“Transitioning from the underground to the world stage, DTown’s ‘DOPESIXTEENS Freestyle Series’ is his attempt to take the world by storm and have his name mentioned among Hip Hop’s elite lyricists.”
In 2016 I was searching for a way to get my music in front of more people. While I love performing for large crowds, I was desperately searching for a way to get my music in front of more people. I wanted to display my skills to the entire world while also solidifying myself as a lyricist and live performer.
The goal was to go from performing locally to globally.
While I was trying to figure out how to make this happen,I came across an organization called team backpack. This organization built a platform that allowed rappers to showcase their skills and ciphers and they promoted the online events to millions of people per month. It made me think of the BET show Rap City and the freestyle sessions they would have in the booth during that show with the artists. After watching a few of those old BET freestyle ciphers, a light bulb went off in my head. I can definitely pull this off myself. Those freestyles really inspired me and I made the decision to restore that feeling with my dopesixteens series.
On March 30th, 2016, I released my first freestyle in the DOPESIXTEENS series. It was an incredibly challenging process. The rapping part was easy. But what a lot of people don’t know is that I am engineering, filming, and recording all of these by myself. The most challenging part in all of this was learning about video editing and audio editing. Even though I may be using multiple cameras, it’s important for me to do this all in one take without any punch-ins. In an effort to restore the feeling of hip hop during this era of cloud chasers, it’s important for me to do everything in one take to display that raw and rugged hip-hop feel that I had grew up on in the early 2000s and late ’90s. To me, that rawness and that ruggedness represents authenticity.
In an era of clout chasers and internet influencers chasing a viral moment, I wanted to focus on my skills as opposed to antics or stunts to push my name out there. Clout chasing is it a long-term sustainable business model. And oftentimes, people that chase after clout do not have a long-lasting impact in the game. And oftentimes, their antics off mic tend to tarnish their legacy. This is why I was really important for me to focus on the music as opposed to chasing after a viral moment.
I put my all into every video that I’ve ever shot for this series. while they may tend to range between two or three minutes, it takes several hours and sometimes several days for me to finish a video. While video editing and filming is not my strong suit, I’ve learned to love the process.
Over the course of 5 years, I’ve accumulated over 500,000 video views across multiple platforms. I’ve literally gone from performing for 500 people to 500k in less than 5 years and I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone’s support.
Watch my #Dopesixteens series here: https://bit.ly/3rtrv5O