Digital Drop recently chatted it up with Detroit's own DeeDotMillz to discuss his debut album M.I. State of Mind, past projects, the state of Hip-Hop, his goals and ambitions and more.
Digital Drop: First off, what's up and how have you been lately?
DeeDotMillz: FUCKING BUSY! Controlling every aspect of my music, literally.
DD: That's what's up. Introduce DeeDotMillz for those who don't know.
DM: The most consistent nigga in the D period. The nigga that they don't wanna let in...
DD: At what age did you decide you wanted to pursue music?
DM: I decided, I wanted to do this for real at 21. I've always had the music in me, but I felt like at 21 I had the talent and the drive to pursue it. I could have quit a long time ago, it's just a desire I have for the shit. One of the reason I put out so much material too (laughs).
DD: How has growing up in Detroit influenced your music?
DM: Detroit has made my music, too street to be a hipster nigga (laughs). My mentality as far as rapping is on a border of being real street Detroit music and shit the cool kids like. Detroit street music is really hood and ratchet, it's almost tailored made for Detroit. Then I have that cool side of me, and I mix it with street and that's what it is. So I feel like I'm part of a new era.
DD: What do you think about the state of hip-hop right now, in general and in Detroit?
DM: I think the state of underground hip-hop is fine, mainstream is different though. It's been different for years, its just not the shit I came up on as a kid. I'm not stuck on that because music is supposed to grow and evolve, but I personally don't like what mainstream hip-hop has grown into. Detroit hip-hop on the other hand is too strong right now, it's so many artist going hard although only a few are getting on and putting on.
DD: Who influences you as an artist?
DM: Lately? I would say no one has really influenced my current music. Nas, Ghostface, Kanye, and Charles Hamilton are un-fuckwitables. I got consistency from Chuck (laughs) and Ghost is one of the most swagged out niggas that probably has never said the word swag in his life.
DD: (laughs) If you could choose one artist to work with, who and why?
DM: Maaaannn, I probably would want to record some low quality shit wit Chuck man...like have that nigga make all the beats and not mix none of my vocals. Really just to pick the nigga brain and see how the fuck he manages to make so much material.
DD: Alright, now that your album M.I. State of Mind has been released how has the feedback been? Do you feel that it's your best project yet?
DM: I put a lot of CDs in hand for money and that right there is positive feedback in itself. Anytime you can have someone willing pay for you joint and not jack your shit free is success. It's my best project, until I start making the new one and I go back listen to it. Then I'm like man that shit was wack! People love it though, but that process keeps me trying top the last tape and get better.
DD: I'm gonna sidetrack a bit and ask if you forgot to save me a copy. You didn't right?
DM: Nigga I got 10 copies that you gonna sell and give me money for
DD: Word? (laughs) As long as I get my copy we're cool. Anyway, what influenced you, or rather inspired you during the process of making the album?
DM: Just merging the cool side of me with the Detroit street nigga in me and just ushering my brand and style of music. Plus I paid dues with mixtapes and it was time to do something all original. Everyone does albums and EPs masquerading as mixtapes. They're just afraid that the shit will fail as an real album. So they throw that shit out as a mixtape, so if it sucks niggas can say 'Hey it was just a mixtape'. It was time for me to make something of value, something you listen to beyond the week you download it. The mixtape era is dead, for everybody. Artist are gonna get sick of em' and fans should too.
DD: You have a few features on the album. Are those artist that are on your team or just fellow Detroit artist you know?
DM: Mike Da Dizz and Jo are, Stryfed is my homie and he just put out his The Opening Act EP which is too fucking hard. Jo is a singer that can really out sing a lot of mainstream guys, and we working on his tape next. Mike is like my extended Bedda Made family. I've worked with Mike the most, he's another Detroit nigga, he knows so much about music and performing cause he's been in it for a minute. Yet he is young as hell though.
DD: How important is others opinions of your music, wither it be a fan's or a critic's?
DM: I don't pay too much attention to too many people opinions. I try not to, I feel like if you don't like something then that's your personal preference. Nobody said you had too. If I didn't ask for it, then don't give it (laughs) honestly.
DD: I can respect that. I want to go back a bit, and talk about your mixtape Très Distingués. How did you and Fratello Beatz meet, and was it hard working with someone in a completely different time zone than you?
DM: I had music on my Soundcloud and they heard one of my freestyles and they really loved the joint, I forget what it was! They sent me a message asking could I spit over one of their beats and I wasn't about to turn down free production. They sent a few through email and the first one I used was the Between Us Interlude. After that they bought the idea of a full EP and the rest was history (laughs). The time difference was a little to work around but email made that shit happen (laughs again). They really have a love for Detroit hip-hop and a love for Dilla so doing a project with an up and coming artist from Detroit was something special for them. To this day it is my highest played and downloaded project.
DD: About a week ago you said that Très Distingués helped you find out what music you didn't want to make. I actually thought that was when you started to find yourself musically. Can you clarify this statement?
DM: I did find myself there, but I felt like I was making music to impress people instead of making music people could relate to, dance to, smoke to all that shit. Music that appeals to your emotions. Très Distingués is great, but I felt like I was forcing it. Trying to be more lyrical instead of the shit I really wanted to talk about. I was honestly afraid of being what I am now... but What I Learned From Summer Vacation 2 was the turn around, and that will always be one of my favorite projects.
DD: Would you work with Fratello Beatz on another project?
DM: Hell yes, thats international love right there. It ain't too many niggas that can say people in France know their music and their name. I mean a nigga could do a small show in Nancy. I was the first Nigga in Paris but I ain't gon say shit though.
DD: (laughs) Speaking on projects, you have released more than in two years time than most artist do in their entire careers. I want to complement your work ethic, but do you ever worry that you may oversaturate your fans with music?
DM: Yeah I do feel that, that's why I chilled to just EP music or albums. They last longer and have better shelf life, and me personally I can't keep dropping shit for free. I think that's the most backward hustling shit in the world that the whole game has adopted. You may as well sell it and have low sales. Especially if you are indie. The game moves so fast though, cause one week you can be the talk of blogs and the next week its a new nigga being crowned the next new thing. So it's a catch 22 as well.
DD: How long does on average would you say it takes for you to complete an album?
DM: If everything is in order its takes two months. Day in and day out.
DD: Are you working on anything now?
DM: Hell no! I'm working on getting these shows and selling these copies. Just working on having a good stage presence and good show.
DD: I know that you enjoy performing a lot. Would you say that's your favorite aspect of being a rapper?
DM: Hell yeah (laughs). That's what makes the difference, cause it takes a lot to move a crowd of people that don't know your music. So it's gratifying when people feel you, or show you respect after a set.
DD: What's the best thing that has happen to you since you started rapping and what's the worst?
DM: The best thing has to be linking up with Fratello Beatz and getting my music across the globe. The worst would thing would be being labeled a rapper. Everyone is dropping mixtapes, I mean EVERYONE, that's all that niggas know. The inconsistent ones, make being a rapper lame.
DD: What can we expect from you in the next few years?
DM: More EPs, albums signed or unsigned. Signed hopefully (laughs).
DD: Overall goal for your music career is....
DM: To be respected for doing something I've loved a long time and to have the glory from rap and hip-hop.
DD: If you have any last words, or shout outs now's the time...
DM: Shout to nobody, I respect all these Detroit dudes...but I'm coming for your neck.