D-Why Talks "License to Chill" and More
Tue, 18 Jan 2011 08:07:40
D-Why just wants to have fun.
Peep his video for "License to Chill" for proof. He cruises around New York City without a care in the world, adding a little sunshine and fun to the Big Apple. "There's a bit of a Ferris Bueler vibe to it," chuckles D-Why. That's precisely what makes it so fresh though…
D-Why drops clever, catchy, and classic rhymes all his own. He nods to Beastie Boys and Eminem, while wielding a swagger that's sharp, slick, and striking.
D-Why spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about "License to Chill," his upcoming mixtape Don't Flatter Yourself, and so much more.
What's the story behind the "License to Chill" video?
I've been waiting to tell this story because it's a vivid memory of mine. I was listening to the beat from producer Johnny Juliano. I was like, "Man, I need to get this beat!" I probably wrote that song about a year ago. I was walking through the city. I remember walking into the Apple Store on 58th Street near Central Park. I was listening to that beat with the Beats By Dr. Dre headphones in the Apple Store. I was writing at the time, and I thought, "I've got to be hungry with this!" That whole New York City mentality was starting to settle in. At the time, I was doing a lot of Brooklyn rooftop chilling. I have a nice rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'd lay out and look at the sky. It was a mixture of that leisurely attitude and the hunger to truly go after this. I wanted to go above and beyond with the lyrics. I really surprised myself.
Was it important for you to blend those two vibes of kicking back and then getting down?
It is definitely important to blend those vibes. It's also important for me to make sure I have that quotability, lyrically. I want people to get the hook, love it and want to hear it again. I want them to pick out lines that are dope and come back to them in the future. I want them to say, "Not only are the hook and the vibe cool, but what he's saying is cool." Let's be real, what you're actually saying is the most important part of it.
Is that visual sensibility important for you?
The visual element is extra important. I used to write my songs and visualize them in my head. I knew "License to Chill" had to be big and we had to go all out. Visual elements are really key. People want to see things with the way the Internet is today.
Where did that car come from in the video?
I hit my friend New Jersey up and I was like, "Do you want to be in this video? Do you have a car we could use?" Nobody in New York City has cars [Laughs]. She said, "My dad has a convertible, but I don't know if you want to use it. It's an old Mercedes." I just responded, "I definitely want to use that! I don't need to hear anything else but it's an old Mercedes Convertible!"
Are you malleable with any genre?
I've been trying to do that. In high school, I'd go hang out with the preppy kids, the dorks and the geeks, the people from the hood, and the skaters. Everybody embraced me, and I embraced everybody. I feel like that's me to this day. I'm just doing it through my music.
Which artists shaped you?
Hip hop really got me going. The first album I had was Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. I love 2Pac and Eminem. I was into all of that. Now that I'm trying to find my voice and sound, I'm into Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. I've always gone back to The Beatles. I know I'm going to go back to them for the rest of my life.
Do you freestyle or write everything out?
Everything I do is very planned out. I take days to write. I come back to it all. It's important for me to tell a story. I put extra effort into having everything covered.
Have you heard D-Why yet?
For D-Why's official site click here!