Desto Dubb might boast one of the most compelling stories in Hip-Hop, one that inspires, motivates, and reminds the masses that they too can make their wildest dreams come true.
Coming from Watts, Desto Dubb started out as a hustler and hype man before stepping into entrepreneurship. He’s best known for his extremely popular streetwear brand called That’s A Awful Lot of Cough Syrup, which gained momentum during the pandemic. Within a few months, Desto went from selling hoodies out of his van in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles to now owning two retail stores across the city.
This crossover Desto has been able to build across both Hip-Hop and high-fashion/streetwear culture is definitely one that does not go unnoticed. Every big rapper has rocked his brand from Young Thug to Lil Uzi to the late Drakeo The Ruler, leading to his successful debut of his brand at NYFW and LAFW this year!
Somehow, Desto still finds time to be a rapper himself. Most recently, he unveiled his new song “Dead Homies,” in collaboration with Veeze.
AllHipHop spoke with Desto Dubb to discuss the growing success of his clothing brand, new release with Veeze, relationship with Mariah The Scientist, an update on Thug, and more!
AllHipHop: Congrats on 5 years of your clothing brand That’s A Awful Lot Of Cough Syrup. Did you ever think you’d have this thriving clothing brand?
Desto Dubb: Oh no. When I was younger, I used to think being successful was having a couple of thousand in your bank account. I now own 12 cars and three houses. I’m feeling good right now.
AllHipHop: 12?! How do you even park them all?
Desto Dubb: I bought a few of my cars from West Coast Customs. I keep five cars up there and four at home and a few others at my locations. I allow my team to use a car too, if need be.
AllHipHop: How was it debuting your clothing brand at New York Fashion Week?
Desto Dubb: NYFW was crazy, it was a learning experience. I went out there and I learned a lot. It was a whole new thing. I’ve been swimming in the pool my whole life, I finally jumped in the ocean. It’s a lot of different sharks and fishes out there than what we’re used to.
AllHipHop: What was the biggest learning lesson?
Desto Dubb: I’m a hustler so when I think of clothes, I’m thinking about what I can sell. I enjoy making something I can ultimately sell in the market. In New York, most designers make stuff they don’t want to sell. They don’t want you to have their clothes. I met so many different designers that don’t even have their own clothing line, they’re just designing stuff. With this mindset, who are you doing it for?
To me, as a great designer and stylist, whatever you sell has to be appealing to the general population or majority of the people that want to buy. Now, if you’re making something for yourself and don’t plan to sell it, then ask yourself what is the MO? Why are you making it? You don’t always have to design clothes for people. You can make it for you, but this shouldn’t be the main focus of your brand. This is the biggest learning experience I’ve come across lately.
AllHipHop: That’s what you did for Thug though, right? You made him custom pieces.
Desto Dubb: Yeah. But again, I made it so he can wear it. That was the MO: I have this brand, I have this artist. He only wants to wear stuff that’s custom to him, so that’s what I’m making it for. These people are sitting up in their houses, making clothes that probably won’t ever be seen on other people like Thug.
AllHipHop: No Jumper is opening a flagship store next to yours on Melrose Ave. Can you touch on that?
Desto Dubb: I have a shoe store, That’s A Awful Lot Of Kicks. It was a little bit too much for me. I would have $4K shoes and ended up selling them for a low price. It really didn’t make sense to me. I overheard Adam talking about how he’d love to be back on the block. I told him hey, I got a spot for you. You can rent it and be right next to me. My store is already located on one of the biggest blocks on Melrose, it’s like putting Shaq and Kobe on the same team. Make it even bigger.
AllHipHop: Y’all are doing a podcast too, right?
Desto Dubb: Yes, I’m a co-host with Adam22 on NoJumper! We’re gonna be streaming here and there from the store. It’s really a gift shop for their fans to come to a hub and connect with the people that’s behind the scenes.
AllHipHop: Your day is probably really hectic. How do you still find the time to do music?
Desto Dubb: The music part is honestly super simple. It depends on the day. If I have a busy business day, I’m not recording. If I have a big day as an artist — then yes recording makes sense. The other day, I was with Fenix and Bravo. I met with my other homie from Houston, Lil Jairmy. Having motion like this, oh I gotta get in the studio because I have a crazy day to rap about.
Most of the time, towards the weekend when business lines cut off, I crave out time to be creative. Do I want to be creative and create some pieces for my clothing line? Do I want to create content for my Instagram? Do I want to be creative and make a song? I’m always creating something
For me, music is really about the vibe. I could go inside the studio and make five songs. If I’m not vibed out, I’m not gon’ really think the songs are fire. It‘s based on deposits, people wearing my brand or the energy I’m around. I can either create some fire pieces, or I can use my energy to make a fire song.
AllHipHop: What were you on recording “Dead Homies”? What’s your relationship with Veeze?
Desto Dubb: One day, Veeze came by my old apartment to chill before he had to do something later. Producer Thank You Fizzle was with us, making some beats. Veeze was doing some freestyling in his head. We’re like man, you gotta hop on it. He came up with the hook first. He did the verse and we went crazy from there. Right within that moment, we made two of the hardest songs we have ever done.
I’ve known Veeze for a long time, around five years. It’s great seeing him getting his flowers for the hard work he’s put in.
AllHipHop: What inspired the song?
Desto Dubb: “Dead Homies’ is a west coast banger. Everybody be on some pay to play. Trick daddy this, tricky that. My homies and I are like, I’ll never love someone over the dead homies. Dead homies is the ending of the sentence, a catchy phrase you hear tossed around the streets. For instance, I’ll never go broke on the dead homies or I’ll never love a trick girl over the dead homies, and so forth.
AllHipHop: Best memory from “Bankteller” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, and O3 Greedo?
I invited Greedo over one day because I was hanging out with Lil Pump at the time and he wanted to meet him. It was the last day before Greedo went to jail. I called him like, ‘hey Greedo, what you on? Pull up, we in Beverly Hills. We got a 3-story mansion. I got the McLaren and the Ghost.’
When Greedo pulled up, he’s like “man, I just got off the phone with Lil Uzi. He wants to pull up too.” We ended up recording the song. I knew my role. I’m not someone who jumps on every song but this was different. Pump did a verse, then Greedo did one. Uzi eventually pulled up and hopped on the track with a verse too. The rest was history from there.
AllHipHop: Did you feel pressure?
Desto Dubb: For sure, but I’m the bench player. You waiting for that one call.. [knocks] Ooh, I can’t wait to go out and show what I can do. [knocks] Oh, you want me? Let’s go! I did that verse. Purp came over, he did the verse. However, the biggest moment came year or so later. Uzi called me like, “Hey, what up? Remember that song we did? You want to drop it?” Hell yeah I want to drop it! “Okay, we gon’ send it to you. Just drop it.” The song was a hit.
AllHipHop: You got a favorite collab you’ve done musically?
Desto Dubb: I love the songs I have with Ralfy The Plug. Me and Ralfy make good music together. I have a lot of songs with him because we used to work together so much. I would relisten to the old mixtapes and discover collabs I didn’t realize we did. Like, I didn’t know he put Greedo on this, or Drakeo on that. This is how Ralfy is. We used to just go to the studio. When he called me, I’m at the studio. There was a time when I was heavy in the studio. My plan was to make money during the day selling clothes, and go to the studio every night. They knew if they called me, they could get a verse or two in. We went to whatever studio we had access to, and created chemistry for hours.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Desto Dubb: Loose Leaf, water, and gas. If I don’t have those three, I won’t even have a mic. Of course, there’s other things that’s needed. If I pull up to the studio and I don’t have nothing to roll up with or nothing to roll, or if there’s no water, I’m not going to be my best.
AllHipHop: I ran into you at Mariah The Scientist’s album listening. What’s your relationship with her?
Desto Dubb: Slime’s my best friend. Anytime Mariah comes to LA, he calls me and says, “Hey, make sure she’s straight.” It’s what I’ve always done. This was before he went to jail. When she was out here, he’d always call me like, “Whatever you need.” I’ll say let me know, I’ll do it for you. Even after he went to jail, we kept the relationship. Mariah’s good friends with my wife and she knows my daughter. She personally invited us to her album listening party. My wife loves her, but I look at her like a sister.
AllHipHop: How’s Thug doing?
Desto Dubb: He’s in good spirits. He’s been working out and getting in shape.
AllHipHop: Best part of fatherhood?
Desto Dubb: Getting my daughter dressed every morning. I’m starting to see her pick up her own style. She wants to wear what she wants. Recently, she has been into girly clothes, like blouses. I’m like what you’re doing? I’m over here getting her the Bape sweets and Chrome Hearts but she wants to wear a little Fashionnova two-piece.
AllHipHop: Anything else you’re excited for? Any goals?
Desto Dubb: I’m excited to end this year strong. I’m excited for the growth of my team. Next year, I want to open up a new store. I’m excited for No Jumper being on the Melrose Ave block. I’m not trying to get any happier, I’m not trying to get any more sad. I’ll be right here creating and I want to go into the next year with all of my friends, employees, and family.
Sometimes you can have too much fun and next thing you know, it’s all over. I have a lot of exciting new projects and exclusive drops coming! The hustle never ends.