We’ve known Dre for a while now, he’s always low key and quiet. If you’ve never met him but the first thing you saw was him performing, you would think he is far from quiet. He must be saving all that energy for the stage, his live performances are filled with energy, fun and great music. I haven’t talked to him much but I know he’s and real down to earth, humble, good person. He expresses himself in his music, with Hello Tokyo he let us know about his dreams, with C.R.E.A.M (Cops Ruin Everything Around Me) ft Fashawn & Diz Gibran they speak on life experiences that we can relate to with dealing with Cops & with Street Wear Connoisseur, ft Stevie Crooks, they show us they’re love for fashion. Dre has a mixtape dropping Oct. 26 entitled The Diaper Dandy presented by IMKING, you’ll be able to get it here for free download that day, also his mixtape release party will be Sunday the 25th at The Common Ground.
What’s the story behind Hello Tokyo?
Hello Tokyo is a very special song to me. The idea for the song came when I had a dream and it really felt like everything I dreamed of was there before my eyes. Clothes and music were both prospering and working in my favor and I was in a foreign land with lights everywhere. When I woke up I was like talking to myself like damn I’m so mad I woke up from that dream I must have been in Tokyo I cant wait till I get there, that’s when I’ll know all my dreams will come true. It was actually one of the hardest songs I’ve wrote to, I always write the hook first in any song you hear and the first verse came right after like clockwork but finishing up the song almost made me not record it. I’d stop midway through the 2nd verse and just write and rewrite, say it to myself then hate it. I’m really glad at the way it turned out and the response I get when I perform it. It’s really a visual song and once people catch onto it its blissful. There’s also a little love story tied into it that people barely catch but it’s definitely the basis of the whole song. I just love it it’s my baby know what I mean, like literally the first song I recorded when I decided to put my best foot forward musically.
The city Tokyo isn’t actually where I’m talking about in my song it’s just a metaphor for where I feel my dreams come true, it’s a place in my mind where I feel once I get there I’ve accomplished all I want to accomplish in life. It might take me dozens of trips to the actual city Tokyo, Japan to feel that but at least I have the destination down and something to reach towards.
Do you get in Character to be Dre Biggity?
I honestly believe that there are two distinct personalities in an inner battle inside my body. I’m really a laid back, reserved introvert but when I’m performing I like to just be real energetic and hands on with whoever is watching.
Dre is the quiet guy that just laughs and cherishes every moment and Biggity is the one that pushes, the aggressor and music is his outlet. I have a song I wrote back in 07 called “Dre Vs. Biggity”, I think I’m going to put it on my next project I’m putting out in spring 2010, I’m like halfway finished with it it’s going to be called Walking On Water. “Dre Vs Biggity” explains it all. I feel like I have to grab everyones attention first before I put out really deep though provoking songs like “Dre Vs. Biggity”. You know, like get people to like my music first before they give a shit about what I really want to talk about.
What feeling do you want people to have after listening to Diaper Dandy?
I want them to feel like they got to know me without ever having to have a conversation with me. I hate calling the CD a mixtape because mixtapes are less personal and showcase rap talent but I really feel like this body of work reads like an album. The songs are very personal and each one has a meaning and ties into something I was going through in my life in the past year. It reads like a story too, there’s a real storyline behind the tracklist. I’m thinking about putting out a CD of all audio, same tracklist of the CD but just the thoughts behind each song and how it plays into the storyboard. I’ll probably call it “Storytellers: The Diaper Dandy”. See, now I might have to make that my trademark with each release, Brick To Ya Face exclusives. (lets do that foreal though)
I want people to feel like the stumbled upon a gem, I want them to be able to say down the road, I heard about him before all this stuff happened. I think this project will be that one that my early listeners can hold onto and claim as theirs like “ I been rockin with dre.biggity since the diaper dandy days, way back then”
What is UTB Lifestyle? And Whats your lifestyle?
UTB Lifestyle is a movement. It’s something my homie Reem and myself started back in summer 07 going back and forth on AIM sharing ideas. All of our friends are a part of the “L$” as what we call it and it’s just a vehicle we all use to fuel our dreams. Follow your dreams, that’s the motto we preach and the motto we live by. Everyone wants something to be a part of, I mean besides gang banging a clothing line was our next best option and it turned into something we never expected but it’s still organically us, it’s home grown and original.
My lifestyle is UTB. Everyday I try to get closer to my dreams, I try to accomplish something each day even if it’s small at least I feel in my heart that I’m closer to Tokyo.
Describe your dream show, Where, When, and 5 people to celebrate that moment with you.
My dream show is somewhere in a huge venue packed out with people that just love life as much as I do. Somewhere overseas, I can see it vividly in my head. If I could have it completely my way I’d perform on my birthday and just give back my gift you know. The first person I’d have with me would be my lil bro will, he’s currently incarcerated but I remember he was there with me while I was writing songs to my first mixtape, even Hello Tokyo he was the first person that heard it and he was just so geeked up that I was showing a drive for music in general. I cant imagine a show without him when he’s home, that’s my motivation right there. My mother would have to be with me. She’s real spiritual and one day she randomly told me, “baby I had a vision and you got so good at your music thing you were performing in front of tons of people and I almost cried”. Since she said that I tell her she cant come to any of my shows, I want the one show she does come to, to be that moment for her. I’d also want the first person that sassed me for rapping to be there. I’d have the works out for them, bottle service, VIP, car service all that. They probably wouldn’t even remember saying I suck being so caught up in the moment but I remember so yea they have a spot, hopefully he brings everyone else that hated/hates with him. And the last 2, damn this is hard hopefully by then I’ll have a lil mans and a girl I could call his mother. They’d be back stage keeping me sane. I’m real family orientated, everyone else is so fickle, my family is really all we have out here on the entire west coast, the rest are in Jamaica, NY or Florida so we have a real tight bond.
Name 4 songs On Diaper Dandy album that you want people to really pay attention to?
Man I love this question because the songs people like the most are probably the ones I skip when I listen to the CD. Pump Ya Breaks is my favorite song I’ve ever recorded. I play that everyday I don’t care if that sounds egocentric or not, everytime I hear it, it just never gets old to me I love it from the structure to the lyrics to the message in the song, its my all time favorite.
“Behind Me” is a real different song, it has a real mellow feel and it almost sounds country. I’m like harmonizing like all the way through the song its one of my favorites forsure. It’s about being hated on and pushing everything you hear to the back of your head so you can stay focused on your dream.
Look out for the song titled “Lights On” that’s going to be a really successful song for me I have a gut feeling about it. It really explains why I do what I do. Last would have to be “Maybe I’m DREaming”. That song is really like me foreshadowing what I see my life as in the near future. I have something I want to share from that song.
“I’m in the label meeting, tell um imma need PT (playing time)
sit the AR (record exec) right between
Now I’m the missing PART that your record label needs
I’m arguably the most marketable signee”
If/when a label puts me in the game and gives me playing time with the right team behind me I’ll be the missing piece to their million dollar equation, or maybe I’m just dreaming.
How did IMKING Clothing became part of the project?
I was at Agenda trade show just up there chopping it up with all the brands trying to get placement for my music video I’m shooting for Streetwear Connoisseur and they are just some cool ass people at IM KING. My manager was like yo Andy (the founder) likes the song they said to come by the warehouse and chop it up. I was giving out a 7 track sampler from The Diaper Dandy at the time to whoever I could so I gave a lot of the staff the cd and they all liked it. Andy asked who was hosting the tape and then it just went from there. My manager B set it up and then it was just smooth sailing. Those my dudes over there at IK they grind man, just watching the way they operate its like a well oiled machine. Them dudes go hard and their stuff is on point. I’ve been admiring them since like early 08 when I heard about their line, it’s like a real pleasure to work with them and have them like my music as much as they do. Guess I’m a couple staps closer to Tokyo.
- interviewed by Noa James