[Exclusive] Doughboy Talks 'Break Da Knob' Success, Mike Brown & Changing Sound
Rap star Doughboy stood out against his rapping opponents in St. Louis when he premiered his music video "Break Da Knob" on Sean "Diddy'" Comb's Revolt TV network. The fun club banger and catchy hook painted the perfect "Y.O.L.O" image with the help of director "Video God," also known as Gabriel Hart. Now, with buzz surrounding the "Turn It Up" song and his video receiving nearly 13,000 views on YouTube, Doughboy is proving that he is contender getting ready to snatch the number one spot. In an exclusive interview with MusicTimes, the rap star breaks down the definition of "Break Da Knob," his distinct sound versus St. Louis rappers, Mike Brown and making a difference in his community with his The Speak Out Against Violence Essay Contest.
MusicTimes: How does it feel to have your video premiere on Revolt TV?
Doughboy: It feels great like, it's good to finally see your work paying off. The exposure is finally starting to hit, it's been a long time coming from where I came from so it feels great.
MT: How long have you been doing music?
DB: I been rapping since I was about 12-years-old. Been in the studio since I was about 9 or 10 because my big brother used to rap so that was my real inspiration to start doing music, started rapping like 11 or 12.
MT: How do you describe your sound and what made you lead with "Break Da Knob" as a single?
DB: The song is a party record. If you listen to the words of the record, you can hear what's going on in the club. The actual song is written from a night that we went out. So I went to the club one night, the next morning I woke up and wrote about it. We had a whole lot of fun in one night so I just had to write a song about it.
MT: So what does "Break Da Knob" mean?
DB: "Break the knob" is "turning up". We don't say turning up in St. Louis so I wanted to break another word, a different slang term than turn up. So break the knob is partying. Having fun to the best of your ability.
MT: So why did you take the video to L.A. instead of keeping the video shoot based out in St Louis?
DB: I wanted to do something different. I wanted to really, you know, make a statement. I have about 4 or 5 visuals online right now in St. Louis and you know different artist shoot the same videos in the same places. So either you have the arch in the background, or your by the Chinese food place or Emos or you know just the regular hood stuff that goes on in St. Louis. Those videos have been out for a long time. A lot of different artist used those locations so I just wanted to do something different, I wanted to raise the bar a little bit more, so we went to L.A.
MT: So you describe yourself as a king, as a superstar. What makes you stand out from the other artists that are out now?
DB: My whole sound, I just do everything differently. As far as my music, you can hear the streets in my music and you can also hear a different side of me which is the suburbs, the real part. There's a lot of artist that just do club music, I do everything. I'm very versatile so you're going to hear different sounds in my music. If you listen to my mixtape you can ride to one song, you can party to one song, you can put on a love song for a female or male that you're riding with, whatever. My style is very unique so I bring a different sound. I feel like this sound that I'm bringing is very new.
MT: How'd you get your name?
DB: It was just a nickname that was given to me by my brother when I was about 9 or 10. In my neighborhood when you get money a certain type of way it just reflects like that. So at the time I was the youngest person in my hood to have money like that so it stuck. Dough means money.
MT: Does St. Louis have a distinct sound like the Bay Area or Atlanta that you want to break?
DB: Well, St. Louis has a distinctive sound, but me myself; I have a different sound that St. Louis. But you can also feel the St. Louis slang in my music, you can feel the pain of the city. I won't say that St. Louis has the sound that I have, but it has its own sound.
MT: I know your city and Ferguson have been going through a lot and in the headlines due to police brutality, has it inspired any tracks from you?
DB: Well I have a record out right now called Better Days that I dedicated to Mike Brown. It's on YouTube you can go check that out. I have a couple more records in the works right now I can't really speak on them because they're going to be very huge. But they'll be about 1 or 2 more records that I'm going to release about the violence and everything that's going on in the city. I acknowledge everything that's going on so that's why we put together The Speak Out Against Violence Essay Contest for 7th-12th graders in our community. They write a 1-page essay about how violence has affected the community and what they can do to help. A girl and a boy will win $500 that will be chosen, whoever has the best essay with win.
I wanted to do something positive for the neighborhood and I wanted to give the youth something different to look forward to. It's a lot for kids in our neighborhood [when] they see this stuff in the news that's going on right now and it hurts them. With everything that's going on they have to have something to look forward to. They have to have something positive in their life to make them want to keep going.
MT: Anything else you would want your fans to know?
DB: Make sure they check out the video on YouTube. Check out the mixtape SAKrifices. Be on the lookout for SAKrifices 2.