EXCLUSIVE: D.R.A.M. On Pushing Positive Vibes & Unity Through His Art
Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
(AllHipHop Features) America is at a point in its history where different sides of the political spectrum continue to turn further away from each other. Hip Hop’s role in illuminating voices that tell truth to power is more vital than ever, but the culture has also accepted the important mandate of bringing different groups together under the umbrella of artistic expression.
It's necessary that some emcees focus on that first task of speaking out for people without a national platform. Since music does have the power to influence the masses, that second function of Hip Hop helps move society forward as well.
Shelley Marshaun Massenburg-Smith’s brand of artistry is centered around the idea of uniting listeners through his collection of tunes. Known professionally as D.R.A.M., the Hampton, Virginia native says he is experiencing the power of inclusivity on his current tour.
“It’s so many different races, ages, and walks of life that come out to a D.R.A.M. show. That whole thing, in general, is crazy because it’s not really a segregated type of fan base,” the Grammy nominee tells AllHipHop.com. “We’re on some whole world wide type of sh-t. I’m very happy about that.”
“The Big Baby D.R.A.M. Tour” is a point of pride for the “Broccoli” rhymer. He refers to the international headlining trek as “special” and “different.” Every night a band hits the stage with D.R.A.M. as the crowd gets to hear live renditions of songs from his debut eponymous album.
The 14-track LP is a cohesive melding of Rap, Soul, Pop, and Funk. After listening to cuts such as “Monticello Ave” and “WiFi,” it's not difficult to recognize the influence of several generations worth of musicians on the Big Baby D.R.A.M. project.
D.R.A.M. has always been very conscious about tipping his hat to Parliament-Funkadelic for being one of the most impactful acts on his style. When confronted with addressing the thought of being that same type of symbol for one of his fans, the 28-year-old vocalist offered a reflective response.
“I think that’s the beauty of it all. That’s the full circle part of it. I think that’s the reason why we do it,” D.R.A.M. states. “I’m just forever grateful that someone could find inspiration through me.”
With a collaborative EP alongside R&B legend Erykah Badu in the works, D.R.A.M.’s mission of advancing good vibrations is continuing beyond the tour. The performer - whose stage name stands for “Does. Real. Ass. Music.” - is pushing through his own daily troubles to promote positive moments for audiences that appreciate his work.
“I just want to keep the good vibes going,” says D.R.A.M. “I’m a grown man. Every day I go through ups and downs just like the next person, but this is still a representation of what you want out of things.”
He adds, “I don’t give out the good vibes to get them back in return. I like to be liked and I like being around people that I like. I feed off the good energy. If you approach the situation with love and positivity, nine times out of ten, it comes right back to you.”
For more information about “The Big Baby D.R.A.M. Tour” visit BigBabyDram.com.
Stream the Big Baby D.R.A.M. album below via Spotify.