Son of Jesse Dylan, grandson of Bob Dylan, Pablo Dylan recently made a big Internet splash with his confident young The Times They Are A-Changin’ face a-gracing his recently released mixed tape. Bloggers made their usual quick and easy jokes. Many failed to note that young Pablo is singing the chorus and not rapping the verses.
As a hardcore Dylan fan I was hoping for something special, so I was a little disappointed by his generic “bitches and hos”-themed auto-tuned release. I guess it was foolish to expect some kind of Positively 4th Street style call-out song so early in young Pablo’s career.
Maybe I’m just cynical, or hold Bob’s progeny to unrealistic standards. So here’s what some other serious Dylan fans are saying, in most cases, more insightful that what the putative professional writers had to offer. (My occasional comments are in italics.)
From Expecting Rain.com
Geranium Kiss says: The way his head is tilted and he is looking at the camera reminds me of bob on cover of Nashville Skyline? Anyone else see that?
BobonMyMind says: A little scary listening to a 16 year old rap about getting drunk and puking. Worries me…
Blue Midnight says: I get the feeling that he wants to hitchhike on the name of his grandfather … and I don’t like his music .
From Huffington Post:
Rob Cypher says: So is this kid and Tom Hanks’s kid going to do a rap collab soon? CAN’T WAIT!
Helioszephyr says: Apparently grandpa didn’t have a long “sit-down” with Pablo about what inspired music in the 60’s… or at least didn’t proofread Pablo’s comments. (That Jay-Z comment rubbed me the wrong way too!)
Facts About China says: What’s with the faux hardass photo of Pablo?
Peeperay says: Apparently you can only dilute the Zimmerman DNA so much with each succeeding generation, though Pablo’s young enough to still pick up a guitar and figure things out.
Cynth says: It’s got to be tough being in the shadows of Bob and Jakob. He’s showing initiative for a 15-year old, but he’s going to have to transcend the contemporary hip hop cliches, develop a better ear for rhymes, and have something real to say. If he can become a great hip-hop lyricist, as his grandfather and uncle did in their genres, then he has a chance of “getting that crown.” He might also learn from Jakob and not invoke his lineage too much, if at all: keeping his head down and learning to be a solid artist will earn him respect; talking about being a Dylan descendent won’t. Good luck to him.
Cheekyspoon says: I hope this is just a hobby.
TheEnergyDD2 says: Sorry Bob… your grandson ain’t even as Hip-Hop as you are… Sounds like the same old watered down audio-tune rap that everyone is putting out… Nothing you would expect from a Dylan. I guess Jay-Z remains the “Bob Dylan of rap”…
Knothare1230 says: What is up with all the bitterness towards this kid going after his dream? Tupac he isn’t. A young man that has a lot to learn about his chosen craft-True but he sounds as good as a 15 year old rapper does. What else do you think their is for a 15 year old rapper to do but hip-pop? When he has developed his style and has lived long enough to have something to say than we will know if he got a future in hip-hop. And Actually until then he still sounds like someone that could provide better music to his peers than 90% of the stuff they have to chose from. (Good point Knotty, Bob himself wasn’t quite yet blowing people away at 15…in fact around that time his Little Richard inspired piano-pounding was downright frowned upon by those in charge of the high school dance he played at).
Coalman987 says: Bob is rolling over in his grave…and he isn’t even dead yet. No but seriously this is just mediocre rapping. Kid doesn’t have flow.
VincentNegroMan says: As a rap fan and a fan of his grandpa I must say, That was bad. Very remedial needs to up his word play and production. If he gets hooked up with a good mentor he may be able to improve. As of right now he needs to go back to the lab and work on his rhyme book.
Jo Le Tiel says: not just bad, embarrassing. makes Tom Hanks’ kid sound good. Minstrelsy, or what? Let’s add to those lists of “First World Problems” online: Being tragically born to families of the rich and famous. Really, what could be worse, dude? Buy a skateboard.
Mexichick87 says: The kid is trying to find himself. I’m sure that that he’s just latching on to the hip hop scene as a means of finding some way of tapping into fame (like any other rapper), but I have a feeling his experience on the street is what he saw on the way to the skate park or mall. He should have dropped the last name and just gone by Pablo. Then I might have taken him a bit more serious.
Yandor Thon says: What an awesome idea. If he could intermingle Bob’s way of singing with gangster rap and reflect on modern issues and times as Bob did, then I think he would have something that is quite amazing.
From Rolling Stone
Vincent James Pia says: Headline should read: “Bob Dylan’s Grandson Can’t Sing Either”
Michael Connoly says: The Jay-Z of his time? I honestly despair…Or “I hope his music continues to live on through what I continue to do…” Pablo, I think his music will continue to live on already…most likely through what Bob Dylan continues to do. The last time I checked he was touring steadily and had a number one album.
Elliot Marx says: What confuses me is this – you really get the major I’m-Dylan’s-grandson press once. So, while I am not impressed with this work, why on earth would his handlers, or his media savvy dad, uncle or grandfather not advise young Pablo to save the press release for A) a decent premier or B) a product which could be sold. There seems to be no album or future material coming from this kid. I know maybe this comment may be jaded, but this is a squandered opportunity.
Good luck getting Rolling Stone coverage for your next song.
Martin Kasdan Jr. says: “Talkin’ [fill in the blank] Blues,” 21st Century style.
Joe Meservy says: The lyrics in Pablo’s track are trash. Throwing out cuss words, demeaning others, and rhyming about being held down are not cool things to rap about. Bob Dylan told parables and stories in his songs…that is the key. He also mastered his art by practicing/working LOADS like The Beatles.
Vic Livingston says: “Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off
Look out kid, it’s something you did
God knows when, but you’re doing it again
You better duck down the alleyway, looking for a new friend
The man in the coon-skip cap in the big pen wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten.”
Yep. That’s a rap.