Introduce yourself to the RHHReaders that don’t already know…My name is DLabrie im a true to form and fun loving rapper with a lot to say. DLabrie is my real name and Labrie stands for Love And Beauty Resides In Everyone (+) and Lies And Bullshit Revolve In Everydaylife (-) Im a Libra and by nature this is what my music and life represent. Some call me MR NETW3RK , DLabrozia or the EOG… Im all about seeing the world, livin good and making new moves. I love to inspire and to be inspired. I want people to be happy in life overall Im tryna be a part of that.
You’re from East Oakland, Cali, how did that influence your life and music? I was raised mostly in East Oakland I Have pieces of the Bay Area and the South and Midwest and Africa all in my blood tho, so Im pretty diverse in spirit. Oakland was one of the best places to grow up for early Hip Hop, so many pioneers and trendsetters, go getters, and entrepreneurs. It’s also a place where you can be black and proud of it. We dont play that punk ass afraid to be black shit. Oakland was the perfect soil to grow a Hip hop movement. The Bay is the best Indy music scene in the world. I grew up around any and everything Hip Hop could be. When I started rappin for fun, East coast rap was still big but as I grew up the West started really poppin with NWA, Short, Cube, Pac, Digital Underground, Hammer.. my preference was more “East Coast” ( what they used to call it) I didnt really fit in I was not as much into “Gangster” rap but because of the reality in it I understood it but didnt embrace it until I started going through more and more and getting older. In a sense I came into rap as a kid so it wasnt as much of a separation til I got in High School thats when I noticed cats drawin lines on what rap they liked. Before that we all just listened to whatever we could get our hands on whether it was Slick Rick, Dangerous Dame or 2 Live Crew. I was just happy it was rap. On the flip Oakland is a struggling cold place, and u have to understand the type of place I grew up. Shit was not a game. Killings, drugs, hoes, extreme poverty… every moment of my youth was intense, you grow up fast, everything is fast, u have kids fast, u on your own fast, u expected to die fast. The music and culture is real from Mobb Music to Hyphy, so I dont dig when “rap fans” talk shit about the hood because they heard a few songs and think its all jokes and laughs, cuz we lived through these crazy times its way bigger than rap for us. Also theres a lot of positive culture, art and politics we had groups like the Coup and Hiero who was my fav groups too and I learned a lot from listenin to them. My style was more on that level.
You did the song “The Verdict (Oscar Grant)” with other Hip-Hop Congress artists, being from Oakland, how have you been involved in the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement? We were at a lot of the rallys and witnessed the police terrorism, we helped spread the word about protests, we did a song about it to educate via an HHC artist from SanDiego named Scrybe Sayer, u can download FREE, we wrote some articles, we hit the courtroom, reached out to some of the family members. The Oscar Grant Trial was really fucked up. It was the digital era Rodney King but way worse cuz he’s dead and everything is documented and theres crazy videos of this not just 1. A lot of folks only saw the shooting and thats bad enough but theres SO much more to this situation. This put the idea that all the so called racial progress and idea that Blacks have it equal to rest. The back story is crazy, the racist things the cops, DA & judges said in the courtroom, moving the trial to LA, the racist rallys for the Killer cop, the media spin on the peoples protests, the 4 cops being killed that same year, the other murders cops committed, the fact it was multi racial movement against Mehserle (not just blacks), and also the fact this cop was already documented as havin problems before with over aggressive force, its all on my website. Now this dude is gettin out basically scottfree this weekend. ITS GOIN DOWN IN THE TOWN. HOME OF THE PANTHERS
How is juggling your responsibilities with HH Congress and your music career? It has been tough to balance. I have my solo artistry, running my label (RonDavoux Rec)/promo company (RDVpromo) and my role with Hip Hop Congress. Luckily they are all connected so its some overlap but the more each grow the more they need to be defined and separated. Part of being in HHC is being a rapper and just being an artist. However as I moved up in the org my responsibility grew. Now I do Outreach for the whole org. I recently had to take a step back from the organizing side to focus more on music because thats my foundation. The good thing is we have a lot of well trained soldiers out there reppin HHC and it keeps moving. Us HHC OG’s still have to be there though to guide the next generation and give that history and context. So Im actually coming back full fledged lately. Truly just one of my gigs is enough to consume the average person 25/8 so I get little sleep and often am dealing with several convos and projects at once with HHC sometimes I laugh at what some call “stress” “hustle” or “workload”… As an artist theres still a lot of similar behind the scenes work to handle daily, but you need that other space to be creative and thats just not there when your handling biz all day and night. Its hard to get in the mode of writing music and being in that chill vibe to just make and create musical magic…. its 2 different spirits. So I have to depend on my team a lot to pick up the slack. The good thing is when I travel I get to perform and do my HHC work on the same trip because they are so close knit we can be more productive when we move. Its a service so we have been selfless and we have really redefined what it means to be artists and activists/organizers. Because we’ve put in work from the ground up we are credible in both without having to fake the funk. Ive been on MTV and CNN lol.
You’re always doing shows and hitting the road, who have you rocked the stage with? Mims, Tyga (Young Money), Livewire, Bleev Promo, Zion-I, Sick Wit It Records me and my artist YDMC rocked with Andre Nickatina. We also have a show coming up with Too Short then I have one with my fam A-Plus and Knobody of Hiero and Equipto, gonna be heading to NY and Boston, Seattle, ATL and possibly the Caribbean Islands soon. Lookin fwd to goin back to Asia as well.
Your always droppin new music and lots of mixtapes, what’s on the burner right now? We’re working on signing RDV to a new distribution deal and then we will just start making our catalog available to the world. We have thousands of songs as a label, imagine Wu Tang or Hiero before the 1st 5-6 records dropped, thats where we at…. As a solo artist. I just dropped “OPERATION UPGRADE “Oakland A’s” Mixtape Volume 2 hosted by DJ Luicidal, which was highly anticipated after the success of Volume 1 which came out in 2008. It is my best work yet, all my mixtapes are concept mixtapes from start to end this one has baseball/classroom theme & features some of hip hop’s elite like Akil of Jurassic 5, Rakaa from Dilated, Bizarre of D12, Z-man, Percee P (Stones Throw) just to name a few. Its available for FREE Download at http://DLabrie.com and its all over the internet just google it. Also look out for my new single “ATTITUDE” thats going to hit radio and iTunes soon and we have a special surprise remix coming, the trailer to the video is online and we’ll have the full video soon!! “ATTITUDE” is the single for my Upcoming FULL DEBUT ALBUM “MR NETW3RK” Ive been pushin this back for awhile tryna get the right situation. Its been done but u dont just give ur baby up for adoption, u raise it. Either way its worth the wait the album is like a journey thru my LIFE up to a certain point. It feaures the homies M1 (dead prez), Jacka, Zion-I, Mistah FAB, San Quinn, Nump, KDoe (RIP) and more. Im a full project artist but I have some amazing singles too. I have music for everyone because I really fuck wit everyone and everything.
You say in your bio that you made “rookie mistakes” in your journey to making music, what would you say to a rookie to help them from making the same, or even different, mistakes? Id say READ, keep your mind moving dont get stagnant theres a lot to learn, keep good company, strategize, enjoy life , and dont be a follower follow your own path, be positive, and most of all learn how to learn, that can never be taken away…Life Is Too Short!!
How can we find out more about you and listen to your music? The number 1 way is http://dlabrie.com, updated constantly, number 2 is Google DLabrie, also music is in local stores and my debut album will be on every online store in the world soon. Also facebook.com/DLabri3 and twitter.com/DLabrie for more info on RDVpromo or Rondavoux Records twitter.com/RDVpromo
Anything else u wanna add? I love u mom and to all my family and friends and people who have had my back you are appreciated!! STOP HATING, START CREATING!!
Categories: Bay Area Hip-Hop