Dyme-A-Duzin talks 2014 goals, “White Girl”, Hip Hope Movement and More [Editorial]

Posted on March 30, 2014 by

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dyme a duzin

Dyme-A-Duzin is part of a new generation of rappers that have done their homework. Although some weren’t even born during the “Golden Age”, their music is truly reminiscent of the style that the stubborn hip hop heads dream about.  Don’t get it twisted, Dyme-a-Duzin’s, and his group Phony PPL, music is not stuck in past but it certainly has a heavy New York/90s influence. From slang to fashion to his music, Dyme-A-Duzin has always been an innovator and leader; he is looked up to by his peers and is earning more and more respect from his predecessors.  It was a pleasure to get to catch up with him to discuss his new music (“White Girl” and Hip Hope), his deal with Puma, being compared to a “young RZA”, the hope for hip hop’s future and more.  Gotta thank Alexander Devine of Flatline Studios for editing, cleaning up and producing the interview.  You can find a transcription below as well.  Shoutout again to Dyme-A-Duzin! Grab “White Girl” now and Hip Hope soon!

Da-What: So, what are some of your goals that you’re looking at for 2014?

Dyme-a-Duzin: As the project drops, we’re looking to go on the tour.  We’re trying to hit all of the major hip hop events this year. I’m talking the Afropunks, Electros, the hip hop events for the newcomers. Just to try and be on those bills. Show the people what I’ve got because I’ve been working, I’ve been figuring shit out, I’ve been making this good music. So I want to share it with the people.

DW: So are these still goals of yours: sharing inspiration, creativity, etc?

DD: Yeah, definitely.  I started that way and I definitely want to continue that on a larger scale. Back then, I gave the little that I had just to see guys come up behind me, come up with me, which happened.  The next level is to go back and do that more. I don’t necessarily have to host [open mic events] but somehow, somebody around me should be able to keep the [Live Life hip hop show] tradition going.

DW: You have a new single, “White Girl” can you explain how the song came about?

DD: Well, “White Girl” is basically comparing the different meanings of [the phrase]. The first association is cocaine; I distribute my music like drugs to the world. “I flip my birds to the world”; y’know I flip my bird, my middle finger to the world, not caring and doing me in that regard.  Doing what I like to do creatively and not being affected by outside opinions. So I flip my birds to the world like “Fuck what you gotta say!” Just telling my story in the song. Having fun.

DW: Did you record that recently?

DD: No, the record [“White Girl”] I’ve been working on for a few months, along with the whole project [Hip Hope].  I like to focus on each project, on the tape [as a whole] and put as much time into each of them [songs] as I can. So that is just another song from the project that I have been working on.  It is probably about 3-5 months in the making.

DW: And do you wanna talk about the Hip Hope movement?  I read that the name came from an article in a German magazine.

DD: I came down to Europe, last April, and I did a few interviews and killed a lot of shows out there and had a lot of fun.  An article was written about me titled “Hip Hope” and I felt that it was really a name that was given to me. You know, I definitely want to take that name and make whoever wrote that proud. They considered me to be hope for hip hop so I am gonna just keep doing what I do; make that real hip hop sound and that authentic sound, reminiscent of the past but still looking into the future, and more importantly it’s gonna be a heavy New York sound.  I feel that New York plays in heavily, sonically right now. I feel like that is giving it a direction, or what it should sound like.

DW: Do you see yourself as the hope for hip hop?

DD: I see myself, I see my team, I see the people that are actually hopeful for hip hop as hip hope. People that believe in this music and people that are not trying to follow anybody.  People that are really just being creative without anybody’s consent; just being you but still sticking to that true sound. You know it’s a movement and it’s building, getting more players.  That’s one of the biggest things that helped me get my Puma deal.  I’m an ambassador for Puma.

DW: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. So, it came about through your label connections?

DD: Not necessarily.  I think it [the label] definitely helps.  I have connections there [at Puma] and I was presented the opportunity through my connection.  Actually, Alvin, Wale’s brother, presented me to Puma and they liked it. They contacted me to set it up.

DW: How was that whole experience, being a brand ambassador?  Shooting the commercials, etc…

DD: It’s dope having that engine behind you, as well as the label is dope.  I feel like Puma is almost equally as supportive as any of the labels that I’ve been on, even more supportive.  That brand has just shown me a lot of love and its been a pleasure working with them so far.

DW: What else have you been rocking recently? What other brands?

DD: I rock a lot of LRG. That’s another brand that rides with me heavy and I just genuinely love the clothes.  So I’m gonna say LRG right now. I really love that brand and at the same time I love the people who run it. I’m really cool with that company.  I even met Raekwon at the photo shoot last month that I did for them.

DW: What was that like meeting Rae?

DD: It was like a dream.  I saw him and I stuck my hand out to shake his hand.  And he says, “I know who you are. Dyme-A-Duzin?” I introduced myself and he said that he heard of me.  Asked if I was from Brooklyn. And then said, “You remind me of a young RZA.” That’s one of the biggest compliments you can get from Wu-Tang or any rapper period. You know, he really knows the real young RZA so to compare me to him, it was insane.

DW: I was also wondering about you and Plain Pat. He seems to play a big role on your team; gives a lot of musical direction.  So I was wondering how you linked up originally.

DD: Yeah, he showed a lot of interest from the beginning.  We hooked up and created one mixtape in 2011 called 20=x that was our first project and Portrait of Donovan was our second project. Pat may have a new track on the Hip Hope project but as far as working close, as far as him being the all-day producer, I’m working with my day 1 producer that I started out with in 2007.  His name is Preedomworld. Yeah, he played behind-the-scenes for a while with Red Spyda during the G-Unit days.  So he has awards under his belt. But he’s been behind the scenes until now kinda.  I’m kinda bringing him out cause he’s been killing shit for years and nobody knows.  So it’s like, “come be my in-house producer.”

DW: So to wrap things up, I was hoping you could talk about your high school days a little about.  The “Live Life” Shows that you used to throw. What was it like to go to school with [Capital] Steez and Joey [Bada$$] and all them?

DD: Well back in the day, I’m saying back in the day like it was really long ago, it was probably about 3-4 years ago, I was doing my whole thing in [Edward R.] Murrow [High School in Brooklyn].  Being a rapper, giving out t-shirts, CDs and all that, promoting myself, putting up posters all over the neighborhood. And there was a point where I [realized] I had all of these resources and I wanted to do something that can help artists out.  Help them better themselves because I see a lot of talent around me.  So my mom and I put together the “Live Life” showcases where we had ill competitions to see talent. People signed up from Joey Bada$$ to Chelsea Rejects to this guy named Radamz, who did Summer Jam last year. A bunch of guys came through, and they all from New York, and competed.  I really got introduced to a lot of talent there and I helped a lot of people out.  That’s really what I wanted to do: give people new outlets and different inspirations.  And it definitely inspired me.  It gave me new people to work with and gave me insight on who’s out there around me.

DW: So are these still goals of yours: sharing inspiration, creativity, etc?

DD: Yeah, definitely.  I started that way and I definitely want to continue that on a larger scale. Back then, I gave the little that I had just to see guys come up behind me, come up with me which happened.  The next level is to go back and do that more. I don’t necessarily have to host [open mic events] but somehow, somebody around me should be able to keep the [Live Life hip hop show] tradition going.