Independent Artist Spotlight: D.O.P.E.
The music industry is a continuous grind that requires a strong work ethic and relentless mentality, D.O.P.E. has both of these and a whole boatload of talent as well. As a completely independent artist with 15 years of experience in the game, his sights are set on making music his full-time gig.
When we think of the A-Typical do-it-yourself independent artist, we understand that almost every aspect of their career falls squarely on their shoulders. D.O.P.E. is the living embodiment of a DIY musician. He writes all of his own music, directs and edits all of his own music videos, and he even designs all of his own merchandise.
This hustler mindset has enabled D.O.P.E. to grow his fanbase and to create a loyal following. At this point, he now has over 11,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and he’s brought those fans in with his dedication and grassroots approach to his career. As far as what he attributes his success to, he had this to say.
“I have thousands of listeners each month thanks to loyal fans, De Novo Agency, and Facebook/IG ad campaigns. I make D.O.P.E. music and inspire all of my listeners to Dare. Overachieve. & Profit every day.”
At this point, it is more than evident that all of the North Carolina-based rapper’s hard work has been paying off as he has hit some pretty monumental milestones. We asked him what his biggest accomplishment was and here is what he told us.
“My biggest achievement would be surpassing half a million streams on Spotify with over 100,000 listeners.”
No team and no group, just one artist putting quality music out to his target audience and growing that audience and his reach. Having this level of self conviction, self belief, and drive usually comes from a deep rooted mission or calling.
“The central message behind my music is really just events about my life and how I’m feeling about a situation. I express myself through my music because honestly, I do not feel as though I have any other outlet. I can’t always talk to friends and family about certain situations so I put them in my music as a way to get it out.”
Music is art, it is self-expression, and so many of us turn to it as an escape or an outlet. This clearly goes for D.O.P.E. as well, and it helps endear him to his faithful listeners.
Currently, D.O.P.E. has a lot of music that he’s pushing to his audience and new listeners alike. Earlier this year he dropped a new album aptly titled “20/20”. Since that point, he also dropped a new single titled, “Weekend”. True to his style of constantly working and pushing out new music, he has a new album, “20/20 (Deluxe)” which will be out in the coming weeks.
With all of this on the docket, we took some time to review his new single and some stand-out tracks off of “20/20”.
In a short amount of time, this song has already accrued nearly 5,000 streams on Spotify. This modern love song is laced over an intricately simple hip-hop beat and D.O.P.E. delivers on both his flowing verses and his catchy hooks.
D.O.P.E. told us that he believes this song best represents his sound to new users.
“I would say that my song Weekend really represents my sound. I LOVE love and I know I make a lot of love songs, especially with my early album “T.A.M.E.”. I fall in love and I also deal with heartbreak, all of that goes into my music. As for “Weekend”, I met a girl and felt that we really established a connection. We got super close over the short span of just two and half days and I was falling for her as she was falling for me. We both met while outside of our home states in a completely different state. We met in Minnesota while I live in North Carolina and her in Florida. We had an amazing weekend with each other but on the third day, Sunday, she flew back to Florida. I wrote and recorded the song the same day she left.”
Uniqueness is always a valued attribute in music and this tracks cool sound and pro-romance vibes are stand out unique qualities. On top of that, the lyric video is dope (pun intended), and you can check that out below.
“Kill the Beat” is one of our favorite songs off of “20/20” and is one of D.O.P.E.’s most popular songs on Spotify with over 24,000 streams to date. This song and sound is worlds apart from “Weekend”, which is a testament to his skillset across multiple styles.
The twangy southern flavored beat will have hip-hop fans feeling reminiscent, and D.O.P.E.’s flow versatility and lyrical skills will have them taking notice.
The music video for “Kill the Beat” is light-hearted, entertaining, and it leaves D.O.P.E. killing the beat as the focal point.
Okay, this is one is not just a good song, it’s a topically fun time for listeners. The song itself will obviously do itself the most justice but here is the cliff note version. D.O.P.E. gives us a hysterical account of what a late-night hookup looks like in the midst of a global pandemic, hence the name.
Lines referencing being out of toilet paper, demanding that masks stay on, and a video that is full of imagery involving masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer gives us all some comic relief after the year that we have had. But most importantly, even with all of the laced in humor, he’s still spitting lines from start to finish.
What’s Next for D.O.P.E.?
As we told you earlier, “20/20 (Deluxe) is expected to drop in the next few weeks and we highly recommend you put it on your watch list. D.O.P.E.’s approach has been to methodically grow his fanbase by connecting with them, creating quality music, and by making honest music that we can all relate to. It’s a winning formula, and his name is one that you should get used to hearing.
To keep up with D.O.P.E. and his upcoming album and future releases, connect with him on the platforms below.