The Storm Is Coming, is the latest EP by Dakk’One (or Dakota Bear), a Vancouver-based rapper from Saskatoon. This EP is a follow up to Fame Or Destruction, released in the summer of 2017. While his last EP’s focus was on personal growth, his latest offers the Cree rapper’s take on the many challenges Indigenous people face within the confines of Canada.
Dakk’One’s technical skill is impressive, making him very much a rapper’s rapper. His flow is spot on, synching seamlessly to the EP’s production. His rhymes are consistently strong, warranting a few “OH, SHIT!” moments.
In a recent interview with Discorder Magazine, Dakota Bear spoke about taking inspiration from the film Eight Mile and seems to be keeping in a similar vein by telling his own underdog story. Lines like “I’m never the horse that they bet on,” and “I speak for the people who only got rations,” illustrate this. Comparisons to Eminem could be made in terms of speed, but Dakk’One doesn’t water down the message. Instead of using speed as a spectacle, he utilizes it to build discernible intensity leading to hard-hitting choruses that carry the energy of each song’s message.
The music rapped over is down to earth, like Dakota Bear himself. The production is a mix of keyboard and hard-hitting percussion and electronics and remains a simple backing for the entirety of the EP, with the exception of the title track where it builds in intensity alongside his rapping. At times the production can sound similar and overly simple across the stanzas of each song, especially in contrast to the memorable choruses.
Police brutality, substance abuse, profiling and discrimination are central themes relating to Dakk’One’s experiences as an Indigenous youth growing up in Saskatoon, but that’s not all he raps about. He should be commended for the scope of the subjects explored in this EP, including personal issues such as fake friends, insecurity and cutting out toxic people. This EP brims with self-awareness, impressive flow and well-earned anger. Dakk’One’s rapping and technical skill shine throughout, creating an engaging experience that demands close listening.