Neffworking's Rate & Review:
Dreamcatcher is a 10 Track EP from Texas Native, Hyder. He is currently signed to Rhymin Rhythm Entertainment.
Executive Producer: Matthew Hyder
Composers: Nate Rhoads and Let That Boy Cook
This week we are reviewing Texas Native, Hyder’s ‘Dreamcatcher’ Album
As a critic who deals with hundreds of independent musicians every year, I’m often inundated with indie hip hop. For some reason, that genre above all remains a frequent pursuit of a great many. It may be a result of modernized production techniques and ease of creation – half of the hip hop artists I see are utilizing fairly simplistic suites to create their beats. Thus, an independent hip hop artist with superb studio quality production is a much rarer entity than you’d think. Hyder, a young word-slinger from Texas, is just that.
Hyder has an impressive resume: he’s released a few efforts under a few monikers, he’s formally educated in the recording arts, and he’s been picked up by Rhymin Rhythm, an indie label that’s showcasing him as their first hip hop act. His first solo effort, ‘Dreamcatcher,’ is an eclectic EP that display some serious promise. It’s an ambitious endeavor, clocking in at ten tracks – much longer than your typical EP. Is it a successful one? Let’s find out.
‘Dreaming,’ a well produced interlude to the first track sets the tone strongly for ‘Dreamcatcher.’ It’s such a simplistic little fifty-second introduction, but it immediately alerts the listener to high production value. The intro makes sense, since Hyder is essentially inviting you into his psyche as he attempts to catch his dreams. The aptly-titled record then starts out even stronger with the first real track, ‘Sacrifice.’
Lyrically, I like where Hyder is going at the beginning of this album. ‘Sacrifice’ outlines his path to his dreams in a rigid fashion; he’s just doing what he needs to survive and he knows that he can’t please everybody on his way up the ladder. More so, he exhibits an understanding of the difficulty of his pursuit, something that’s rather refreshing when compared to some pretentious indie hip hop acts who already think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Another thing that stands poignantly in the record is Hyder’s hand over his rhymes. On ‘Let’s Ride,’ he’s sliding from verse to verse with immense tact. He’s a quick wordsmith, but understandable and relatable. (The latter being incredibly important in this genre.) Each song also displays an intriguingly different soundscape from its predecessor. Take ‘Roll Up,’ for example. The atmospheric synths and tight percussion accent the song nicely. A more complex synthesizer sequence embodies the next track, however, on ‘Give Me Dat.’
My idealism of Hyder’s grasp on reality as a result of ‘Sacrifice’ was somewhat sapped by ‘Thirty-Two,’ a cheesy track about how great he is. I did cringe a tad when he announced his record label at the beginning of the song before going on to rapping his way through stereotypical analogies and even more cringeworthy sound effects. The next time any hip hop act is in the studio and wants to add a revving sound effect to back their verse about their cool car… don’t.
‘Fuck ‘Em’ is actually a really witty track that somewhat redeems the campiness of ‘Thirty-Two.
’ The ‘world isn’t BK; you can’t have it your way,’ but he’s the man that’s ‘going to serve you.’ I dig that. Well played Hyder, well played.
‘What Up?’, the following track, feels a bit like it recycled beats from ‘Fuck ‘Em,’ making it somewhat unmemorable. ‘Fuck Wit This’ is another fantastic track, though, and may be the strongest performed number in the collection. Seriously, the words fly by quicker than you can consume them and the composition backing the lyricism is equally as interesting.
Hyder – Roll Up (Official Video)
The album closes out with the title track, ‘Dreamcatcher.’ It harkens back to ‘Sacrifice’ and the beginning of the record. Hyder is going to go out and be somebody, but he’s also going to be himself. Everything people have said he’s not, that’s what he is. (A nice line that reminded me of the landmark Arctic Monkeys record, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.’) As an ending ‘Dreamcatcher’ checks all of the boxes and the finality of the track allows it to close a rather introspective record quite well.
‘Dreamcatcher’ isn’t a perfect record, but it’s an amazing effort on behalf of Hyder and his production team. As a debut, there are few ways it could be sharper. (Though I can’t stand ‘Thirty-Two.’ That track is also comedic in its predictability and stereotypical nature.) I can’t, however, fault Hyder too much for one blunder amidst a sea of excellent tracks. Check out ‘Dreamcatcher.’ It defies the indie hip hop norms and provides an experience worth, well, experiencing.