Is Dubb the next “Face of California?” [Interview]
Los Angeles , CA – Quincey “Dubb” White better known as “The Face of California” lives and works in a space that seems to be an extension of himself. A small, mellow basement studio in South Central, LA., it’s nothing fancy: just recording equipment, pen, paper and a mic.
It’s not what you’d expect from someone who’s mixtape The Departure garnered over 200,000 downloads since its release in September 2011 and is propelling him to the forefront of the “who’s got next?” pack. Unsigned, he’s has worked with artists such as, The Game, Tyga, Dolla, Ya Boy, Kendrick Lamar and more, has placement on over 100 domestic and international mixtapes combined and most recently headlined for this year’s 3rd annual Toys in the Hood concert at LA Convention Center. His buzz recently garnered XXLMag.com attention with a spot on “The Break”. It was a childhood dream come true and fitting end to a successful year. However, Dubb seems to be taking everything in stride. Being in the game for over 10 years, his focus is clear and determination for success stronger than ever. HipHopCanada’s L.A. office sat down with the rapper to find out just exactly who is Dubb?
Click the jump for full interview and his latest video “Determination.”
HipHopCanada: How did you get involved in music?
Dubb: Me and my good friend Lo Pro started rapping together and once we hit high school we began to take it more seriously and started Hoodz Finezt. I knew from the first time that I stepped in the booth that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
HipHopCanada: What was the turning point when you decided this is it and started pursuing music full time as a career?
Dubb: Growing up in South Central was very hard because I was able to see how the economic circumstances of my hood had an effect on my life. LA is known as the gang bang capital of the world, so I used music as a way to not only express myself in a creative way but to also try and escape my daily reality. The passing of my Good Friend Geno Cap also pushed me to keep going so that I can also keep his memory alive.
HipHopCanada: How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop on the west coast and is there unity or kind of every man for himself?
Dubb: I think that the state of hip-hop on the west coast is great. I truly do believe that the west coast is going to be the center of attention in the New Year. I feel that there is some unity between artist’s but not enough; it still feels like it’s every man for themselves.
HipHopCanada: Do you have a plan B if this rap game doesn’t take you where you want to go or is that not even something you allow yourself to think about?
Dubb: No, I don’t believe in a plan B because I whole heartedly believe that it will distract me from plan A. I know God put me on this earth to make music and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. If you put your all in your plan A then there is no reason for a plan B. Shouts to Will smith (laughs).
HipHopCanada: Do you feel like you’re at a respect level you deserve right now as a rapper or do you feel underrated?
Dubb: I don’t feel that I am underrated; I just feel that there are millions of people who haven’t heard my music yet. Once they take the time to listen they will be a fan. My music speaks for itself.
HipHopCanada: Did you feel like you should have been on XXL’s freshmen cover?
Dubb: Yes and no, I say no because I believe that everything happens for a reason and nothing happens before its time. Me being featured in XXL The Break is just the beginning, in 2012 I will be on the Freshman Cover for 2012. I say yes because I feel that in recent years the cover has become more of a popularity contest rather than it being based on the music and talent. But shout out to XXL, much respect due, they my homies!
HipHopCanada: Jumping into your mixtape The Departure what have the fans responses been so far?
Dubb: It has been nothing but love! In the first month we had over 100 thousand downloads. A lot of fans have told me that not only am I staying true to “real hip-hop”, but I am also bringing a new wave and sound to the game. I appreciate my fans and my critics it’s all good.
HipHopCanada: Compared to your other albums and what’s musically popular now how do you compare this album? Is it a classic Cali Dubb or have you experimented and matured in your sound?
Dubb: I have always prided myself on being different. I never wanted to be looked at as an artist who is trying to sound or be like someone else. These days everyone flows the same kind of Drake type lil Wayne type Nickki Minaj flow. It’s depressing actually [Laughing] but on the real I truly have grown as an artist and I feel that it’s evident through my music. Every mixtape from Mr. White to my last mixtape, The Departure, is symbolic of my life experiences.
HipHopCanada: Is there a song that stands out or you’re the most proud of on this mixtape?
Dubb: Determination and Make You Proud
Dubb: Well determination, because I feel that song is reflective of what I have endured in my life as a rapper trying to make it out the hood. The second song I would have to say is “Make You Proud” because I want to my friends and family proud of me. I love my mom she is a strong woman we are very close. I feel that both of these songs heartfelt because I think people worldwide regardless of your circumstances and profession can relate to it.
HipHopCanada: Who or What growing up has influenced you musically and personally?
Dubb: Myself, My Family and my Team are constant supporters; I have the utmost appreciation and loyalty towards them. Everyone from Yung Mars, to Lo Pro, to Big Mike, to Chippy, to Eazy no steriodz, to DJ Looney and my crew Hoodz Finezt have all influenced me both musically and personally .
HipHopCanada: Can you name a few songs or albums you’ve been listening to lately?
Dubb: Right now I am still in the process of recording and when I am doing that I don’t listen to other artists. I really don’t have the time and to be honest with you I don’t want to be influenced by anyone else. When I put music out I want my audience to feel as if it is authentic and that they took the whole ride with me.
HipHopCanada: Now I know you have personal Canadian connections but is there any Canadian artists your feeling, have worked with or want to?
Dubb: I have a lot of respect for Canadian Hip-hop; there is a lot of talent out there. Drake is definitely someone who I respect, he is doing his thing. Another artist who I enjoy is JD Era that’s my homeboy, we actually did a record together a few years back called Super Swag which was featured on his Final Destination Mixtape. There are a few artists that are from Canada that have reached out so yall gotta stay tuned in 2012 (laughs)
HipHopCanada: Any plans to travel this way in the near future?
Dubb: Oh most definitely! I Plan on coming to Canada in the new year. Toronto is one of those cities out there that has been showing me a lot of love and attention it’s only right that I go out there and connect with my fans!
HipHopCanada: If you could put together a super group of rappers dead or alive including yourself who would be in it?
Dubb: Man that’s a tough one , I would have to say Jadakiss who was my favourite rapper growing up, 2pac, Biggie, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Jay –Z and myself.
HipHopCanada: What do you think the biggest difference is between rappers trying to make it in the game 10 years ago and a rapper trying to make it in the game today?
Dubb: It is no secret that the game is way different now than it was 10 years ago. But I feel that is a good thing, music evolves as time goes on. I am not bitter I am excited because I’m just doing me. But to be completely honest I feel that during the 80’s and early 90’s it was based more on talent you had to really know how to rap in order to shine. But hip-hop does not only represent New York or America it is a worldwide thing now and everyone’s definition of good music is different. I am glad that I am a part of this new hip-hop generation.
HipHopCanada: So many aspiring MC’s these days have a very materialistic definition of success. What’s your definition of success?
Dubb: Success is accomplishing a goal no matter what that goal is. Everyone has different goals in their lives; success doesn’t always have to be based on financial gains. My goal is to be the best rapper in the world once I feel that I have accomplished that, and then it’s a success!
HipHopCanada: What advice would you give to upcoming artists trying to get heard?
Dubb: Before anything learn about the business aspect of the music industry. These days this business is based on 90% grind and 10% Music. You have to put yourself in the right situations in order to win. Making music for a lot of artists is the fun and easy part which is cool but you really have to have a “do for self” type mentality. Tweet your music, Facebook your music, promote, and stay true to yourself.
HipHopCanada: Alright now I want to play a little game. I’m going to give you a few words and you say the first word that comes to your mind.
HipHopCanada: The Departure
HipHopCanada: Mr. White
HipHopCanada: What’s your favourite line/verse from one of your songs that makes you say that’s the line/verse right there! (That defines me, if I could be remembered it would be that line/verse?
Dubb: “If you stay ready you don’t gotta get ready” – Determination. Music is my life I feel that line is symbolic of an artist such as myself who doesn’t take anything in my life for granted.
HipHopCanada: And lastly is there anything else you’d like to say to your supporters? Any upcoming projects/events and where can fans keep up and learn more about Dubb?
Dubb: Big shout out to HipHopCanada, the #1 hip-hop site in Canada! Shouts out to the whole Canada! Y’all stay tuned in 2012. I have a lot of big surprises in the new year. I am currently working on two new mixtapes which will be released in 2012. For all updates, business related inquiries, events, music and videos check me out at ItzDubb.com .
Visit his official website http://www.ItzDubb.com.
Written By Starr and Sina Tash for HipHopCanada