Really Doe Jumps “In The Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
New York, NY -- Back in late July, we jumped In the Mix with mixtape DJ/entrepreneur/radio personality DJ Skee, who had just released the long-awaited Demo Tape with R. Kelly. For the sixth installment of our Booth-exclusive interview series, we're giving readers an up-close-and-personal look at Really Doe, the Chi-town emcee whose latest single, "Marvelous," hit our front page last week.
A ten-year veteran of the game, Doe began his career spitting alongside Kanye West and GLC in locally-acclaimed rap trio The Go-Getters. In the time since, he's raised his profile on the national scene by collaborating with Kanye on Late Registration track "We Major," and, more recently, his own '08 single, "Plastic." Fresh off a move from West's G.O.O.D. Music label to Marketing Director Griffin Guess' Cartel Records, Really Doe has taken his career to the next level with today's Best Buy/iTunes-exclusive release of his debut solo album, First Impressions.
In this Booth-exclusive, five-question interview, Really Doe discusses what he hopes to accomplish with his newly-released full-length, the reasoning behind his label switch, and his thoughts on the current state of the music industry.
The title of your debut is “First Impressions.” Do you anticipate this album release making or breaking your career?
Most definitely. To this point, the world has only heard me as a featured artist. This is my opportunity to show the world how great of a artist I am and why I was selected to be a part of history, and embrace the world with my presence. The album is a classic, every video we shoot will be a movie. It's very important [to me] that everyone has the opportunity to love this album.
The album tackles your own personal struggles while growing up in Chicago. While recording, did you find it difficult to openly detail your hardships?
Not at all. The album was created off of pain, struggle, and wanting to change my life. That's what make this project so important. It's not just about me, and you most definitely can here that through the music. Being a Chicago artist, I've never had the outlets a New York or L.A. [artist is provided]. First we had to dream about getting on that plane, and making it into the city. Second, getting inside the building to attend the meeting with someone who can change our lives. In Chicago, it's tough as a kid growing up, it's easy to get sucked into the life of gang banging and selling drugs. To keep it moving and follow my dreams has been a blessing. I thank GOD. Also, I have to [thank] Ms. West for giving me and GLC an outlet to escape from the hood to the burbs with her and Kanye. She embraced us as her sons.
You were signed to Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music label, but opted to release this project on Cartel Records. What went into this decision?
Personally, I'm always G.O.O.D Music, I have been friends with GLC since the 80's, and Kanye for about 14 years. Cartel's "Griffin Guess" gave me the opportunity to boss up and release a classic album to the world, and show that Really Doe is his own movement, and has a crazy supportive team behind him, willing to do anything to show the world we're here to stay. I'm not just on because of my good relationship with Kanye; I'm a f*cking problem!
Speaking of "Impressions".... What is your impression of the current direction that the music industry is headed?
The game most definitely has changed. Its not the same when I first became a fan of music, which is [actually] why I created First Impressions. I'm not really a fan of a lot of hip hop music [like I was as a child, listening to Nas, Jay, Biggie, Pac, NWA, etc.] While creating this album, I didn't listen to rap; I attacked every track knowing this is what the people want to hear.
The first Really Doe song that we featured at DJBooth.net was "Plastic." What is the highest credit card bill you've ever racked up?
[Laughs] I've had fun, but this is my first solo album. I'm still on the grind. After my album does well and I get my touring in, I'll give you a more specific answer.
Thank you for your time! First Impressions is in stores now. Please support the movement. Much love.