

“And, well, one day, from all that running with the wrong crowd, she ended up stuck to a murky case and wound up in jail.”

Forced to move in with his father and his new family, Dillom would face a series of challenges that would end up with him sleeping at a public square.

Unorthodox

As it turns out, the woman his father had married is a practicing Jew; “orthodox,” Dillom grants. Dad had also converted to Judaism.

Beyond the cultural distance, the young man felt constantly judged and never truly comfortable: “I felt very much an outsider in that world.”

“They became antiquated, full orthodox, and I was never orthodox. Like, not at all, not Jewish even,” reveals the artist. “And, well, I kind of had no choice but to live with them. But I had to follow their customs, they wouldn’t let me use my cell phone or even do my homework on Fridays because it was Shabbat. They wouldn’t even let me crack a joke.”

Although his life at his mother’s was not easy either, Dillom always liked it better there. At least with la mamma, he was free, he had his own room and space to do as he pleased. At dad’s, it was all sneaking around, hiding and lying. “They didn’t make it feel like a home,” he confirms.

The matter ended badly, a very messy ordeal. Dad said, “If you don’t like our rules, you can go.” And he gave Dylan three options: either he would go to Ushuaia [the deep Argentine South, similar to Alaska] to stay with family, or he would go to Misiones [up North, in the jungle] to stay with family, or he could go sleep on the street, at a public square.

“All I thought about was making a living out of music. So I said ‘no f*cking way am I gonna go live in Misiones or down South, in Ushuaia’. Like, it’s all good and all, but sadly there are not nearly as many opportunities as there can be in Buenos Aires.”

So that was that, and young Dylan marched down to the public square.

He lasted one night.

Luckily, a friend from elementary school with whom he’d recently reconnected invited him to stay at his place, with his mother and brother. Suddenly, Dillom had a family again, and one that he found agreeable.

To date, Dillom still lives with them, and he’s even planning to move the lot into a bigger house.

“Now that I am making money with this music business, my father’s wife suddenly agrees with me, time has proved me right,” he proudly proclaims. The resemblance is not lost on him: his story is reminiscent of that of redemption …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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