Proudly Represents Nova Scotia
By Cheryl Thompson
Dash D is probably under a lot of people's radar but he won't be for much longer if he keeps doing his thing. Hailing from Truro, Nova Scotia, he's got a mixtape out and videos on YouTube and well, wants the world to know who Dash D is and what he's all about. Here's what Dash had to say to SoulMatters about east coast rap, his career, and future plans.
SoulMatters: Tell us a bit about yourself, and when you first fell in love with hip-hop.
Dash D: I first fell into hip-hop around 1995, officially. Around the time 2Pac released Me Against the World. I really felt the passion in that album. Gave me chills... but even before that I rocked the essential child type rap jams like "Bart Dance" haha, kriss-kross, and a bit later on "I Wish" by Skee-Lo. But as far as becoming an artist I started like most people recording songs in my closet with a tape recorder or writing countless unrecorded songs. I’m from Nova Scotia in the valley so there was no opportunity for armature rappers in like '98 accept for parties and dances.... Anyway, life went on and I moved to Truro where I’ve had the opportunity to work with rappers and friends, K-Money and B Carter. Also, recently I have been able to work out an arrangement to get some of my work heard through XPLIZIT ENT who have been doing big things in Truro for a while now, and finally the people online are always given me props so it’s been going alright. But lots of work.
SMM: Who is Dash D?
DD: I’m a real guy sayin what I’m thinking. I give my own story, I say the things I’m feeling and kind of hope by probability of numbers that some people can relate. Sometimes you just gotta slam out and say whatever’s hot really but I’m more about the tracks that I’m saying what I’m thinking. Tracks like "No love" and "Hang On"... Also in addition to the vocals I record and mix down the tracks on my own equipment, I manage my two websites solo on Youtube and Myspace and also hahaha... record and edit my own music videos; really budget but it kind of gives a face to the music I guess. So yeah that takes up a lot of my time. But in the “real world” as a person I’m a father to my son and soon to be married to his mother. So life’s golden no matter what this “rap thing” brings.
SMM: Nova Scotia seemed to be a mecca for hip-hop in the ‘90s, it’s still doing its thing of course with Classified and others, but what would you say about the scene now as compared to then?
DD: Good question, I mean he (Classified) opened doors for a ton of artists and obviously by sheer dedication deserves all his success. I follow the game pretty close and you can tell he’s done big things for himself and this place. Really the biggest change has been in that rap has become pop culture. A lot of elderly people even know who some of these Scotia Artists are. I think people are starting to realize that they have to power to push people to the top by giving support, even when they don’t care for the genre. It’s becoming more patriotic. But at the same time it never gives everyone a time to shine. You still have to go hard.
SMM: What is “No Love” really about?
DD: It’s just about people in life who pretend to give you love and don’t mean a word. And just needing to get a lot of things done in a life span. I’m not getting any younger and I’m trying to drop anyone I feel doesn’t mean well to me. So you slam that heavy load onto a good mix tape beat and it’s golden. But yeah people are feeling that track, I think cuz its real talk.
SMM: Who in music, dead or alive, would you say inspires you to do what you do?
DD: That’s a big question. There is a ton but ultimately 2Pac based on his passion in putting out what he was feeling. You didn’t even have to agree with what he was saying you just knew he meant it. For that reason I pick him. But also hugely based on Classified and other local artists recent successes. It shows opportunity for the genre in our province.
SMM: Do you think Canada appreciates its hip-hop artists, as compared to other countries? Or is it more of a local thing in terms of who appreciates the music?
DD: I think that it really is starting to become more appreciated, really though Americans being so commercial, really support their “products” to the max. Canadian Hip-Hop is noticeably becoming more accepted at home as well as internationally. I think people are just starting to realize if they support their local talent it can become a huge accomplishment for their communities. It’s really cool to see it all unfolding.
SMM: Do you write and produce your songs? Or is it a collaborative effort?
DD: Everything that I put out is written and recoded by myself. The only thing that is not mine is the beats. Up to this point I have been strictly doing mix tape tracks but now I’m hoping to get on original beats and possibly do an official album through XPLIZIT ENT. I really like having creative control. So it’s more me.
SMM: You’re an indie artist, so tell me a bit about how you manage your artistry and where you hope to take this hip-hop thing.
DD: Really I just stay busy. I do a lot of networking on the internet and stay connected. I keep creating new jams on the daily. Having the equipment at my home makes it ideal because basically if I wanted to and wasn’t so critical, I could release a track a night. Ahha. I want to take this is to the point where I know for sure that people are feelin it or they not. If they're not, I’ll keep it to myself, if they are then let’s make moves. I try to be real patient but what are people waiting for ya know.
SMM: Who is your favourite emcee of all time and why?
DD: I’d have to say 2Pac based on his ability to come from nothing and make a big something. Again you don’t even have to believe in what he believes but you could feel that what he was saying was real to him at the time he said it. The ability to focus his thoughts and yet have people dancing to the beat is crazy to me.
SMM: And finally, where do you hope to be a year from now?
DD: A year from now ultimately I want to be happy with my family wherever. Musically Id like to be getting recognition for the time spent.... hopefully. It aint even about the money; but just to know that people relate to what I spit and are feeling my rhythm. I don’t think I have much to lose really, so the only way iis up, right!