Interview by: Stefan DiCarlo
Last weekend, the city of Miami was set ablaze by the scintillating performance of the one and only Desto Dubb at Rolling Loud 2023! The music festival’s stage became a hub of energy and excitement as the multitalented artist unleashed his captivating presence, leaving the audience in awe of his raw talent. However, this year’s performance wasn’t just about the music; it celebrated creativity in all forms. Desto Dubb, known not only for his infectious beats but also as a visionary entrepreneur, seized the moment to showcase his cutting-edge clothing brand. With an array of exclusive designs and fashion-forward pieces, the artist took the audience on an unforgettable journey, proving that his prowess extends beyond music. The electrifying synergy between his performance and the unveiling of his clothing line elevated the entire experience to new heights, solidifying Desto Dubb’s position as an iconic artist and fashion maven.
Join us as we unveil the multifaceted talent of Desto Dubb and the magic he brought to Rolling Loud 2023.
STEF: What was your introduction to Hip hop?
DESTO: My introduction into hip hop I will probably say, I’ve been listening to hip hop since before I even knew it was hip hop, you know, that was like probably one of the first music I listened to besides the earliest introduction where I felt like it influenced was “Back That Ass Up” by Juvenile, that’s when he like took over my body like whoa, that tidal wave now yeah, I need this t-shirt. I need a bandana. You know, like, Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up” whenever that dropped out. So, that was my real introduction to hip-hop.
STEF: Got it. So, was that kind of also your main inspiration for the latest album?
DESTO: Um, no but it is one of them. You know what I mean? It is one of them. I liked Juvenile, he wasn’t the biggest lyricist, but he knew how to say stuff to affect the people like you can just say back that ass up to somebody and it had a whole club just turn over and bend over so like, you know, I asked what I took from him not just the lyrics. Other inspirations are low key my latest inspiration is probably R3 Chili Man. I just like his delivery and his flow. Like my next tape, that’s the biggest inspiration.
STEF: Cool. Cool. What’s your favorite song to perform?
DESTO: My favorite song to perform is…which one hm. I got a song with my brother Caesar who’s like, “I want to be like this though. Pouring lean, like this, though.” I love coming out to that one. Or Runnin, I come out and everybody put their hands up. “I’ve been running, running, running, running, running, through a check.”
STEF: Gotta get the crowd hype.
DESTO: It gives me you know? I really feel it so, like I gotta perform some shit that represents me. And I’m really a go-getter. You know?
STEF: For sure. No, I love that. How do you feel about hip hop, and how it plays a role in society today?
DESTO: I love it. I love it. You know, I use it to my advantage all the time. One of the biggest things was when I see Young Thug wearing my shit and it actually translated into money. I love that hip-hop has a point in retail, just on top of the economy. You know what I mean?
STEF: How do you think it’s shaping the next generation? And what do you think the values that they’re pulling from the new and up-and-coming artists are?
DESTO: It’s just a good and bad mix. You know? Because it is shaping the next generation positively and it’s shaping the next generation also like not positive as well.
STEF: So like so where do you think the biggest benefits are?
DESTO: It benefits listening to hip-hop, to see how fast you can make some money.
STEF: What’s the most positive influence that hip hop has on young kids today?
DESTO: Positive inspiration. This really is whatever the artists that you like, for whatever reason, and a lot of artists are going to be good and bad. You take Nipsey’s verses, they influence people to hustle. Or you take somebody who influences people to come out of their way or show their true feelings you know, so it’s good enough. depending on the person, you know, it could be good like, Oh, they’re telling me to be true to myself, but then it could be backed away that they’re telling you to be true to yourself.
STEF: I mean, I think there’s also a big glamorization, especially recently with YNW Melly. You know, his issue that he’s been having in court for, also pushing a very non-glamorous lifestyle of being in the streets and violence. There are incidents of violence that are coming out that he raps about a lot. Do you think that’s what’s causing some of those problems?
DESTO: I’m saying. On one hand, its poetry. It’s him letting go of what he sees and what he feels on the other end is influencing people. So it’s, like, it’s good and bad because one person can see it as Oh, he took some negative became positive in other parts could just see the negative and not even see the other part of it, they just see. Oh, he’s rapping about this. Now you rap about what you used to or been around. He’s rapping about this. So I want to be like, another person is, he’s rapping about this, but he’s not about that no more. So it’s just showing where he came from.
STEF: Yeah, no that’s fair. Because you don’t always have to talk about what you’re doing now. You can also talk about what shaped you, and things that you grew up with when you’re dealing with different situations in your environment. That will shape you a certain way and change how you grew up, right? What are some of the things that have shaped you growing up and how have they made you into the person you are today?
DESTO: The lack of having. Lack of having always shaped me, not being able to have something or being able to get something that I want.
STEF: Okay, so, now coming from hip hop into clothing now, what inspired you to get into clothing?
DESTO: Not being able to afford or to get the clothes that I want, so I had to make them.
STEF: So you started stitching yourself as well?
DESTO: Stitching, yes, but just paint on shirts, all types of stuff.
STEF: So used to be like your OG creation used to be your hand, your paint, everything. What advice would you give to someone that’s either starting out in hip-hop or clothing manufacturing?
DESTO: You gotta stay consistent. And don’t be scared to put out what you create, whether it’s music or clothes. Wear it, put it out, and listen to it.
STEF: And what’s the best advice you got in either one of those facets?
DESTO: My best advice for anybody is consistency. I preach it. You gotta stay doing it every day, practice every day, whether it’s sports, retail, or music.
STEF: You’ve been open about your struggles with addiction. How’s your experience with addiction and how did it shape the brand and your hip hop and you know, your music and your art?
DESTO: In the early days, my brand was made to you know, focus on addiction. You know, like, that’s what it was built around. That was kind of like the foundation that built it.
STEF: Got it. So, you said that you wanted to use your platform to make a difference in the world. What are the issues that stand out to you that you’d want to change?
DESTO: Stop putting each other down. Stop talking about people who have less than you. I hate that because that same person might take that view of “I hate you” and go about it in different ways. Don’t talk down on people.
STEF: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
DESTO: Think about working. Yeah.
STEF: You don’t have a nice time, you don’t golf, or tennis, no?
DESTO: This is so much you guys continue to constantly be working when you’re not working. You’re thinking about more work.
STEF: So it’s just grinding 100% of the time. Got it. Any plans? Future maybe next? Three months? Six months, two years?
DESTO: Whatever. Yeah, I got a I got a fashion show. I’m doing my first-ever fashion show in New York. In September so that’s really big. You know, that’s like my next big thing
STEF: And that’s in September?
DESTO: Yeah September, that’s our first show.
STEF: What’s the five-year plan for this brand look like?
DESTO: Open up a few more retail stores in major cities.
STEF: What cities do you think you would tackle?
DESTO: Miami, New York, or Atlanta. Online those are the biggest cities where they buy stuff from
STEF: Good to see you essentially just target all your main customers already with brick and mortars. Alright, cool. What would your fans want to know about you that they wouldn’t know now?
DESTO: I always appreciate every dollar that ya’ll spend with me. Whether it’s a soda, a leaf, or a chip. Actually. They’re all the same. You spend a million you spend $1. I appreciate every penny.
STEF: Because it’s important that artists recognize that people are spending their hard-earned money to come to see you or buy your merchandise or support you in any financial way, right? Do you think that has been overlooked because there’s such a vast wealth culture?
DESTO: For the people that don’t have it yeah, but for the people that do have it, no amount of money has ever gone overlooked. You know, the people that got money, appreciate all of it, whether it’s small or big people that don’t have money think you need to make big money, so they’ll pass on a little shit to get the big shit. Where the big people at, like we need all that.
STEF: And it’s important not to lose focus on even small wins because big wins are around the corner. So, you don’t want to get rid of those small opportunities because they can be bigger than you think.
Find Desto Dubb on social media:
Awful Lot Of Cough Syrup: @coughsyrupbydestodubb
Awful Lot Of Kicks: @ThatsAAwfulLotOfKicks