Western economics student Dy Allo lives to rap

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Dy Allo

Tafsir Diallo is sitting by himself in the familiar darkness of the Spoke, listening and nodding his head intently to music on his laptop.

Diallo, a financial economics student at Western, is an up-and-coming musician, having rapped and written music for three years.

“It all started in high school. I was just listening to some beats one day and decided to start rapping over them. It turned out very well; my friends loved it, and it’s been nothing but success from there,” Diallo explains.

Diallo’s rap name is Dy Allo, but he often goes by the moniker “John Blaze,” his alter ego and a source of inspiration.

“I took the name from the anti-hero Ghost Rider, but in the hip-hop world it means something that’s hot " that’s why I call myself the human torch,” Diallo says. “It gives me a different aspect; it allows me to write from a different perspective. I build stories around John Blaze; that’s what I’m trying to do with this mixtape.”

Storytelling is a big part of Diallo’s style.

“I’m not trying to preach to anyone. My music is all about storytelling. I’m trying to stimulate people’s imagination. Anyone can rap about bling, cars and hoes.”

Almost instinctively, Diallo starts rapping from the perspective of a dollar bill as it travels from hand to hand. The verse goes on for about two minutes as Diallo raps the lyrics to no beat but the one in his head. Afterwards, he explains the song is a story about drug addiction and greed.

The song is but one of many that Diallo features on his mixtape The Crystal Method, which he has been working on with producer Verse-Atile for over six months. Like the title alludes, The Crystal Method experiments with different sounds and pushes the boundaries of lyrical content.

He is currently in the final stage of mixing and mastering and hopes to have the mixtape available as a free download within the next couple of weeks.

Diallo also hosts his own radio show, “The Backpack Chronicles,” every Tuesday morning on 94.9 FM CHRW.

“My show is like the David Letterman of university " it relates to all aspects of student life and music, including my own from time to time,” Diallo remarks. He sees the show as a way to get involved in the Western community and as a way to promote music in general.

“I’m not a rapper. Most rappers rap to live; I live to rap. Fame and fortune is great, but my music is more about life than success. I’m living my life and my music is a reflection of what I do and who I am.”

A Dy Allo listening party is at Echelon this Friday at 8 p.m. Check out “The Backpack Chronicles” every Tuesday from 2-6 a.m. on 94.9 FM CHRW.

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