By: Le’Deana Brown
Your name has preceded you from sports, to music, to things that have happened in the streets in the city… Dumes has been a household name for a long time as far as the streets. I took it to the basketball world, now I’m bringing it to music, just trying to keep It alive. I was kind of prepped for the lights. As far as being under scrutiny and being a ball player and things of that nature. It was a great prep for this existence.
What was it like being away but knowing your music was moving despite the situation? It was different because I would see a lot of individuals come through either in the county or in prison and they knew my music. I knew that people kind of knew of the buzz, but I didn’t know how extreme or to the extent that it was. People would tell me over the phone, the buzz is crazy, the buzz is crazy but it’s hard to believe something you can’t see.
Do people still ask you about sports? Yeah they do that was majority of what they asked about if it wasn’t the music. They would be like, “aw that’s the IU guy.” I still get that question.
What prompted the changing of lanes? It seems like you were raised in it, you were going for it, you were all in and it stopped. The music came about years ago. My freshmen year in college a close friend of mine told me I should pursue it, so I kept pursuing it. The basketball never really stopped, but it slowed in a way. When I couldn’t get a job after going through 3-4 agents I kind of trickled back into the streets. Once the streets came, the music just kind of compounded with it. My music displays a lot of the stories I’ve been through.
Your music is kind of personal and you are touching on things that have happened in your life, and the lives of the people around you. Facts right? I’m not one of the guys that speaks on something and never seen it or never done it or boasts and brags on something, that’s not a part of my character. A lot of my music is based on the vulnerability of my life.
There are several references in your music referencing some kind of beef or situation that people have seen lived out on TV or at events. What makes you feel like you want to talk about that in your music? I speak on things in my music because it’s my life. I don’t want to give people a façade. I would rather speak on factual things than non-factual things. I don’t fear nothing but Allah, so anything that comes with it or behind it, I’m prepared for it.
The video for your remix to “Hot Nigga” that was the last video you got to do with your brother Dominique in it right? How did things change from there? It’s been hard for me, it’s like being in a little paddle boat trying to row and going up stream. It’s been hard. He was someone who was close and dear to my heart. I lost him to gun violence. I’m taking it in stride and that was definitely the last time I got to be with him.
Was there a moment that made you realize people were really rocking with your music? I had a moment to when of my close friends leaked one of my songs in Sunset Strip Club, and I specifically told him not to. He did it anyway, and the DJ was just like “Where is this guy at? I want him, I want to play this record,” and they kept playing it. I was like, “Wow, they really like my music!” That was one of the defining moments of my musical career.
Now you can’t go to the club without hearing the song “Reign!” Tell us about your single “Solid” featuring Lil E and Kevin Gates. It really just defines who I am as a person and what I’ve been through. Other people that have been through similar situations should know about it. If you get yourself into a mess, don’t cop out by throwing someone else under the bus. You have to take responsibility and be accountable for your actions. Solid was a definite must for me to do and I’m glad it came out when it came out.
Was it important for you to make sure the people you chose to put on the song with you were solid enough to talk about being solid? Of course, it matches up to a T. I couldn’t have made that song with halfway guys or horrible guys. It wouldn’t have made sense. Nobody would have loved it, nobody would have liked it. Nobody probably even would have played it. It was a beautiful chance meeting Kevin Gates through DJ Reddy Rock. The rest was history, it was magic. Since the song matched up from a-z I think that’s what makes the song what it is. People know me that don’t even know what I look like. They be like, “Man that’s you that sing that Solid song?”
Speaking of solid, you have some solid women in your life. What was it like growing up with such strong women as a part of the force that raised you? They taught me and showed me a lot of love. Being with the women and the people in my life built my character. To be the man that I’m supposed to be, take care of my responsibilities and things of that nature. It’s pretty much implanted in my DNA. The good set of twin women that you are speaking about, are impeccable with just being human beings.
They were the ones that gave you the advice about being safe and dangerous? My mother’s always told me to always keep myself safe, but you never let anyone walk all over you. Always keep yourself from situations you don’t gotta be in. My mother was the one who showed me everything to defend myself. My father went to prison when I was 11 or 12 years old. That’s why I was raised by my mother.
What’s next for Dbo? Be on the lookout for a feature with Bun B, a feature with Scarface, and many more artists to come. My welcome home party is February 25th. It’s going to be one of the most anticipated parties of the year, you won’t want to miss it. My album is called Deliberation. It’s based on what I went through in 2013 with my attempted murder case. It basically just gives you an outline of me. There’s been a lot of situations, from my brother getting killed to my growth as a person and artist. I feel like it’s a coming out party to the world.