Baltimore has found a new voice in Black Zheep DZ
The buzz is building over the fresh face that’s steady representing Baltimore. Black Zheep DZ went from spitting bars at the lunch table in high school to opening up for TDE’s ScHoolboy Q in his hometown. Though he’s still climbing the ladder, he’s close enough to smell the success on his way to the top.
The young rapper already has a few projects under his belt like Genesis and Refugee. But the summer is just around the corner and this guy already has a few tricks up his sleeve. With his upcoming opening gig for ScHoolboy Q and more new music on the way, it was lucky that The Source got to sit down with him to discuss where his mind set is at for the future. He also breaks down he was dubbed with his unique AKA.
The Source: Where did you start your come-up?
Black Zheep DZ: I pretty much started towards my senior year of high school working on the music and pushing it towards the public around 09-10. Building from the ground up working with my crew, and from there on just kept pushing it.
What strides have you been through thus far when it comes to building up your career?
I mean, there has been a lot of struggles from not being able to get the buzz you want at the time to being where I’m living now. It’s pretty hard coming up out of here. This isn’t a place that everyone knows that’s really big for music. I just pretty much take the struggles and embrace them and take that energy and turn it into a positive. Put it all into my work.
Where did you get your name?
The last part DZ, I was part of DZ back in middle school. My friends all called me DZ. But Black Zheep. That origin came from, of course the feeling of being a black sheep but aside from my homeboy Buffalo who has a movement of his own called Black Sheep Refugee, I took the word “zeev” meaning wolf in Hebrew and I mixed it with the American word “Sheep”, meaning to be the “sheep in wolf’s clothing” instead of the wolf who’s always the bad guy. I’m just the good guy that can play the bad guy part too.
Baltimore isn’t too known for Hip-Hop on a grand scale. How do you feel you’re going to put your city on the map?
I’m just trying to open the door for my city as far as giving it a good name and good energy and being that guy, without really trying but you know showing everyone to be yourself and do you and embrace the struggle like I said before. It ain’t even about doing it first; it’s about doing it the right way. You know you got other underground artists that has been doing their thing.
Your flow is unique to me. In a sense you’ve got a touch of that 90’s hip-hop vibe. How would you compare your style?
I feel you that it’s kinda got that 90’s flow but it’s more basement rap. It’s like that underground thing but there’s good quality to it because it’s not trying to be so old school but it’s coming from the underground. Hoping it’s a sound that will be on top but it came from the bottom.
Who would you say influences you?
As far as artists, I would say Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Kendrick Lamar, Drake or DMX. I could go on but I can take a lot of different influences in not just artists. Just things period like life, things I come across and people I surround myself with. Everything I encounter, even this interview.
So you said basically consider yourself basement rap. Do you feel you’re going to take your sound to another level and evolved from that or keep it going and try and make that pop off?
I’m definitely going to stick with it and make it pop off but evolve the sound. I don’t want to put myself in a box. I want to create and define the sound and let the people hear it. I’m not going to let it be like “Ok this is what basement rap sounds like” or what it should sound like. It’s more like you won’t know what to expect, but whatever it is, it’s going to sound like the last thing before it but better. It’ll be an evolving sound.
You opened up for ScHoolboy Q in your hometown. What was going through your mind when you first got that offer?
It was something big to me. It is something big. But I just took it like a humbling experience because like, not that I wanna just get it over it, but I just can’t wait til the day of. I’d rather put all that energy on stage into the performance. It’s definitely an exciting thing. This will be another moment to look back on.
You got your previous projects that you recently dropped like Refugee and Genesis under your belt. You’ve dropped several other singles since then. So what’s next with your music?
I got a few visuals and more singles coming up. I’m working on another project, of course. I’m always working. Be on the look out for a lot more Consistency is what I’m basing that off of.
Tony Centeno (@_tonyMC)