(AllHipHop Feature) The state of Ohio is riding high right now. The prodigal son LeBron James is returning home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the drafting of Johnny Manziel is bringing attention back to the Browns. With the sports side of the Buckeye state gaining steam, rising rapper Dub-O is looking to help shine a light on Ohio’s musical talent as well.
The member of Machine Gun Kelly’s EST 19XX imprint is taking a step forward toward that goal with the brand new Zac Facts’ directed video for “Doing Numbers.” The clip off his Old Lights New Lights EP. Dub-O is also giving his fans more exclusive content with the release of a BitTorrent Bundle featuring songs, videos, merchandise coupons, and lyric sheets from 2013’s Do I Know You mixtape.
While Old Lights New Lights is Dub-O’s first official EP, he has been influenced by music his entire life. Dub grew up in a family of gospel singers, and later tried his hand at recording raps when he was about 16 years old. It was a close friend that encouraged the young rhymer to lay his vocals down on wax.
“Actually rapping was just another hobby like playing basketball, kicking it with my friends, having fun in the house,” says Dub. “Once my friend introduced me to instrumentals and freestyles, he said ‘Why don’t you rap something.’ I liked hearing myself. I liked hearing the cool things I could do with my voice.”
The home studio would spark another important moment in Dub’s life. His relationship with Machine Gun Kelly was also born from a random session in the lab.
“Me and Kelly linked through a mutual friend, a homie of mine named Lil Mike. Him and Kelly ended up going to the same school,” explains Dub. “Mike brought him to the studio house in the hood. They were working on a project in school that had something to do with music. That’s where I first met him. Then him, me, and my little brother Slim just started kicking it on the daily. One thing led to another as far as the music, and now we’re here.”
Fast forward to 2014 and Dub-O is now putting in hard work to spread his music to as many people as possible. The BitTorrent Bundle package provided a great opportunity for Dub to connect with consumers in an unconventional way. According to him, the partnership has been a win for him and his supporters.
“It was just a cool connection. It was an idea from my homie Jos. I hadn’t collaborated with anybody on anything yet. This is only my second project. The idea was brought to them, and they were just as excited as I was. I think they helped us get to number 22 on iTunes with that,” says Dub. “When you do stuff like the bundle package [the fans] feel special. There’s a big, big difference when you’re interactive with your fans, so I try to be as much as I can. I don’t think too many artists are doing things like that. They’re just dropping a mixtape like, ‘Here you go fans.’ But when you put sprinkles on that cupcake, they appreciate that more and keeps them more involved with you.”
Dub-O’s future could also include signing the dotted line with a major label, but he is committed to building his brand through an independent hustle first. Dub cites as his inspiration another indie performer that has managed to work his way to the Forbes list.
“I would love to see any offers [from major labels] in the future. More so, I’m feeling that Tech N9ne formula. He has no major label, and he’s doing better than the majority of rappers that are signed,” Dub says. “That’s how I feel this ‘G4G (Guilty For Grinding) Tour‘ is right now. We’re not really working with no budgets. It’s all independent. We’re going to make it work. So then we know what we can do when a major label offers. We know what upper hand we got.”
For now, Dub is keenly focused on his projects, concerts, and EST 19XX crew, and when his run is complete, his next goal is to spur other artists to live out their dreams as well.
“Besides getting all my music out, I just want to empower our label. I really want to help build the EST 19XX,” says Dub-O. “I just want to build the label and get them out there like how Cash Money got Baby and Wayne – and make our music tight to help present quality music.”
Dub-O will be appearing at the “EST Fest 2014: The Year Of The Circus” along with Machine Gun Kelly, Juvenile, Nipsey Hussle, and more. The festival is scheduled for July 31 – August 3 in Garrettsvile, Ohio. For more information visit est-fest.com.
Download Dub-O’s Old Lights New Lights EP on iTunes.
[ALSO CHECK OUT: New EST 19XX Member Dub-O Drops Video for “DOPE”]
Watch the AllHipHop.com premiere of Dub-O’s “Doing Numbers” video featuring Ray Jr. and download the BitTorrent Bundle below.