Find out how being fired sparked a career for Dylan Philips as Christian hip-hop artist nobigdyl.
A lyric-driven hip-hop artist from the outskirts of Nashville, nobigdyl. makes music rooted in melody, movement, and message. It’s a sound built not only for dancing, but also for thinking. A sound that nods to the thrill of Friday nights and to the reflection of Sunday mornings. A sound that reaches new heights on his major-label debut, SOLAR.
As a college student at Middle Tennessee State University, Dylan Phillips developed his unique sound as he performed in folk/hip-hop fusion bands and laid the foundation for a solo career that would soon find him performing as nobigdyl., a stage name that highlights his humility, even as his music began attracting national attention. Meanwhile, he also formed the local rap collective, Indie Tribe. With all four members of Indie Tribe sharing their resources and support, nobigdyl. began climbing his way toward the top of Tennessee’s rap scene.
After graduation, he accepted a job as tour manager for Grammy-winning Christian hip-hop artist Derek Minor, a gig that required nobigdyl. to sideline his own music career. When Minor offered nobigdyl. the use of his personal studio, though, the young rapper gladly accepted, creating songs during his free time.
Impressed with what he heard when nobigdyl. was on the mic, he fired nobigdyl. as his tour manager, adamant that he ditch his behind-the-scenes gig and pursue a career onstage. With that, nobigdyl. began making music once again, ignoring the violence and misogyny that was often present in commercial rap music, and instead focusing on uplifting themes of hope, redemption, trials, and triumphs.
He rebuilt his fan base the old-school way, releasing a string of free mixtapes and playing high-energy shows across the Southeast. From there, nobigdyl. released the independent album Canopy in 2017, climbing to number seven on the iTunes hip-hop chart along the way. He played more than 50 shows in 2017, eventually earning the attention of Capitol CMG and signing to their roster the following spring.
Featuring production from 1995 and Grammy-winner Dirty Rice, SOLAR blends poetry, percussion, and poignant lyrics into the same mix, with nobigdyl. writing songs that examine the ups, downs, and in-betweens of human relationships. There’s plenty of hardship here, but the songs push upward, focusing on hope in the midst of trouble.
“"Even when I’m talking about hard times and dark subjects, there’s a thread of joy shining through sorrow, and bright moments shining through the dark,” he says. “It’s not one-dimensional. Every relationship has its lighter moments and its darker moments, and that’s what ties this album together. The hope shines through.”
A driven, dynamic performer, nobigdyl. is ready to make his global introduction. This is SOLAR. The future is bright.