Interview: Dee Goodz
Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:50:12
"It's related to Johnny Cash," Dee Goodz says of the title to his latest mixtape, Donny Cash. "In my mind, he's the first real gangster artist. The cat was performing in jails and all of that. Once I read up and listened to his music, I'm from the same place—Tennessee. Here I am doing it at the ground level. I'm interacting with the drug dealers and street people. Being from the mud, you see the streets. I really am in the culture. You can see. You've got Don Corleone and you've got Johnny Cash."
Now, you've got Dee Goodz. He's rising up as one of rap's fieriest young voices. An airtight MC whose delivery proves poignant with every verse, Dee Goodz is bound to light up the game and leave a trail of flames behind him. Donny Cash announces his arrival with a bang as a true contender for the hip-hop crown. Johnny Cash would be proud.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dee Goodz opens up about Donny Cash and so much more.
What ties Donny Cash together for you?
It's riding music. I'm from Tennessee so I'm used to putting music in my car and riding to it. It's got to bump in there for me to really connect to it. In New York, everyone has the Beats By Dr. Dre headphones. It was commuter music. It's the villain's story. I call myself a villain because the way I'm coming up in the game, nothing is really being handed to me. I feel like I'm taking everything. For anybody that's from ground zero, it's motivational music. It's got "In a Minute", "Look Where I Came From", and "Down". It's got a cool sound to it, and it's meant to motivate.
Each song tells a story. Is that important for you?
Yeah, I wouldn't really consider myself a "rapper". I don't really do the raps. My shit is more like life experiences and lifestyle. I'd rather just tell you how cool my life is rather than make up something. There are moments that are really about me riding the D-Train in New York with weed in my pocket to go to the studio. It's real. There are so many rappers out there. The only way you can really stand out is if it's real, nowadays. You can get on with the gimmicks. I'm not knocking anybody's hustle or the way they make money. I like everything. It can be entertaining as well. People just want the real. That's what gives you that family of fans. Growing up listening to Kanye West, 8Ball & MJG, Jay-Z, Cam'ron, and Young Buck, it was just the connection. They taught you how to dress. They taught you how to talk. They taught you what to do if a certain situation goes down with girls or enemies, homies, and all that. That's what music is about. I listened to The Isley Brothers and R. Kelly growing up. They're giving you situations. That's how I want to exhibit my art at the moment. It's passionate. I've been through a lot to be at the small level I am. People know it's real when they hear the music. They don't change.
What's the story behind "Timing Is Right"?
It's like I said in there, "I've been late to everything in my life that's how I know the timing is right" [Laughs]. I've got so many mixtapes out. There's so much free music. This entire time I haven't been looking to be signed or be famous. I've really just been working on my art, stepping my raps up, and understanding the game and business. That's why I made "Timing Is Right". Donny Cash is the whole mindset of that. The closest thing I can compare it to is Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather. He was kicked out of where he was. His pops got merc-ed. They tried to kill him as a baby. He goes to New York, sets up shop, and starts a crime family. I felt the same way. I've been doing this local thing for so long. Let me go to New York. The timing is right. That's exactly how I felt. I left everything and came up here. It's just working out. It's the killer instinct.
What would be the cinematic equivalent of the mixtape?
It's The Godfather Part II. I'm bringing it out differently. I can't tell you what Family, Friends, Money is about yet. I've got over 160 records. I've been passionately making music, and I've got to get it out in a structure. Donny Cash was the takeover. We're here. If you didn't know we're here, we are. It's takeover time.
What have you been listening to?
I listen to everything. I've been taking in a lot of nineties hip-hop. I'm just a lover of music. I'm deep into my own art though.
Have you heard Dee Goodz yet? Download Donny Cash over at LiveMixTapes.com!