“This is My Lifestyle…”
While circumventing conventional ways to earn cash, Detroit’s Dusty McFly’s entrepreneurial passion encouraged him to push the line. Reared within a callous environment, where the economy’s bolstered by extinguished and caged souls, his familial-enriched psyche tangled with that of a hustler’s perspective. Knowing right, and living right, were daily mocked by the American caste-system; harrowing rites-of-passage were experienced.
Having won the lottery and hit 25 years, Dusty McFly, is fully-invested into an emerging music career. Fleez, still surrounds himself with his day-ones with whom, he’s established over a decade of respect and loyalty. The surprisingly humble rapper celebrated his quarter-century achievement in, New York City at Manhattan’s Benihana restaurant. The familiar turf provided a welcoming ambiance for the dual birthday / Buffies & Benihanas 2 mixtape release party. It was here the Atlantic Records signee spoke candidly with AllHipHop.com:
AllHipHop.com: You’ve said, “These cars, clothes, and jewelry don’t mean nothing if you don’t got respect.” As a man and as a musician, have your actions earned you respect from your peers and your public?
Dusty McFly: You know, I came up in the streets and paid my dues. All the money in the world that you have does not earn respect. You can be a super-millionaire, but if you’re not respected—for what you do or for the type of person you are—then it really doesn’t mean anything. Money is nothing; it’s just for personal gain. The real happiness is your family loving you and your friends respecting you. Anybody can make some money. Anybody can hit the lottery. Anybody can out and sell drugs; or, do anything to make money. It’s just not respected. Just because you have the jewelry and the cars doesn’t mean you’re respected. You have to earn respect. Having those things is just a privilege and a blessing. You don’t earn respect by having those things. I’ve earned mine.
AllHipHop.com: In the midst of fortifying your financial future, if you’re motivated by money how do you balance your hustler’s mentality while maintaining your morality? Do you have a magic number that once you achieve you’ll feel financially secure?
Dusty McFly: In the music business and the Rap game it’s hard to do that. I feel like me investing in myself as an artist, and how I used to do before I was introduced to a major label—put on a major platform—investing into myself was big for me. For me to do that on my own that was a big accomplishment on my behalf. I have a balance, but you know the rappers, you like to rock ice. My glasses are $2,500 but with ice they’re $5,000. So, people be like, ‘You’re wearing some $5,000 glasses?’
This is a part of me. This is a part of my brand. This is my lifestyle. I’m not doing this for Rap. I’ve been wearing these before I was a rapper. I had people in my family wearing these before I was a rapper. It’s more so of a lifestyle thing. I’ve never been that type of dude, that I was a follower, that I would do and go buy things because of someone else’s opinion. If I strictly like it, if it’s going to please me, if I want to have it I’ll get it. But if not, that’s what it is. in my mixtape I have a lot of references to stacking money and hustling—that’s my whole brand—hustling. I also have references in my CD of, ‘stack your money up; don’t always splurge.’ Of course you’re going to splurge; we all got that in us. We buy things that we like. You got to be disciplined. A billion! That’s a magic number. I feel like I can be comfortable with a billion. You know, but I really don’t have a magic number. I just want to grind and be happy and do what I want to do.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve candidly stated, “I make music to raise awareness of the environment in which we live in.” The Buffies & Benihanas series is a symbolic reflection of where you started to where you’ve worked to get. How are you challenging yourself to ensure that your voice speaks for the have-nots but art continues to grow; what youthful habits and tendencies did you release to allow your current perspective to evolve?
Dusty McFly: Well, I challenge myself all the time. I try to dibble-and-dabble into new things all the time. As far as the music business, I like to expand my music and not just do the average thing that people expect me to do. Everybody looks at me as a Trap rapper—honestly I’m a storyteller. I tell the story of the Detroit youth—the people that are from my generation. I just feel like that’s what I’m am; that’s what I’m about.
Man, a lot! The music business is completely different than the streets. I’m from the streets and even like now, I haven’t blown out a cake for my birthday in years, I don’t even hang around people like that unless it’s family. Doing things like this is new to me. I’m learning; I didn’t think I could do this. I didn’t think I could build we people or talk to people and tell them my life. I prefer to put my thoughts on beats and let you hear them. You know, it’s challenging but I think I’ve got the hang of it. That’s the difference, me coming from the streets and not dealing with a lot of people—having the paranoia from the street things that I’ve participated in—you know, it’s just different, but I feel like I’ve came a long way from there.
AllHipHop.com: If you were primarily raised by women who and or what taught you how to be a man?
Dusty McFly: Honestly, I was raised by my mom, but there were a lot of male influences. I’m not disconnected from my father. I still talk to my father. It’s just that he’s not in my life like a father would usually be for his son. I definitely talk to my father and I had other male influences in my life. I have a pretty big family. My uncles were there. I had a good family foundation to show me how to be a man. That’s how I became the man I am today.
AllHipHop.com: If every truth is violently opposed, ridiculed, or accepted as self-evident then what truths about the music business have been the most challenging and most evident?
Dusty McFly: The most challenging thing in the music business is getting people to commit to being loyal fans. Committing to your music and understanding your movement –that’s probably the most challenging for me. The lifestyle that you see the rapper’s having is the most evident. The girls, the jewelry—everything that’s seen with being a rapper is the most evident. I got that, too. I knew that part was coming. The girls—I knew I wanted to have nice jewelry like a rapper.
“Thank you for supporting me. Go out and download my mixtape. Check me out at Dusty McFly TV on YouTube and Dusty McFly on Twitter. And I appreciate AllHipHop.com for coming out. We had a good interview…” – Dusty McFly