Dead Hendrix packs punk and rap, vibe and attitude into breakout single “Mustang”
By Kurt Beyers
At the intersection of punk rock and rap, Canadian Dead Hendrix, driving “Mustang,” is banging into the mainstream of North American music.
The single will be released on March 31.
“For me, ‘Mustang’ is my come-out song,” said Hendi. “I’ve been grinding, trying to raise my success level through different songs and collaborations, and ‘Mustang’ is the song where I go out there and say, ‘I'm here.’ It’s aggressive, it's a vibe, and it’s something that says ‘Dead Hendrix.’”
In his fusion of punk and rap, he said, he aims to “make that perfect blend of styles,” and his music is always going to cross boundaries and have an attitude.
“My music’s always going to be different, and I’m always going to talk about real things, real problems in my life, whether it’s loss of friends, drug abuse, trauma, all those bad thoughts. But I’m also going to be making music that people can bump their heads to.”
His own favorite lines from “Mustang” reflect this:
Came a long way from welfare and shelters
Ay, I learned how to deal with depression
When I leave, leave a lasting impression
His featured artist on “Mustang,” Yungcudii, is, like Hendi, from Ottawa, Canada. He has the middle part of the song, and in the Dead Hendrix blend of styles, “Yungcudii’s part perfectly adds to that.”
He enthuses over his favorite lines from Yungcudii’s verse, from the middle of his verse:
Mustang I’m rolling
I told Hendrix we living lavish like we rockstars
Bust down my Rollie
Me and bro we be twin like we Zack and Cody
Born for this glory
“And it’s got this really cool switch in the flow, and it just sounds really sick,” said Hendi.
Yungcudii has found a lot of success in street rap and R&B. Hendi said he has loved Yungcudii’s music for a long time. They knew each other in high school, recorded in the same studio.
“We weren’t very close or anything, but we were around each other. He exploded into success very quickly, and I really like how we were around each other making music in the high school days, and now that I’ve started creating a name for myself, it’s come full circle to us working together on this song.”
Dead Hendrix has been very active in addition to creating music. He and Levi Zadoff, with whom he released an album last year, Dead Summer, are in the middle of a slow-motion tour of the United States, one a month or so, “however long it takes to create a good show and promote it well.”
So far, they have done Los Angeles and San Francisco, and plans are for a couple of shows in Arizona.
“Dead Summer is a great project,” he said. “I love it, but it swung a little more to the side of alt rock or pop punk. Now I’m trying to get back to my roots of what I’m trying to do with punk and rap. I don’t know anyone else from my city who tries to bring that punk aspect into the rap.”
In June, he will be on another album called OttawaXToronto, like in math, Ottawa times Toronto. It will be a collaboration of upcoming artists from those two cities. Hendi will be in a song with Toronto rap artist 3MFrench.
“That’s a really big thing for people who know about Toronto music. People such as Casper TNG, Lil Berete, Duvy, they’re all going to be on the project.”
He has a lot of music coming out in the next months, including his first solo album. It is yet untitled, but “Mustang” will be the lead single on it. He expects to finish the album and release it by the end of the year.
“It’s going to be that piece of work that shows who Dead Hendrix is, like an introduction to everybody who hasn’t seen me before. I’m going from my core fan base, who I love so much, and coming out onto a bigger stage saying, ‘This is Dead Hendrix.’”
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