DUBB – an acronym for “Determined-Unique-Beyond-Belief” – is a soft spoken, whole-hearted individual with just the sort of quiet confidence that emits an unshakable certainty. One who’s prepared for whatever comes his way, if you will.
Real name, Quincey White, it’s not within the first hour or two that such a notion becomes clear; it’s within minutes.
In only a few short years, DUBB has gone from a rapper whose pinnacle moment was once as a featured artist on a song entitled “Hustla Music” (a track off The Game’s 2006 DJ Skee-hosted mixtape The Black Wall Street Journals Volume 1) to standing on his own two feet in front of sold out crowds, sharing the stage with the likes of fellow West Coast affiliate Nipsey Hussle.
He’s created a unique brand (AV8ERS Entertainment) with his dedication and exquisitely unique style. The name, as said by him, pays respect to his late father and symbolizes the direction of his career.
DUBB’s released over a dozen mixtapes since the inception of his career; the most recent being Never Content, hosted by Power 106’s own DJ Carisma (the tape can be viewed and downloaded here). His consistent hustle has created attention and generated the nickname of California’s “Mixtape King”. And for an artist that is still on “the come up”, he’s worked with quite an impressive list of hip hop heavyweights: Kendrick Lamar, Black Hippy, Tyga, Skeme, and Troy Ave to name a few.
Peep the full interview we did with him below, connect via his social media networks (Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud), buy tickets to his upcoming tour, and be on the lookout for future music from him later this year.
*OPENING DATE* Fly High Tour – The Studio at Webster Hall (June 25, 2014) – PURCHASE TICKETS
– Scott Randell (@DefinedByMvsic)
Where are you from – your upbringing – a general idea of who you are?
My name is DUBB, an acronym that stands for Determined-Unique-Beyond-Belief. I’m from South-Central Los Angeles, CA. I’m from a neighborhood called Athens Park. It’s predominately a Blood neighborhood.
When did rap become something you took serious in a professional sense? That first eureka moment when you decided you wanted to make it a career.
The first time I went to the studio was at 16 years old. Beforehand, I was playing basketball and that was what I was really in love with [at first]. Once I went to the studio for the first time and had so much fun, I felt it was way better than playing basketball, you know? It was my first time doing it, and I really felt it was special.
Was that experience just with friends?
Yea, it was just with one friend and it just turned serious after that.
Inspirations growing up? Aside from friends that were recording, what turned you on to music and made you feel that it was something worth exploring?
When I was around that age it was still good music. It was still with concepts; sh*t with messages. It inspired me to do that and certain artists such as Tupac, Nas, Eminem, and Jadakiss.
You have an interesting cross between West and East Coast hip hop, especially considering the era that you’re referencing.
It wasn’t that I did it so much on purpose as I did it because that’s what I thought was quality. But those are just the couple of artists that stick out to me, you know, because of the kind of music that I personally like and do. So those are the people that inspire and influence me with my style.
Ok, so current day – I feel like the state of hip hop in general is predominantly West Coast. There are so many more artists buzzing on your coast than on this coast (East Coast). How do you feel about the state of the west coast now and how does that impact your ability to grow as an artist? Particularly based on the success of others and being able to partner with those people?
Well that’s always a good thing, ya know? Because if I went to NY and I was rapping around the time 50 Cent came out, that had a lot of energy back then. So you definitely wanna go ahead and not so much piggyback, but certainly take advantage of that opportunity because we do have a lot of eyes on us since Kendrick came out. That got the attention. After that it was, “Ok, he’s not the only talented one from over here.” So basically it’s given everyone opportunity to display what they have while everybody’s watching, so I’m milking that for what it is worth to solidify my spot.
I went back and listened to as much of your old material as I could get my hands on. Everything through your most recent project, Never Content, and I definitely feel this was your best work thus far. I feel like it showed significant growth. I like the way you incorporate melody into a lot of your music, whether it be on the hooks or elsewhere. I feel like subconsciously there’s something to be said about singing along to something and sharing the energy in that moment (in terms of utilizing melody is hip hop music). What do you think brought you to the point where you discovered your sound? Your lane?
This ugly ni**a right here [refering to Eazy No Steroidz]. He’s instrumental in finding my lane because he always used be like, “You’re good man. WE know you can rap your ass off, but we need to find what type of music you do.” And for years, I always used to be like, “Man I KNOW what I do. I’m a spitta man. I’m a spitta.” And he was like, “No you’re not getting it. You’re good, but you’re not there yet.” And I would always get frustrated like, “What do you mean I’m not there yet?! I’m better than everybody.” Like lyrically, you know? But that’s not it. He helped me find what I talk about and the message that I deliver.
DUBB – RNB (Real Nigga Blues) Official Music Video
As far as the melody, that happened because I’m really strongly R&B and oldie influenced – by like that Bobbie Womack (breaks into song). We on that, you know what I mean? So that’s where I get the melodies from. And that’s important for someone to catch onto a record. You’re right. You can say the dopest sh*t in your raps, but it might not catch like that. You need to be spot on in the way you deliver your hooks.
Yea man, I feel like for a while that’s what 50 [Cent] was king of…on any coast. He was a hook king. And he made you go back and listen to it 10 times. The hook trapped you. And THEN (sometimes – if it took you that long) you caught the verse and you realized how dope it was.
Those are the most important things on the record. It’s the beat and the melody and the hook.
Who else has helped mentor or guide you through this? An artist or family member?
Definitely Chippy, my manager. That’s my bro. Just a lot of family; I’m real close to my family. I don’t have too many friends. I got a small circle. I used to have a big circle, but that could be real dangerous. I had to really see who was there for me because I was hot there for a minute and then I got real cold.
When did you consider yourself hot? When were you cold?
I was hot was when I first did that record with Game. I was on FIRE in LA, but after that died down people were like, “Ok man. I was around cause I thought you was gonna make it quick.” So after 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and then 1 person, 2 people, 3 people just left that I thought had my back I was taken back by it. So when people like Eazy were still there, he met me in ’06, and he was still there I was like oh man he’s my ni**a. So like I said, Eazy helped me find my sound. From there we kept going hard on our sound and building the brand. I had a company called Hoodz Finezt, which was not marketable. So we eliminated the name and made AV8ERS a brand. So that was one step.
What does AV8ERS represent?
You know flight? Aviation? My dad passed away in 2012 from cancer and he worked for the airlines for 25 years, so it was a lot of things to do with it. We just found out the core pylons of why I wasn’t relevant, because everybody that was poppin’ in the city respected me as an artist but it was like, “DUBB just isn’t popping right now. He isn’t doing the right things.” So we just figured out what we were doing wrong and to be honest, I just recreated myself and now it’s just like, “Ok DUBB has definitely come into his own.”
It’s crazy how you can recreate yourself, yet never really change – you just refocus your energies.
It’s kind of hard though. It’s kind of dangerous, you know? Because it doesn’t always work, but through the grace of God, you know, it did work. We caught on to it soon enough because The Game situation gave me a little buzz, you know? I wasn’t really popping; it was more of a regional buzz. But now I have a bigger buzz than when I first did the record with Game.
Well now you have more of your own buzz.
EXACTLY. You know it’s not just a cosign buzz, but it’s an, “Ok DUBB is out here working and making moves.” And now we’ve just figured it all the way out and now we’re continuing to grow.
Yeah these are big looks now. You’re in NY doing stuff with DJ Enuff, Sway in the Morning, 106 & Park (and us of course). And those are positive things coming to you on your own merit, you know? It’s not like you were going to be presented these oppurtunities based on a cosign with The Game or anything like that.
That’s not a cosign buzz. That’s building relationships and just putting in that work and everybody respecting what you’re doing. A lot of people have to believe in you to get those kinda looks.
Obviously you had good production on the project, and a healthy amount of features, but are there artists you have yet to work with that you want to chop it up with or do you want fewer features on the next project?
Actually, I just wanna go bigger with my features. Like somebody I always looked up to was Jadakiss. Jadakiss and I spoke about doing a record before and it never happened, but I would love to do something with him. That would be great. Honestly, it amounts to just the people I haven’t worked with. Everybody that I envision like, “I wish I could work with them one day.” I just wanna do that.
Your sound is so transferrable too. So future projects; what you got up and coming?
Right now I’m just recording. Lately, I’ve been focusing on this East Coast media run I’m on right now and I got a concert in Hollywood when I get back on the 21st, then we’re back out here in March on another press run and then we’re out here in June for the first date of the tour which starts June 25th at Webster Hall.
How many stops will the tour be?
We’re aiming for anywhere between 10 and 20 stops.
Last words; anything else you wanna add?
Download Never Content and hit all the social networks. Live mixtapes, deluxe version on iTunes. I’m gonna be signing records at the show. Oh and shoutout to all the fans.