There are few artists out there that grind as hard as $park Dawg, I’ve known him for almost two years now and he has gone from strength to strength. With a string of highly successful Mix-tapes and being a representative for Desert Storm South $park really is destined for good things!
I recently caught up with him to find out what’s been going on since we last spoke and what we can expect from him at 2008’s SEA’s. Hold tight…
Give us a run down on who $park Dawg is and what he stands for?
$park Dawg: Spark aka Spark Dawg is the #1 new artist coming outta Texas… not Houston, not Dallas, but Killeen, Texas… I rep for the underdogs… who would have ever thought that a young niggas from lil' ole' Killeen, TX would be featured in The SOURCE Magazine, XXL Magazine, Ozone Magazine, Rago Magazine and countless other media outlets like AllHipHop.com with NO MAJOR DEAL??? I rep for all the dreamers with real talent and determination ya dig?
Tell us about the “Streets Of The Dirty South 4” mix-tape? It earned you an award right?
$park Dawg: Yea, I pretty owe my entire "career" to that one mixtape… shout out to DJ Explicit for reaching out and asking me to apart of such a huge mixtape co-hosted by Paul Wall and Magno… we won BEST RAP MIXTAPE OF THE YEAR @ The Southern Ent. Awards aka The SEAs.
You are due to perform at the 2008 SEA’s what can the fans expect from your performance?
$park Dawg: My performance is gonna be crazy! Tru die-hard Spark Dawg fans know what to expect from a Spark Dawg show… I constantly post youtube video updates on my SPARKDAWG-TV myspace page @ www.myspace.com/SparkakaSparkDawg that's a totally different page from my MUSIC page which is www.myspace.com/DaLoneStarKid.
You also have a nomination for song of the year, what do you think made that particular track stand out and be recognised?
$park Dawg: "Mouf Fulla Blang" was really just a track I kinda just threw out there… it pretty much took off on its own, lol, after I found out the song was nominated for SONG OF THE YEAR, I reached to one of my big homies from H-Town, Trae (Rap-A-Lot) and asked him to hop on the official remix to give the song that extra push it needed… If you read the title of the song, you automatically think its a song about stuntin and flossin but if you actually pay attention to the LYRICS in the verses you'll see that I'm actually talking about all the HARD WORK it takes to have the fancy jewels and grills and things like that, feel me? I think that's what drew the listeners in to the song. That's what brought the song so much attention. For example, my I start my first verse off by saying, "They know me very well. It ain't no fairy tale / I'm shinin' hard and I know you see me cuz I'm everywhere / just check the internet, ya favourite mixtape / Ya local record store. You see I'm getting cake…"
What are you currently working on?
$park Dawg: Right now I'm working on a million things at once! Lol. I'm constantly recording fresh material for my upcoming album titled DA LONE STAR KID… DJ Clue recently reached out to and offered to help me secure a solo situation via Desert Storm South… aside from that, I also happen to be a member of a seven man rap group called Greencity… This past February, the legendary Scarface signed my whole crew to a one album deal so hopefully we'll have that out first quarter 08 since Face recently dropped his new solo album… I've also been doing a lot of work with one of the hottest up and coming mixtape DJs, DJ Whut It Dew… We have a mixtape called "It Takes Money 2 Make Money" and we're also dropping a tape called "Welcome 2 Spark-A-Lot" which is basically a compilation showcasing my artists like Q.Beezy, Young Boro and Real Talk… Look out for the first single from Team Spark-A-Lot called "Pour It On Da Modelz" produced by one of my newest in-house producers named "Tha Franchize".
You have recently had press within publications such as The Source and Ozone Magazine, how does it feel when you open up those pages and see your own face looking back at you?
$park Dawg: Honestly, thats a feeling I'll never get tired of, lol. Every time I see myself in a new magazine, I recite that classic line from Notorious B.I.G. where he said, "And she loves to show me off, of course / Smiles every time my face is up in The SOURCE…", lol.
You have a vast back catalogue of mix-tapes, of them all which on a personal level are you most proud of?
$park Dawg: My personal favourite is my greatest verses mixtape called "GOOGLE MY NAME". Its a collection of approx. sixty of my hottest verses from various mixtape appearance mixed entirely by DJ Blurray… I really love this tape because its 80 mins. of non-stop verse after verse! Its actually available for purchase now directly off my myspace page via paypal @ www.myspace.com/DaLoneStarKid and my personal website www.SPARKDAWG.com.
Tell us about your link with the world famous DJ Clue?
$park Dawg: About a month after inking the group deal with Scarface, I got a message on my T-Mobile Sidekick phone from Scott Powers who happens to be one of Clue's managers / right hand man saying Clue heard about me and wanted to know my situation was. I replied back and told 'em that Scarface recently signed my group to a one album deal but as far as my solo situation I was still a "free agent". So Clue started emailing me tracks to see how I sounded on a few of his tracks. Ever since then its been on and popping. Right now, we're just looking for the right parent label to back us.
How do you find time to just kick back and relax?
$park Dawg: Since signing two deals, my free time is very limited now… A lot of people think that just because I'm one of the new faces of Desert Storm South its all gravy now. That's definitely not the case… If anything, I have to work a lot HARDER now because at the end of the day, we still to put out good records to create that buzz so a major label will pick my project up. My situation with Desert Storm is totally different from Fabolous's situation because Fab has DEF JAM backing his album… So even though I rep Desert Storm, I'm still an indie artist until I sign to a major label like Universal, Interscope, Jive or Atlantic etc… But when I DO get a lil free time to myself, I like to, "pay tribute to the late, great Bob Marley (if you know what I mean lol)".
Hip Hop is bursting with talent right now, what do you think sets you apart from your competitors?
$park Dawg: My GRIND… that's what really separates me from a lot of these cats… If you remember my first interview with you, I talked about how I dropped outta school and caught a bus to ATL in hopes of perusing a record deal… I was out there for two or three years BY MYSELF trying to make it happen… Eventually I hooked up with Lil Scrappy early in his career and became a member of his G's Up Click but after a while I felt like I really needed to get out that shadow so I moved back to Texas and started all over… Now fast forward to 2007 and I have two deals in one year just like Young Jeezy did it ya dig?
Is there enough help out there for unsigned artists?
$park Dawg: Most definitely! I'm living proof! Lol. All you got to do is keep GOD first and everything else'll work out…
What do you have planned for 2008?
$park Dawg: In 08 I definitely plan on dropping my album major label debut album… and like I said earlier, I definitely plan on making SPARK-A-LOT RECORDS a house hold name… I'm in the final negotiation stages to close out my first ringtone deal so be on the lookout for that top of the year fa'sho.
$park Dawg: Fa’sho… gotta give a shout-out to my Greencity fam, Scarface and FaceMob, DJ Clue, DJ Storm and the whole Desert Storm staff, shout-out to my West coast brother from another Mistah F.A.B… we have a joint mixtape coming out called "Class In Session". Gotta give a shout-out to my cousin Yung Texxus and The SCGz (Texx is also on Desert Storm). Also gotta give a shout-out to Janiro (founder / CEO of The Southern Ent. Awards) for always believing in my since day one. Last but not least, shout-out to Hustle Fam and all the DJs that ever played a Spark Dawg track and shout-out all the magazines and Hip Hop sites that ever supported me.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.