“Five years from now, I want to have established myself as a premier artist on a national level. Also, I want to have a few platinum plaques and be opening doors for the next breed of rappers coming from my city. I’m trying be on my CEO sh–t.” – D-Boy Keon (On His Future) / D-Boy Keon is a DMV rapper/producer with a strong go-getter mentality. He prides himself on being real, quality, and original. His goal is to reach the ultimate level of success in the mainstream industry while sharing the struggles of DC with the world, in a way that only a true native can. Though a well-established member of The Minnesota Dope Boys, Keon is currently working on presenting himself as a solo artist via his debut album. He talks about the album, working with Maino, and a whole lot more via a recent candid Q&A with The Illixer. Read the interview after the jump.
The Illixer: What motivated you to get into music?
D-Boy Keon: I’ve been in music all my life. It’s nothing new to me. I started out as a drummer and just spread my wings from production and rapping.
TI: How did growing up in D.C. impact your career?
DK: Growing up in DC is my inspiration because for a long time now, they’ve been doubting my city like we don’t have any talent. We are the hottest city out here if you ask me. It’s just the real hasn’t been discovered.
TI: Your bio states that you are a “hustler’s rapper,” what exactly does that mean?
DK: Basically anybody that has a hustle no matter what it is selling socks or selling rocks, I can inspire you to be the best at it. I can show you how to grind, dig deep, and meet your goal because I’m about mine.
TI: Who are The Minnesota Dope Boys and what is the brand all about?
DK: The Minnesota Dope Boys consist of a three man group we got: Young Relle, G/Mac and myself. The name comes from the area we come from which is Minnesota Ave and the music is the dope. We got that heroin flow, meaning it’s strongly addictive. Try us out and you will want to hear more. Plus we are RAW with it.
TI: Describe your experience working with Maino.
DK: Working with Maino was a learning experience. Getting to collaborate with a major artist is a chance you don’t get when you have no ties to the industry. We got it done, made a banger, and kept sh–t moving. Shout out to Maino!
TI: Who has been one of the most influential people in your career thus far and why?
DK: My manager Rasheed Hammond plays a major roll. He believes in me more than I do myself sometimes and you don’t get that out of people when you’re not at the top.
TI: How did your single “I’m Bout Mine” come about?
DK: “I’m Bout Mine” F/ Fat Trel was basically a one day move. Rah and I had a discussion. I said I wanted to do a track with slim and Rah made a call. By that evening, me and Trel was in the lab. We did everything from scratch in the studio together. So we both put our input on it and made a hit. Shout out to Fat Trel!
TI: Explain what fans can expect from your upcoming solo project.
DK: Expect the hottest mixtape to ever drop out the District of Columbia titled The Wake-Up. I got a few surprises from other local artists because it’s DC or nothing. First and foremost, I got the first video featuring my man Plies Glizzy called “U Betta Kno Dat” coming mid-June. Of course, I got my camp. I got Mac-Town Los. I got a few surprises though. This mixtape is going set the city on fire. #UBettaKnoDat
TI: The DMV has become a huge breeding place for underground/indie rappers. Name a few things that give you an edge over the competition?
DK: My delivery, I’m confident when I step in the booth. My hustle is ridiculous. Put a studio in my house and I live this life. I’m telling you a lot of people are going to relate to me, simple and plain.
TI: Do you have any other up-and-coming ventures going on besides the promo tour and solo album? If so, what are they?
DK: I got The Wake-Up movie coming along with the mixtape. I’ve been going through the script and man it’s going to be crazy. We got Fresh Off The Spoon Vol. 3 coming also this year. It’s going to be a real busy year for me and my camp.
**My Two Cents: I like Keon’s attitude. He seems very driven and that’s a necessary characteristic to have in the Hip-Hop industry. The game is seriously competitive these days and there is no room for slacking. Readers can find D-Boy Keon on the net via one of the following: Reverb Nation, Twitter, and The Minnesota Dope Boys website. Stay tuned for music from the ambitious DMV artist. -MinM