Nashville-raised up and coming rapper D.Goodz is all about bringing good music to the masses.
If his hit song “Bananas” isn’t banging in the club, D.Goodz is getting busy in the studio. The rap newcomer isn’t just any ol’rapper, he’s an Alabama A&M University college grad.
Since his debut at one of the hottest music festivals to date, South By Southwest, D.Goodz has been taking the music world by storm.
D.Goodz took time out of his hectic music schedule to talk to us about collaborating with Mac Miller, being a college graduate and of course, his music.
Check out the exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: We heard that you’re supposed to be shutting it down at the Apache Cafe in Atlanta.
D.Goodz: Yeah, we’ve got that going tonight. It should be a pretty good show. It’s me STS, Peedi Crakk and some other names as well. It’s kind of special for me because I was a big Roc-A-Fella fan so to actually see Peedi Crakk, that’s kind of cool to me. I heard it’s his first time in Atlanta so it should be pretty tight.
Tell us how it’s been promoting “Bananas,” it’s getting a lot of spins in Nashville.
Yes, it’s on the radio. And I think that’s crazy because I consider myself a true underground artist, so that’s my first song I’ve ever did that was more for the masses and to win on the first strike is like wow. The club loves it, my city is embracing it, so we’re just trying to make it spread.
Where were you the first time you heard your song on the radio?
I was actually riding from McDonald’s and my DJ is actually one of the radio hosts, DJ Crisis. And he was like, ‘your song is on the radio’ and I’m like what?! I cut the radio on and there it was. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
What was your most bananas moment at South by Southwest?
I think the biggest part about that for me was the year before that I came down there just to learn, before I was even seriously rapping. And to be back there in a year and be on stage I think it [ranges] for me. It just shows if you put your mind and heart to something, you can achieve it. When I tell you I literally sat and watched every show and then for it to come back and be so much bigger, it was like wow. It was a lot of hip-hop stages and things of that sort. That was the biggest part to me because last year I was like, ‘Man, I’m going to be here performing by next year’ and I accomplished that so that’s just wonderful.
So you really only seriously started rapping a year ago?
January 2010 was my actual first time in the studio. I’m just a student in the game and I’ve always just been a fan of music, so I think that’s helping me be so passionate about it and wanting to learn more and learn how to get better and learn history. I think it’s kind of helping me move and coast on a steady pace.
What was it in your mind that made you want to be like, ‘I’m going to pursue this seriously’?
Well, I felt as though I had something to say. I wanted people to see my perspective on life. It’s a lot of things that go on in the mind of a young Black male. I feel like a lot of people feel me, I think that’s why my fan base is steadily growing. Every time I release a project it’s a new feeling, it’s something new I’ve learned about myself, or it’s a new prospective on life and to be able to share that with people and have people feel the same way as you, I think is what kind of keeps you going.
Did you attend college?
Yes, I was at [Alabama] A&M.
When did you graduate?
I graduated December 2009. In my mixtape I say I hopped off the stage and went straight into the studio, that’s so serious. I’m dead serious, I hopped off the stage, my mom was there, we took a couple of pictures, then went out to eat. My homeboy was like ‘come to the studio’ and I went straight to the studio.
Have you been back to Alabama A&M since? How’s the support down there?
I left my whole movement, I think I inspired a lot of people, because after me it became a bunch of people rapping and doing what they wanted to do as far as comedy and things like that. My whole purpose of it was I started rapping my senior year in college because a lot of things happened to me. That was the year I found out I was having my daughter, or I had my daughter. I had seen my life like I’m 21, what have I accomplished, what have I stood for? How have I made my place in life, what can people say about me? It all started off with me just wanting to say something. And then I got good at it. My first couple of tapes, I really wasn’t that good. I think as an artist, a lot of people are scared to say that, but I can keep it real. But now I’m still not the best that I want to be, but I get better and better every day.
The more you do it, the better you get at it.
I’m fully learning that right now. I think I have a one up on a lot of cats because I took my whole academic way of studying, passing a test and being prepared for class using that to the rap game. I’m in the studio every day. I listen to a lot of my influences to see what they were talking about. Just to dig deeper than just the lyrics but why they were saying this, how they really felt. I really rock with a lot of the passionate artists.
I think that’s what I try to emulate myself behind, just telling my story and leading people because I actually think that’s what moves people. It’s just them being able to get in your life. I think that’s why reality TV is so big, in the American culture, the world, people are nosey. When you’re able to be like, ‘Hey man, this is what happened to me, this is what I’ve been through and this is how I got through it,’ you never know who’s going through the same stuff, so it allows you to connect with the people a lot deeper. Think about artists like B.I.G, he was telling you how his day was going on a daily basis, but in his demographics it was a million other cats going through the same thing. Kanye West, “College Dropout,” how many of them do we know?
What was your major in college?
My major was accounting, I was just trying to count this cash.
You actually collaborated with Mac Miller last year? You guys had the Doobie Ashtray?
Yes, we redid the Doobie Ashtray. We’ve got some more stuff in the vault, but it’s up to him if he wants to let it loose. But that’s my dude, it’s like my peer. He started getting national when I first started getting on the blogs and stuff too, so just to have a peer like that, I think is kind of cool.
How did you all link up?
We’ve got the same kind of crowd and just the respect for each other. All of these artists I think is like taking it back to ’94. Back then it was because they were in the same area, but now it’s like the internet allows you to touch anybody, you can talk to anybody you want to. Everybody is seeing working and things, you can find out your own respect for each individual artist.
In Doobie Ashtray you all talk about weed and rolling up. In your professional opinion, what’s the best weed out there?
What’s the best trees? I don’t know. Honestly recently, I wouldn’t even know, I’ve kind of been sober for a minute. I wouldn’t even consider myself a real smoker like that, because I only smoke for creative influence. Smoking isn’t for everybody, I just want to make that clear. [The whole smoking movement] is cool for those that are able to do it, but it’s a lot of people it affects negatively too. It makes a lot of kids lazy. I just want to pump that to them because it ain’t for everybody. You come across them and it’s a positive influence, but to be like, I smoke weed everyday, that’s not me. We’ve got a lot of those already, those weed-smoking rappers. I’m just in the area, it passes by me. I like my career a little bit too much.
What inspired you to make the song “Lisa Lopes”?
I’m a Jay-Z and Biggie fan, and it’s a classic B.I.G line and then I heard Jay-Z rewrote it on this freestyle he did for this DJ Clue mix tape and it’s like one of my favorite ever. So when I heard that, I was like, let me make my point in history and just take that line and make a song out of it. That was just it. Lisa Lopes, God rest her soul, was a beautiful woman.
What’s your favorite thing to do besides make music?
I love to travel. I like to go all around the world. I think that God’s gift to man is to be cultured. As a Black male, just seeing young Black males in places like where I’m from, they don’t really get to see the other side of the United States, the other side of the world. And I’m glad that the internet now enables people to be able to see there are other outlets of life, but I think to travel can change the whole mindset of a person, because you grow up and think this is the right way for everything because everybody in your area does it that way. Just take dressing for instance. Everybody in your area dresses that way, so you might think that’s the only way to dress. But when you go to California, they may have on something totally different than what you’re wearing in Nashville. So you’ve got to be open to that and it causes you to be open-minded and learn more things, then you become more eager to learn. At least in my own experience I just became more eager to learn the more I saw. I think that’s like God’s gift to me.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
I’m really a frat boy, I’m the true college student. I went to college and I had fun, I pledged a fraternity and everything else. A lot of people just don’t know that, my fan base might not know that, but if you know me really outside the music then you know kind of where I come from and things like that. I have a whole group of people to speak for. I don’t think there’s really been an artist that spoke from that whole Black college perspective. Shout out to the bruhs, Omega Psi Phi!