“Nobody seems to care about the hood, but glorifies it and profits off it while the hood is dying, and forgotten about. People take so much from our suffering and give little to nothing back. I was that little kid who wanted those Jordans and felt good when I had them on my feet until someone tried robbing me for them. It felt good looking at videos watching rappers talk about money until the video was over and I was still in an abandoned building. I grew up in terrible conditions and turned out okay, I didn’t become a statistic. I felt like my story and image could provide an outlet for kids going through similar situations. The word president represents honor, diligence, intelligence, and so many other characteristics that keep me strong during the worst times in my life.” – DOX (On Being “The President Of A Forgotten Area In Society”) / DOX is a rising emcee who proudly represents Brooklyn, NY. He’s been through hell and back but has still managed to overcome the odds. Using music as a way to not only escape the negativity but to share his story; he is hoping to serve as a shining example to others. He took some time to speak with The Illixer about a vast array of topics, which includes things like: living with a drug addicted parent, running away from home, and much more. Get filled in on all the details after the jump.
The Illixer: Why did you choose DOX as a stage moniker?
DOX: When I became serious about being an artist; I linked up with this click of sick emcees who went by the name of Back Draft. I use to call myself ParaDox, but at that time one of the lead members went by the same name. I just decided to shorten mine and its been that way ever since.
TI: How did you cope with growing up with a step-mother who was addicted to drugs?
DOX: It was pretty tough growing up because I couldn’t understand how someone could keep using something that was destroying them internally and externally. I hated crack, for what it did to people and my family at the time. It really took a toll on me emotionally and created a bitterness inside me that sticks with me to this day. When you’re a kid you want everything to be cool and easy. I had to deal with the harsh realities of life at an early age. It destroyed my innocence.
TI: How do you feel your life would have been different if you had not run away from home?
DOX: Locked up or dead in my opinion. Where I’m from ain’t too much opportunity for young males in the hood.
TI: What made you gravitate towards Hip-Hop over succumbing to the negative environment that you were in?
DOX: My cousin “Dwight” was really into Hip-Hop and I use to chill with him from time to time. He use to put songs together using a boom box with two cassette tapes. I thought it was cool so I tried it out and instantly became addicted. Then I really got into A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, & Jay Z. Their music made me feel like they related to my current condition at that time which in turn made me feel like I could accomplish something.
TI: Describe your most memorable competition thus far in your career.
DOX: Two show promoters that go by the name of Chalant and J Hatch used to do a showcase/ competition called Faces In The Crowd that I would always participate in. It took about 10 tries, but eventually I won the competition. I pretty much sharpened my performance skills with them. I won the oppurtunity to come back as a show opener, a interview, and some publicity on their website. I didn’t really care about the prizes though. I was happy to finally take first place after trying numerous times. My prize was hearing them say I was the best all around performing artist that night.
TI: How would you describe your catalog of music for someone who has never heard your work before?
DOX: Dynamic, extraordinary, inspirational, and unusual. I’m extremely versatile. I just implement how I feel into my music. I don’t really follow formula too much, I would like to be looked at as an innovator.
TI: What is the story behind your company Gutta Grind Squad Entertainment?
DOX: I’m from the Gutta, I Grind extremely hard, and Squad represents team work. Early on in my career I knew you couldn’t get anything accomplished without a team; so I started working with some other artists. My plan was that each artist would have solo projects and than we’d come together for group projects meshing our fan bases from our solo careers. I thought it would help us grow quicker. Eventually ego’s and he say she say came into play and what was supposed to be a well oiled machine turned into a machine that needed parts replaced. We started straying away from the overall goal of the company. GGS Ent. Is now a brand that represents making something from nothing; a production company focusing on producing quality music, writing, artist development, brand awareness, & recording. It’s all about the music with me.
TI: In what ways does your current project Live Or Die By It differ from your past material?
DOX: The Live Or Die By It project is my f–k you letter to naysayers and haters. I focused on the reason I do music, will, ambition, and aggression on this project. This project is different from those in the past because for one, I just get better with time as an overall artist; and two the music is versatile but it all has the same feeling of hope, success, and gratitude.
TI: Why did you choose “New York” as the first single to be released off of Live Or Die By It?
DOX: Its undeniably dope, (lol). I chose “New York” because I think it gets a point across. New York is the foundation of the entire culture of Hip-Hop. How dare some people forget that? Respect the New York artists now because without us there would be no you. That’s basically what that record is saying. It makes a strong statement and my flow on it is just bonkers.
TI: What does the future hold in store for DOX?
DOX: Only time will tell my G. I’m just dreaming my reality. Trying to stay lost in the music. Follow me on Twitter to find out though.
**My Two Cents: I have much respect for DOX and how he has handled the things he’s been through. And I appreciate others like him as well. Life is tough period. It’s that much worse when you have so many extra things working against you and no one to help you find your way. On another note, his “New York” single is pretty hot. Readers can give it a listen via his website. Also, did some digging and found a teaser for the video. Check it out below. -MinM