Doujah Raze

Scris pe 13.11.2005 de DJ Strike

Doujah Raze e un nume necunoscut, inca, multor ascultatori de hip-hop de peste ocean. Originar din Washington D.C., MC-ul si-a incercat norocul in capitala Hip-Hop-ului, si iata ca dupa mai multi ani de incercari si de tatonari, pe 1 noiembrie si-a lansat albumul de debut. Evenimentul a fost marcat prin 2 petreceri: una in NY si alta in Washington D.C. ...

How do you feel now that your 1st album is on the shelves ?
I feel good � it's about time � it's been five years in the making and I know people have been waiting so it's definitely a good feeling.

How were the parties @ Joe's Pub NY and Club Five Washington DC ?
Both were very successful, but the party in DC was absolutely crazy � there were people there that I haven't seen in 8 years. It was totally packed and the show was probably the best I've done in the US.

What are your expections from this album ?
This album will step my game up to the next level. A lot of people who didn't know me will know now, and the fans I've been building will be happy that the album is complete. This album is a huge step in my career.

Do you think that you'll get more attention on the International scene than on New York scene ?
Maybe� I definitely get a lot of love overseas and it wouldn�t surprise me if the album does better overseas than it does here in the states.

Tell me about you... I know you grew up in Washington D.C...
I was born in DC and I grew up in Alexandria, VA which is a suburb of DC. Growing up I was really involved in music and sports. I always knew I wanted to do something else with my life other than a regular 9-5 type job. Hip Hop entered my life at an early age and I studied the art more than I studied for class. I knew music was the direction I wanted to go from very early on.

Is it important to have a higher education ?
I believe it's important, but not necessary. It was important for me because I grew a lot socially at college. College for me wasn�t about learning from books � I learned from life and figured myself out. Not everyone needs college for that, but it does help.

What did James Madison College mean to you ?
James Madison is the place where I met Double-J � it�s the place where we formed Trilogy Records � it�s the place where I decided what direction I wanted to take in my life. I owe a lot to James Madison � it's there that I developed confidence in my musical abilities.

The story of Trilogy on Wax...
It all started in college. We knew we wanted to do something else with our lives so we formed a record label and decided to start putting out music. We dropped "Hard Times" and it was a huge success� so we kept going.

And then you move to New York...
We (Trilogy) moved to New York in 2002. After college we went back to the DC area for a couple years to get our business in order. We knew we wanted to move to NYC but it takes time to make a power move like that. So we got our shit together and in the summer of 2002 it was finally time. The move to NYC has been very beneficial to our success.

What is the density of MCs / square metre in New York ?
It's pretty fucking thick � at shows here often half of the crowd will be emcees themselves. NYC is definitely flooded with rappers.

I know you toured in Europe. What differences did you observ between american / european crowds and also between american / european rappers ?
European crowds are a little more open to new types of music that they might not have heard before. The scene in Europe is a little younger, a little more fresh than over here.

How did you meet Shuko ?
Originally through the internet � he remixed "Irish Cream" and we loved it. So he started sending us beats and I started writing. We eventually met in person in Germany when I was on tour, but for quite a while we made music without ever meeting face to face. Shuko is like family now though.

Which do you prefer working with - Shuko or Disko Dave ?
They�re both great producers to work with � they�re both extremely talented and smart and have great ideas. I can�t pick one.

You got some heavy names appearing on your album: OC, Mista Sinista, The Beatminerz... How did you linked with them ?
New York man, New York. Being up here you�ll meet lots of people involved in the music industry. Some I click with, some I don�t. But it's easy to get involved up here.

I know you collaborated with the romanian DJ crew - Turntable Science.
Yea I got a beat from them and it's currently a work in progress� hot beat.

You also used to DJ in college, as I heard...
Yea I DJ�d seriously before I rapped seriously. DJ'ing was a lot of fun and it gave me a better knowledge of Hip Hop. I did radio and parties in and right out of college� lots of fun. My favorite were house parties cause they would get the craziest. Sometimes you had to watch out for beer getting spilled on your tables, but they were the best times.

Is that the reason you released 6 singles on 12" vinyls before dropping the album ?
Yes, they were to build my name and build a fan base. We didn�t want to release an album without people who want to go buy it. We figured that by releasing a string of 12� vinyl we would establish that fan base and it�s worked pretty well.

About the singles... What's "Hanging On" about ?
Hangin� On is about the drug "ecstasy". I personified the drug as a woman so a lot of people think I�m rapping about some girl I used to date� but ecstasy was the girl I used to date and she was a bad one � the song definitely showed the negative effects of the drug. Kids � Don�t do ecstasy!

Beside DJing do you have any other musical background ?
I grew up playing piano, guitar, singing, and writing lyrics. So yea, I�ve always been into music.

Your grandfather has his unique place in your life, and also on your album...
My grandfather was my best friend and he gave me the drive to make music. He was a musical person and it was always his dream to be a star. So he gave me that dream and told me I could be anything I wanted to be. I owe a lot of my talent and drive to him. I dedicated a song on my album to him and before that track I put a 30 second clip of one of his old recordings. It was his dream to be on a record and now it�s come true.

How did your family react when you decided to make a career in hip-hop ?
At first they hated it � they didn�t like the music and they thought I was crazy. But after they started seeing that I was doing well (touring, selling records, building fans) they came around. As long as I don�t have to depend on them to survive, they�re cool with what I do. And now they actually like my music � they came out to the DC show and had a blast.

Do you think of enstablishing a family of your own ?
Definitely � though I can�t start thinking about kids for at least another 4 years or so. I got a lot of work to do before I can start providing for a family.

Is there any chance to see you in Romania in 2006 ?
I hope so � we�re working on it � there's a lot of places in Europe that I need to go in 2006 and Romania is one of them. Stay tuned to and you�ll know when.