D.Z tha DoK is first and foremost an underground mc and producer. From the first beat off his FREE debut mixtape “A Souljah’s Ambition” you know you’re in for something cool and unique. Standout tracks like “Mr. Saxophone” and “Here We Go” showcase D.Z’s abilities to change things up both lyrically and musically, mixing jazz, anime influenced melodies and there is even a verse rapped entirely in Swahili. All the verses were recorded in one take with no cut and paste.
Why, you might ask? Well that’s what we’re here to find out…
Skope: You’ve been producing and rapping for around 6 years yet this is your debut mixtape, what made you decide to release “A Souljah’s Ambition” and why did you choose July 17th as the release date?
D.Z: I wanted to make an album for a long time, but before then. . .I wanted to see where I could go with a mixtape. Mixtapes seem to be popular, though in a broad sense this record is an album released as a mixtape.
July 17th is a special day for me. It is my date of birth. Instead of asking others for presents I rather give a piece of myself for others to enjoy as my gift to the world.
Skope: Locally you’re known as more of a beat maker, producing upcoming artists such as Killa67, what made you decide to get into rapping too?
D.Z: Well, I started rapping before making beats. I always could do it, though not everyone believed in me. This is my opportune chance I had to take. It was now or never. Me being able to rap is why I started creating beats. If I didn’t know how to rap, then I wouldn’t be able to lay that influence down on the beats.
Skope: Who are some of your major influences and do you have any underground artists that inspire you?
D.Z: NaS is always my first go to emcee. I say mainly the oldschool is what inspires me, though I love the music the new generation of hip hop released lately. Anything with a raw sound.
Skope: What is “A Souljah’s Ambition” about? Is there a concept behind it?
D.Z: That’s a tough one.] The Ambition is strived by Soul and all things belong to God/Jah. To put it otherwise, it is the battle and journey one finds in one’s soul.
Skope: Are there any guest artists on the mixtape either as rappers or beat producers?
D.Z: The only guests artists I featured vocals is Galilee who helped produced/engineer the tape. He also produced the beat for “Here We Go”.
My homeboy in Washington D.C. Marquise produced the beat for “Going Crazy”. and my homeboy RellyRell of RDC who has a big movement blessed me with the beat for Mister Saxophone. Shout-outs to everybody man!
Skope: My favorite track is “Mr. Saxophone” because not only is the rapping crazy, but the beat is not your typical ‘boom boom pat’ style either. What’s your favorite track and why?
D.Z: I like the whole tape; I can’t singalize a classic mixtape like this. Every track is like a piece of art doing it’s own thing inside one painted masterpiece.
Skope: The song “You Are Lame”, is that about anyone in particular?
D.Z: It’s about people who are dishonest. They sit there, brag about how cool they are, talk bad about the people they roll with and do them dirty. I had experiences with people like this both online and the real world. It deeply hurts. So I had to speak on what’s real with it. Coming from a world of paranoia and distrust, you got to do something that turns.
Skope: The subject material is quite original for hiphop, how do you stay away from typical subjects and what is your writing process like?
D.Z: Being creative with what you already know. As a rapper it’s not hard to rehash old rhymes you said before, but that wouldn’t be speaking from the heart either. . .I wanted to write innovative lyrics that had a soulful touch to them. I really incorporated alot of oldschool into the flows you hear.
Skope: Where can people download “A Souljah’s Ambition”?
Skope: You’re releasing another mixtape soon after this one, what can you tell us about it?
D.Z: The upcoming mixtape is more of a tape that’s less personal but more for the streets. It’s edgier and raw sounding. Debuting July 20th with 20 full tracks.
Skope: What do you think of the state of current hiphop and what would you do to make it better if you could?
D.Z: Hip Hop is evolving. It continues to grow and diversify. The underground movement is making noise mainstream. Cats that wouldn’t have gotten heard in the basement years of the 80s can now get heard and profit off their music.
Not to mention sound technology continues to grow, allowing beats to be no more just simple sampled drum breaks, but now more live and raw sounding with original sounds. I’m definitely excited to see where music goes from here. For all of us!
If you’re into hiphop from a true original with an underground sound, make sure you do NOT miss this one and check out D.Z tha DoK’s FREE debut mixtape ‘A Souljah’s Ambition’ exclusively on DatPiff.com @ http://www.datpiff.com/DZ-tha-DoK-A-Souljahs-Ambition-mixtape.628239.html
Douglas Garnett – Douglas.Garnett@gmail.com