Dubbs is a California based MC who has been on the grind for a few years now. Appearing on the The Million Album he has two other albums to his name which are 2 Sides Of A Star and his current release The Live Movement. Check what he had to say to britishhiphop.co.uk…
Dubbs: My name is Dubbs and I've been producing and writing hip-hop music for about 6 years now. As an artist, I pride myself on writing and producing what I feel in music. I raised myself in my life so I'm a strong believer in being independent and doing what you feel and what makes your heart smile. I guess I've learned how to be a little selfish in life. I'm a leader since birth and I've had to learn that you have to work hard for everything you receive in life.
First off, where did the name come from?
Dubbs: I was a star basketball player in high school and college. All my team mates used to call me Dubb. One day I was recording in the studio and I used it with an S at the end and after it just kind of stuck. That name has always been my name.
How did you get in to Hip Hop?
Dubbs: Hip-Hop raised me. My uncle was someone in my family that always looked out for me and he loved to roller skate to hip-hop music. My mom & dad weren't in my life but, every time my uncle was around he had something new in hip-hop to bang. The music eased my stress as a kid so it became apart of me.
Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?
Dubbs: I'm from a small city called, Riverside California. It was a small city with nothing to do there. We spent a lot of days on the corner freestyling.
Who your crew are and who they are associated with? How did you get together?
Dubbs: I got a partner in crime named Brinks. We have a group called, "The Mercenaries". We have been working on an album between our personal lives.
Are there any other producers or MCs in your crew to look out for?
Dubbs: Brinks is a super solo artist of his own. He will be dropping an album I think at the end of this year.
When would it have been that you first stepped up and started participating in Hip Hop, rather than just listening or spectating?
Dubbs: I have been making demos and working on my skill since like 13 years old. I signed with a label and the guy did me dirty so I started producing my own music. I've been on the grind every since.
What do you tend to write about and what inspires you?
Dubbs: Life inspires me. I write about anything that is on my mind for longer than a day. None of my songs sound the same. I write about many different things. Love, Life, Race, Streets, The soul, God, & etc…
Can you explain your style to us?
Dubbs: I'm kind of different on every track. I love writing up-tempo club type songs with a fast flow. I also love writing sexy love songs.
OK, what is it that is different or unique about you?
Dubbs: I am unique because I rap, sing, produce, & write. I even write songs for R&B artist. Another thing that makes me unique is that I write songs that another artist wouldn't write.
Who or what are your main influences? I understand that you rate some older school artists such as Run-DMC and Rakim, is it these artists that you most look up to or do you have influences outside Hip Hop?
Dubbs: Those two are the reason that I do what I do. I feel that it would be no hip-hop if it wasn't for these artist and I still listen to their music today.
Who was it you hooked up with label or finance wise that helped you take the step to getting your material out? How does this relationship work?
Dubbs: I'm looking for an investor now. I promote my music on my own right now and do as many shows as I can when I have the time.
Was there a concept behind your album? Can you tell us a bit about each / some of the tracks on your LP, what they are about, what effects, moods or messages you were trying to create/pass on?
Dubbs: My new album is called, The Live Movement. My meaning behind this name was to show people that original hip-hop music is still alive and well. My album is pretty up tempo & very lyrical. Each song has a meaning and the album covers the club scene, love, life, the streets, happiness, heart break, & much more.
Have you been gigging to promote your stuff? What's the reaction like when you are live and what do you feel when doing live shows?
Dubbs: I do a show at least once a week and my buzz is great. Anytime I'm on stage it's like time stops. I have control of everyone’s mood for that hour and I love to take them on a journey.
What else do you do promotion wise, how do you get your name out there?
Dubbs: I have flyers, posters-shirts, stickers, & the whole nine. I'm always promoting on the net & the streets. I will not stop intil I'm on top!
Who is taking care of the production side of things?
Dubbs: My music is all me. I do everything that's in my music. From the production on down to the recording!
Can you let off some of your production techniques? What sort of equipment are you using both to make beats and to record?
Dubbs: I always like to start off with a tight bass line and build around that. I use the MPC 4000, Motif, Mo Phat, and Sound Forge. I'm a hip-hop head so I can put a bass line to anything and rock out.
Have you in general been close friends with the people you work with music wise or have you turned up to a studio with a bunch of strangers? How you you approach each of these scenarios?
Dubbs: Anyone I've ever worked with has loved the connection music wise and we've always kept in touch. I love to work with as many people as I can. I want to create a new sound and mix hip-hop with as much as I can.
In your career so far what has caused you the most conflicts either personally or from a business perspective?
Dubbs: I've run into a few people that have gotten over on me saying that they can do something for my music and then they don't come through. I have lost out on thousands of dollars so I'm very careful with business and music now. You would do anything for your dream and a lot of people know that about artist like me so they take advantage.
Do you feel you are positioned within the marketplace and is that through your wishes or with different circumstances, would you do it differently?
Dubbs: I'm close to Los Angeles and it's a lot of gangster music here so I don't think that I'm in the right market state for my music. I have been trying to market more in the UK & more back East.
Where can people pick up your stuff?
How do you view the Internet? Do you think it is a useful promotional tool and a good way of getting out there and breaking the strangle hold the major labels have on the marketplace, or are there too many idiots too willing to spout a load of rubbish with no control over them?
Dubbs: I think the net is kind of getting played out a little. Everyone is doing the same thing and a lot of people aren't even listening from that fact. It's becoming spam. I think you can use the net as a good tool but you need a really good strategy.
Do you have any plans to get your own online presence?
Dubbs: Yes I do. I am doing pretty good right now online. I try to be really creative with my promotion ideas.
How do you feel, as artists, about distribution systems like e-Mule, Soulseek (SLSK) or other P2P software that is out of your control and for which you don't get any money? Do you think that seeing as the free music genie is out of the bag it could create problems in the future for you as artists to get paid for your work?
Dubbs: I don't think it's a problem if you’re an indie artist because you need to do whatever you can to get heard. If you have your name & sound out there? The money will always be out there if people like your music.
How do you find the scene where you are based?
Dubbs: I've never been out of California but I do feel like it's easier to blow in New York with hip-hop music.
Hip Hop is massive, how do you see Hip Hop at present and the direction you see it going in?
Dubbs: I don't like the direction it's going in at all. I think that anyone can become a one hit wonder! The music is too simple. I love the production in music today but the lyrics are simple and boring. I love timeless lyrics. A great song is something that you can still rock to ten years later and not ask yourself why did we like that.
Are you aware of any UK Hip Hop artists or records?
Dubbs: A lot of artists like Nsync, T Pain etc have gotten big in the UK. The fans over there are into real music so it's a greater market right now.
What are your thoughts about the state of UK Hip Hop? Do you know why it is very hard for UK artists to get any exposure in the US?
Dubbs: The US has a set group of artists that sell music and outside of that it is hard to break into the business here.
Do you have any advice for struggling artists in the UK?
Dubbs: Use the internet wisely and promote your music to US fans everyday. Send your music to US DJ's.
What is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?
Dubbs: I'm going to be busy working on my for video and a remix for one of my songs so that will have me busy for a while.
What are your longer-term plans and objectives for you both as artists and as a record label?
Dubbs: I plan of having a successful record label and go on tour in the near future.
What artists do you like and would most like to work with, not necessarily Hip Hop artists?
Dubbs: I love anything that Jay-Z does. I would love to work Mary J. Blige.
Would you like to, or do you have any plans to try and get out to the UK to do a few shows?
Dubbs: I plan to tour out there & promote as much as I can soon.
What are the things that you like to do when you aren’t living Hip Hop? Do you like sports or the Cinema?
Dubbs: I love to workout & play basketball. I rarely have free time but when I do? I'm at the gym with my boys ballin!
I ask everyone about politics, because I think it is important that we have knowledge of what is going on, but most current Hip Hop heads decline to answer. I guess they don't want to upset anyone. Do you have anything to say on that? Any issues you think people need to open their eyes too?
Dubbs: I think the world is becoming really selfish. I feel that a lot of folks prejudge a little too fast. Just because you see that someone makes money doesn't mean that you should respect them more than someone with less money. You can't die with any of the chains & rings!
Does Hip Hop still have important messages, or an educational element? Is Hip Hop less political than it was?
Dubbs: I feel like its way less political. I think it's more of a fashion show nowadays.
If you could change something about society, what would it be and why?
Dubbs: I would stop racism because it keeps a lot of brothers and sisters due to lack of jobs and stereotypes.
Are you at all concerned by the continuing issues between the US and Iraq? Or the Middle East? What is you perspective on this?
Dubbs: I feel like every Country has its own problems and they need to deal with them in house. A lot of our troops are dying for nothing and have no idea what they are fighting for.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Dubbs: Good looking to the UK for showing the love to me as an artist and my music. I love you for that. Thank you.
Fit all your shout outs and thanks here:
Dubbs: Shout out to all my fans who support my music and everyone who loves real hip-hop. Keep the Movement Alive…
Thank you very much for your time.