When I started Music Monday, I always intended to highlight the wonderful talents of Dan Bull. Dan is a nerdcore rapper that made it big on Youtube after his now famous Skyrim Epic Rap. Since that song he's released hundreds of video game inspired raps, almost all of which are awesome in their own rights. But, I only want to talk about the best of the best. In no particular order, these are what I consider the Top 10 best Dan Bull raps.
*Some songs contain NSFW language*
Dovahkiin- The song that put Dan Bull on the map for many people is still one of his strongest, both lyrically and in flow. Using the Skyrim theme as the backing track, Dan expertly captures the world of Skyrim while still dropping some great bars with a flow "like a soda stream," as he puts it. As the song progressively gets more intense, Dan's speed increases until he's rapping pretty fast by the end of the song, ending in epic fashion.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "You're a wannabe I'm a prodigy the suggestion that you're better than me at being a warrior? Ha! Comedy" This one comes at the end of the fastest part of the song and I love how it's just Dan talking about how awesome he is.
The Mighty American Dollar- This particular song from Dan sounds the most "Americanized," in the sense that it sounds like a classic hip-hop track, filled with clever wordplay and it also tells a great story of the three protagonists from GTAV. Some of Dan's most memorable and catchy lines come out of this song. The flow, lyricism, speed, story, and wordplay are among the best Dan's done, hands down.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "We're the three similarly sinister Gs, Each sending the cinema screen into the cemetery, Cynically, with no sympathy seen, So simmer down and listen to this symphony please." The rhyme scheme in these lines is awesome. I love the flow, the speed, and that passion that Dan has right here. The whole last verse is epic, but this part really seals the deal.
And the Songbird Sings (Bioshock Infinite)- When I first heard this one, it was my favorite of all of Dan's raps. The tone and speed and visceral nature add up to make a truly excellent song. The instrumental is heavy, fast, and has this amazing chorus like chant that really sets the tone for the whole song. The simple "and the songbird sings" chorus is also very effective in fitting with the tone of the rap.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "I'm telling ya, Elizabeth isn't a damsel in distress, she's the best damn wingman to ever don a dress." The rhyming and timing on this line is absolutely perfect. Also, it gives props to one of the best companion's in any video game ever.
Watch Dogs- THAT SPEED! Dan Bull's Watch Dogs rap is easily his fastest rap, so much so that he even mentions that his jaw hurts at the end of it. The backing track, created by Dave Brown, is aggressive and hard-hitting, immediately matching Dan's furious speed. It's really fun to listen to and will really get your blood pumping.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "An image of somebody nibbling fish using a chick as a dish, This is ridiculous shit" One, I just think this is a really funny line. But also, the speed with which it's said and the way Dan emphasizes that last line is just really awesome.
Bloodborne- Dan's Bloodborne rap gets mention here almost entirely because he finds a why to rhyme the name "Hidetaka Miyazaki." That is impressive on its own. Also, the dark vibe the instrumental has matches the game well. The lyricism also works really well and makes tons of clever references to the game and the tone of it.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "And I might be sick, but the true boss isn't me exactly, Tip your hat to Mr. Hidetaka Miyazaki." This had to be my favorite line. I mean, he rhymes the name Hidetaka Miyazaki. Enough said.
Metro Last Light- Having Miracle of Sound guest in a Dan Bull rap is a genius move and his chorus is absolutely perfect. I love the tone of this rap, as it takes a much more somber and real compared to his other work. It takes the approach of what life would be like in a post apocalyptic role very seriously. Dan's verses are all very heavy, but everything he says works very well with the instrumental and the tone of the song. I love the serious approach and it pays off in spades.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "They say life is sacred, I say I can take it, Pull the pin from my grenade, And bake it, While I wait to die degraded." This set of lines is just really cool. There is a lot of emotion put into these lines and it makes me feel as if it's the narrator's last stand. As if they are saying "I'm not going down without a fight." It just really resonates every time I listen to it.
Fly (Tony Hawk)- Many of Dan's raps feature a certain "gimmick," and "Fly" is probably the most effective. Dan and Dave (boyinaband) write some really clever verses while incorporating the names of different Tony Hawk tricks. Flamingo, 50/50 grind, kickflip, and King of the Hill are just a few of the tricks Dan and Dave name drop. The skill in which they work these tricks in is impressive. In addition to the genius wordplay, the beat is excellent as well and captures the upbeat nature of skating. The chorus is also one of Dan's catchiest, wrapping it all up in a neat bow.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "Smack that hipster and break his Indy Nosebone." I love the way Dave delivers this line and it's pretty clever to use the "Indy Nosebone" trick in reference to Hipsters.
Life Is Strange- Life is Strange is a game that is often very serious and often very heartfelt. As such, the song needed a more serious and heartfelt tone, which Dan and his guest singer Cammie Robinson capture perfectly. Dan makes a lot of references to the game's story and characters and paints a clear image of the tone of the game. It's one of the best Dan has done and Cammie's beautiful voice only makes it better.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "Pull the hands back, take another path, another chance, Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." Your teacher in Life is Strange makes a reference to John Lennon's famous quote which is also referenced here in the Dan Bull song. It's a great line that applies to the game perfectly and Dan and Cammie weave it in to the song excellently.
It is the Battlefront Rap- The electronic beat that starts off the song feels perfectly at home in a Star Wars rap. It's fun and fast paced, fitting well with Dan's style for this song. It's fun to hear all the clever nods to Star Wars as well. Wookies, Force, Mon Calamari, Ackbar, and even a reference to dark horse comics numerous star wars comic runs. It's a nerdy song filled with great lines, a memorable beat, and amazing flow.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "Souped up chunk of metal, son, Revving and ready for the Kessel Run." Millennium Falcon reference for days. This song is full of references, but this one is probably my favorite. It's a clever line that's delivered really well.
Far Cry Primal- One of the most recent additions to Dan Bull's impressive discography is the Ubisoft sponsored Far Cry: Primal rap. First off, the beat for this song is perfect. It's upbeat and lively, which sets the scene for a great flow from Dan. Also, the lyrics really focus on the nature of war and the fact that its a conflicting topic, which makes for an interesting subject matter in a video game rap. Halfway through the rap Dan pulls a twist that you have to hear to believe and shows just how impressive his lyricism is, as well as his flow. I would go into more detail, but you need to hear it for yourself.
Favorite Bar/Lyric: "He's a Revenant, a lesson destined to repeat. Repeat." Just watch the video.