Do I Know You? (listen/download)
When rebellious rapper Machine Gun Kelly signed his big deal with Bad Boy Records, he not only changed his own life but the life of his crew as well. He signed a label deal which means his EST19XX team got to come a long for the ride. And one member in particular is taking full advantage of the opportunity and stepping out to make a name for himself. He goes by the name Dub-O. Dub-O recently gave The Illixer a bit of his time via an exclusive Q&A. Get to know the next star out of the EST19XX camp after the jump.
The Illixer: What made you select Dub-O as your stage moniker?
Dub-O: Well a childhood friend of mine started calling me Dub on the regular, after trying to come up with a rap name when we was younger. Had nothing to do with my first name at all, we just thought it was cool. And it really ended up sticking with me. So one day I was recording and ended up saying my name with a little “swag,” I just added the “O” and been Dub-O ever since. No special meaning, but that’s how I got my name.
TI: As you are relatively new to the game, share a little bit about your background.
Dub-O: I became a part of EST because I was there from the start. Before anything we were friends and family. Me, Slim (my brother), and Kells (Machine Gun Kelly) hung out at a house studio in Cleveland, Oh where we would make music all the time and never really release it. Then Kells’ solo career took off basically opening a door of opportunities for not only him, but all of us by signing a label deal, EST19XX. With that being said that gave me no choice but to take a shot and showcase my talent. I would be a fool not to. So here I am today, a rap artist.
TI: How would you describe your sound / style?
Dub-O: I would say my sound is very mellow and melodic. It is also harmonic at times.
TI: Your bio states that you sing and rap. What are some of the benefits of doing both?
Dub-O: First off, I can “swag sing.” It’s a bit different from singing. Good thing about being able to sing and being a rapper, you can utilize it in a rap song however you want and give it a whole new vibe at any time. But only when necessary of course; you got to know how to balance it out. It’s a great sound when singing vocals merge with rapping.
TI: If it came down to making a choice between singing and rapping, which one would you pick and why?
Dub-O: I would definitely go with rapping. I’m a way better rapper than a singer. But I do greatly appreciate the gift of having some of both talents.
TI: In the past, members of Hip-Hop cliques have had a hard time seeing success once the front runner has made it. Are you worried at all about following in MGK’s footsteps? Why or Why not?
Dub-O: Naw, because I’m not following his steps. I’m creating my own. Yeah we’re in the same camp but my goal is not to do everything as he did. Now representing for the team is different. But how long I last and how far I go in my music career is not my focus. My focus is on making good quality music period and working hard and giving all I got. Anything more than that is a blessing to me. Knock on wood, but if I was to never achieve and was to fail I still wouldn’t have not one regret about anything.
TI: What was it like putting together your debut mixtape Do I Know You? and are you satisfied with people’s response to it thus far?
Dub-O: It was a challenge because I engineered myself 90% of the mixtape. If I could mix and master I would have did that too. I didn’t have any features besides one with MGK, which I thought would be cool because that would show I can stand on my own as a solid solo artist. The mixtape has over 55,000 downloads / views on Live Mixtapes. I got thousands of hard-copies throughout the states that I’ve had mailed out specifically and passed out at shows. You know that old school ground work. And I’ve gotten nothing but love from that project so far. I made a lot of real fans and non-believers into believers. Could I do better? Yeah for sure. But it’s definitely going to always be a classic in the book. I think it’s great, it being my first solo project.
TI: Name your top three songs off of Do I Know You? and explain why you chose them?
Dub-O: I always change up my top three when I’m asked this. But I’m a say: “Made It,” “Like This,” and “2s Up.” “Made It” and “Like This” were two songs I was really spitting on. I was inspired to write “Made It” by the people who assumed I was rich. Thinking I got it all, but I don’t. Yeah I’m on the right path but my mom still lives in the hood and I don’t have a car right now, real s–t. “Like This” is another one of my favorites because I was just spitting all around good rap. A lot of my older friends and family love it because it has that old school caddy feel, like the 90’s. As for “2s Up” I think it’s an all-around cool song from beginning to end. And it’s a great way to showcase my singing talent with rapping. And in that song I’m just pretty much putting on for the city/ fans.
TI: Something that you would like to experience before you hang up your microphone for good would be?
Dub-O: One day I want to know that feeling when you sell out a venue of 20,000 or more on my own, headlining a show.
TI: What are some things that you have in store for the near future?
Dub-O: I’m currently working on an EP, no title yet. I’ll be touring with Machine Gun Kelly for the “Lace Up” tour this year. I will be making an appearance on a few stages in Texas for SXSW this year for the first time. And who knows I may have a mixtape cooking up (lol).
**My Two Cents: Love or hate MGK, one has to respect the fact that he made sure to take care of his peers. It was cool learning about Dub-O and I like the fact that he is determined to create his own lane in the Hip-Hop game. Also, I have a lot of respect for the fact that he kept it real about not living the fantasy lifestyle just yet. Most artists would just let people believe the hype. Readers can check out Dub-O’s mixtape via the above link and they can connect with the rapper himself here. -MinM