In a painful five-year stretch, New York-based rapper and performer Timothy Dark lost his mother, godmother, father, beloved dog, his home, and lost his job to Hurricane Sandy. The one thing he had left was his music—that’s what got him through those truly dark times. Now, he emerges soulfully triumphant with his latest opus, The Last Days Of Dark, a milestone album of healing through bravely confronting heartache.
“When friends and family heard the title, they were like, ‘Are you dying?,’” Timothy recalls with a hearty laugh. “Some days it felt like I was, but the music was my therapy. It taught me to live each day as if it was my last. Even in the worst of times, remember you have life—don’t waste your time wallowing in sorrow.”
Dark's expansive artistry encompasses politically charged hip-hop, buttery R&B, grimy rock, street savvy poetry, literature, non-dogmatic spirituality, and singer-songwriter style emotional intimacy. The main protagonist throughout his wildly eclectic six-album catalog is a Dark Warrior alter ego beamed down to earth to share a platform of enlightenment, raw truths, love, music, and political revolution. He also uses his fluid creativity to inhabit ancillary alter egos to deeply express the full range of his emotions through his musicality. These all come together in an artistic dynamic he calls “constant harmonious” conflict. His latest album is a profound panoramic of these perspectives and genres with a crisp and modern production aesthetic.
“All these different voices and sides allow me not to be pigeonholed so I can express all sides of my soul, from straight rage to singing songs that make you cry,” he shares.
Timothy was born in Harlem, but raised in and East Elmhurst, Queens and the South Bronx before the streets were sanitized.
He was a man learning how to survive amidst the violence and corruption of hard times New York. One of his most formative moments was his mother boldly placing him onstage during a James Brown concert and the Godfather Of Soul shaking his hand. It has become a symbolic gesture on many levels. It showed his mother’s encouragement and total support for Timothy becoming a musician, or whatever he might hope to achieve in life. He also felt like in that handshake James Brown transferred an electricity that courses through Timothy to this day.
The emergence of hip-hop as an art form became a way to observe and experience and street life and turn it into something special. At a very early age he began to express himself through spitting his own rhymes over the popular beats of the day. He cultivated his burgeoning talents with various crews before going solo. On his artistic path he has experienced a variety of highlights both as a solo artist, and as a member of rap crews. He’s opened for Nas, Black Rob, and immersed himself in New York City’s thriving Antifolk scene where he collaborated with such talents as Nellie Mckay and Nicole Atkins.
As a solo artist, his work has been shaped by a poetic catharsis from pain.” You can’t appreciate light without darkness,” he says. “A lot of what I do is connected to death. Death and violence were a part of where I grew up. As a kid, we were always attending funerals and wakes at least once or twice a month. My music is about acknowledging this, working through it, and giving people a release from the madness. By sharing rage and vulnerability, I’m showing people I’m someone they can turn to. “
The Last Days Of Dark is an 12-song album brimming with rugged beats, sensual hooks, organic touches of piano and guitar, barbed rhymes, bold sentimentality, and irresistible melodies. Each track will be paired with a video unpacking the song’s message with poetic cinematography and captivating narratives. Select album highlights include “The Future,” “They Gon’ Call Me (Unpatriotic),” and the deeply personal “E.L.S.I.E.”
“The Future” is classic banger conjuring the militancy of Public Enemy, where ominous guitars and moody soundscapes are the backdrop for Timothy's sinister flow. The song’s accompanying video is a harrowing mini epic, written by Timothy and shot by Sean Tracy that shows our country’s future as a Trump-ian dystopia with severe martial law overtones. “They Gon’ Call Me (Unpatriotic)” is a fist-in-the-air urban anthem that stirs ups emotions with a message of galvanizing unity. The track fuses a fiery verse with majestic hooks. “E.L.S.I.E. (feat. Stephanie Linn)” is a powerful tribute to Timothy’s mom and their time together. The track hits heavy with stately strings, organ, a gorgeous alt-rock melodic guitar hook, and potent, unguarded sentimentality.
Dark views his music as part of a highly curated artistic experience for his audience, and, therefore, is very thoughtful about his all facets of his imaging and videos. Surrounding him is a close artistic family of musicians, filmmakers, producers, and clothing designers. Longtime collaborator Dan "The Band' Policar (Sean Paul, Raekwon The Chef) produced The Last Days Of Dark. He is also joined in the studio and onstage by his musical posse—which includes "Guitar Goddess" Lisa Bianco (Hunter Valentine, Kiyomi Valentine)—under the moniker The Indestructible Characters, (his musical version of a comic book super team) to showcase his players’ ace talents and add extra fuel to his high energy stage show.
In the future, Timothy hopes to explore other avenues of his creativity through his company, Darkseed Entertainment.
Timothy recently sat down and listened to his latest album. When he did, the weight of the last few years hit him. He recalls: “Hearing the music, I could feel everything that I’ve survived coming through the speakers: the deaths, the triumphs, losing my job, losing my home and everything in between. This album is me—it’s my soul on wax. I hope it brings people light and strength for their own journeys.”
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