Dallas Woods: from Baker Boy’s mentor to Julie’s Boy, he’s E.K.’s staunchest storyteller – Music News

Dallas Woods is believed to be Baker Boy’s mentor (with co-written some from his largest meets and debut album jelly), he has also collaborated with Sampa The Great, Miiesha, Kee’ahn and Jerome Farah (the solo star who co-produced Kian’s massive Unearthed hit “Waiting”).

But now, straight out of EK (that’s the Wyndham-Eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia), the Noongar rapper has hit another major milestone: he’s stepped up with his first debut solo project.

Julie’s boy is a powerful showcase of Dallas’ presence, filtering his uncompromising writing into joints that traverse broad stylistic territory – grime, reggaeton, boom bap, bass-driven bars, G-funk – and showing just how much he’s evolved since his hard-hitting first single Indigenous deaths in custody in 2018. But also how he has remained true to his people and his place.

“I try to be as authentic as possible,” Woods tells triple j’s Blak Out. “What you hear is exactly the kind of person you see when you meet me.”

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From the outspoken activist of Colourblind to the shit-talking, athletic spitter of Moonboot Freestyle and Grime, Dallas gives us a well-developed portrait of himself as an artist and as a person. Despite his growing profile and reputation for playing hard on the mic, he’s probably most proud of being a mama’s boy.

Julie’s boy is named after young Dallas who was growing up in EK at the time. “I used to hate it growing up, but now it’s the greatest badge of honor you can wear,” he explains. “I’m so happy that my mother and my people are represented. Great West Australian vibes. She’s the one who sacrificed the most for me to pursue my dreams.”

As a community leader and victim of the Stolen Generation, Julie raised Dallas and his six siblings in Wyndham largely alone. Faced with poverty, abuse and without a father, they didn’t have the easiest of childhoods, an experience Dallas reflects in the reggae-infused “Bob’N’Arly.”

Call my whole family who works shifts / bills and obligations make this shit work
Time away from family? Yes, that shit hurt / But a roof over your head, that’s what this shit’s worth.

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When Dallas was 14 – went to school and left – Indigenous Hip Hop Projects (IHHP) came through town. Encouraging her son to get involved, Julie channeled his love of hip-hop into dance and rhyming ciphers that captured his feelings and frustrations.

By 2014 he was an IHHP role model, taking a then 17-year-old Danzal Baker under his wing and spurring the young Baker Boy on language traps. And the rest is History of the hottest 100. It shows the inspirational impact of his mother’s support and values.

“Women are the backbone of the community,” says Dallas. “I didn’t have a really older male character in my life from a young age, so my mom and Nan were like my dad at the same time. You played both roles so well… [They] actually helped me become a man and I am so blessed to be able to say that I am who I am.”

“My music speaks for itself – I am as steadfast as my mum. That’s what the women drummed into me: Never be ashamed of your truth. And as long as it’s your truth, live or die by it.”

Julie’s boy never backs down on this front. It celebrates the excellence of Blak and the rich heritage and community bonds, but it also confronts the harsh reality, racism and systemic inequality that the people of the Fist Nations face on a daily basis in White Australia.

The album highlight “Colorblind” destroys blase attitudes towards the Black Lives Matter movement. ‘Don’t play the devil’s advocate, I don’t have it / That’s a privilege, that’s arrogance. explains Dallas over the muscular impact of the track.

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“I really wanted to attack the people sitting on the fence. ‘Oh, as long as I don’t interfere, that’s not my problem,'” Dallas says of Colorblind. “They are the people who will make sure nothing is ever resolved because they are so happy to be living in their world. You think you’re doing the right thing by staying out, but you’re doing more harm than good.”

“The fire has always been there, especially in relation to the reality we face every day when we wake up black in this country. I will always do my bit and it goes back to Mum. She always said, as long as you’re doing something for your people every time you exit, you’re going to keep doing it and you’re doing something right.”

Another spot where Dallas isn’t afraid to go all out is ‘Grime,’ a track produced with “the bro” Jerome Farah that’s been twirling in the background for years. “Up to the point where I first wrote this song ’25 years with the flow of a veteran’ – ended up at 27 and didn’t feel like going to 28,” laughs Dallas.

Featuring impressive tongue twisters in an expedited clip, Grime reflects his long-standing love of the British genre and imagines how it might sound if it had originated in his beloved Wyndham.

“I was looking for a new sound to immerse myself in. I love the way they represent their city and their slang. It’s much more relatable for me. It just opened up a whole new world of lyrics for me, grime was always something I wanted to explore.”

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The appeal of Julie’s boy isn’t complicated: It’s Dallas Woods doing what he does best through a hodgepodge of stylistic switches and storytelling. “I paint this living picture. That’s what we mobs are particularly good at, we know how to tell a story… Make sure you feel like you’re part of it. “

“I wanted to test myself and have a project where you don’t have to love every song, but if there’s a song you toast to every day? I did my job.”

At just over 25 minutes, it’s the perfect introduction to a rapper who already has some impressive numbers on the board, but Julie’s boy promising too – an artist capitalizing on his dynamism and working for something bigger than just himself.

“We got so many beautiful voices that got the right kind of platform to share their stories with us from across the country. I just want to be part of this movement and be remembered as one of the mobs that didn’t bite their tongue; stood firm but also gave us crackers.”

Julie’s boy is out now. Dallas Woods will be touring the country with the album starting in April. Dates and details below.

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