In Conversation: Emerging from ‘Murky Waters’ Akron Rapper and Beatmaker Dawg9000’s Self-Refinement Sets Stage for Soundscape “Beyond Reproach”

Dawg9000 portrait shot by yesfatherken

My first encounter with dawg9000 happened late one night in Brooklyn, as a group of artists and showgoers killed time before the opening sets of JLVSN’s curated “Bars and Rec” show back in 2018. The venue’s backyard became littered with the likes of MAVI, Stack Skrilla, as well as Left Lane Didon and Jay NiCE of Immobiliare as casual conversation and weed smoke created connectivity. From a tap on my shoulder, accompanied by a blunt he’d just finished rolling and sparking, the distinctive voice of Akron’s dawg9000 first entered my ears, offering his backwood and friendship in the same way we once did as kindergarteners with a simple ‘What’s your name?’

“I’m Justin, but I go by Murky this is my first time in New York,” he told me. Equipped with an old digital camcorder, Murky focused his lens capturing each part of his first experience in Gotham. Filming the electricity of the live performances and unbending crowd control of No Fvce and Nephew Hesh’s beat sets, before gracing the stage himself. Directing the camera on me during an intermission he asked, “What do you got to tell the people bro?” I responded to him almost involuntarily saying, “There’s a lot of things going on in life right now, a bunch of different things happening at once. I can only experience as much as I can experience and give it to you from that perspective.”

That quote, while it freely flew from my subconscious, perfectly describes the feeling I’ve gotten while listening to dawg9000’s music over the years. Him being both an artist and producer it’s immediately undeniable how much of his own experience and emotion crafts each piece of any record he has contributed to. He told me, “I’d rather not put anything out than something I don’t fuck with,” on the first of our phone interviews. This is felt every time you press play on one of dawg9000’s tracks. Whether it’s listening to a snippet of something he’s cooked up on Koala or the multiple chops and irritations of a single sample to find the key sounds that creates an opus on Ableton such as “Daylight Savings“, his murky waters (a former moniker) produced beat on MAVI’s Let the Sun Talk.

His last full length project, an album titled Refreshed presents an imperceptible image of dawg9k over 12 tracks, accumulating bits of perspective as the album goes on. we gleam some wisdom from the slower death march on a track like “6 feet” opening with, “Gentle with the wood, like my women’s cat// I bust up out the tomb with all the gold like nigga gimme dat.” We learn even more from a song like “longevity ft. p” that reflects the Bikini Bottom jellyfish dance jam with raps set behind a bubbly loop and vocal effects that make dawg sound 15 years younger as he spits, “21 years old, but be feelin’ 48 // I think niggas try to use me a lot of y’all use the term ‘brother’ too loosely”. 

Since the release of Refreshed in 2019 dawg has been working on accumulating more perspective, experience and becoming “beyond reproach”. Producing tracks and projects for friends and collaborators like Kent, Ohio’s Visual and San Antonio by way of Harlem rapper yngHarlem‘s MURKEP. His follow up to Refreshed comes in the form of va fangool[i]. A first edition of a project he’s currently working on. The description for the single tracked project stating, “thank u for listening. this is part of my soul in 12 minutes.” The intro is head spinning, and gives a brief informal introduction before the guest vocals of Chris go off over dawg’s bellowing loop, “Usually they play music while they dying// this is what you signed up fo’ somebody’s momma crying”. Dawg then takes over the rest of the way. The project delves into loss, grief and anguish, while remaining steadfast on what Justin hopes to get out of music and life saying, “Type of money fo’ real // how you paying yo bills // shittin me I pray to God, then I run to a scale”. The project’s title which translates to “Go Fuck Yourself” feels like a response directed at the pressures and traumas of the world. “I’m worried bout my momma and the drama that this life breeds…Niggas war with God, might drop Jihad just to feel free.” 

(Refreshed album artwork, dawg9000)

I talked with dawg9000 twice. Our first conversation happened in early December and our most recent a few months after va fangool[i]’s initial release. Set for a re-release with additional tracks, guest features and some refinement to the production va fangool[i] is being crafted the same as all dawg9000 music. Extremely well and with purpose. Our conversation(s) edited for brevity and clarity:

The Following is from Our December (2020) Conversation

GSC: Can you speak to what it’s like growing up in Akron?

Dawg9000: It’s better than most places I go to. Stuff is a lot more predictable. In terms of geography, the weather, demographically. You know where you are and shit like that. Compared to places like California, you don’t know where you are unless you know somebody from there.

GSC: Do you plan on leaving?

Dawg9000: Yeah, as soon as I get proper funding.

GSC: Where do you think you want to go?

Dawg9000: Probably like the DMV or Canada. That’s like if I get money in my 20s. After that I want to move far far away. The DMV is a close hop and skip from New York. Probably a few hour drive. Funny enough I’ve never even been to the DMV. 

GSC: Does Akron feel like a big city?

Dawg9000: It’s big but it’s not big. Cleveland reminds me of a fake New York, it’s big and kind of unpredictable. Cleveland has a better atmosphere for what I am doing, but I like the layout of Akron better. Things can get tweaky but I feel like you have a better sense of people here than in Cleveland.

GSC:  What about the music scene?

Dawg9000: There’s a bunch of people who do different shit. It’s not as unified with people making a similar sound like in other places. 

GSC: Does that make it difficult to collaborate with people if everyone is doing something different, or does it still work out with people mixing genres and sound?

Dawg9000: I feel like it would be possible, but for me personally it doesn’t ever work out. I have a lot of people I make music with but those are my real friends. I have some people that hit me up around here, to work on shit, or buy beats off me, but not necessarily something I feel really passionate about.

GSC: Are you mostly sending beats out through email or are you getting a good amount of friends to pull up on you and make stuff?

Dawg9000: Probably 60/40.

GSC: When I first started recording songs I would record with my friend Jasper who doesn’t make music. I would go over to his house, just for the company, setting, and to get his passive feedback while recording. Do you feel it’s helpful having someone to work with you?

Dawg9000: It depends. I’ve had mad fun making music with people who know me. When I’m just making something around people and they start rapping over the beat I’m making, stuff like that is when it’s the most fun for me.

GSC: You use Koala and Ableton for a lot of the beats you post. I was wondering about your preference for those DAWs and your process in going from rapping to producing? 

Dawg9000: I started rapping and then I started making beats because people wouldn’t give me beats. In like 2015 I was in my freshman year of college and started making beats on FL Studio. Most of those beats were ass. 

GSC: And how did it progress?

Dawg9000: I got Ableton. I knew about Ableton when I had FL but I couldn’t get it. Once I found a crack I started making more interesting stuff in my opinion.

GSC: My first time listening to your music gave a lot of inspiration for different things I wanted to include in what I was making. I was wondering what your motivation was transitioning from a fan of hip-hop to writing your own raps, to making your own beats. 

Dawg9000: They lowkey two separate things. I still feel a way about one compared to the other. But the rapping shit just started with writing stuff in my notebook. And I showed my friend Kenny, and he told me I should really make songs so I did, and it was what it was. But then I started making beats, and I was like ‘I can just rap over these’. And the more I got into making beats the better I wanted them to sound and shit like that. Actually making beats opened up more doors for me to meet more people. Honestly I feel like if it was just for the bars I wouldn’t know as many people.

GSC: I went back to the oldest track still up on your Soundcloud page temporary, which sounds similar to the music you’re making now just without any of the refinement or practice that’s evident on more recent beats like ups n downs 2020-09-16–00.39.52.wav. With how much you progressed, is it still difficult to make beats?

Dawg9000: Yeah. For some reason the more I learn the harder shit gets. I feel like I think about shit too much, or I know too many ways to even do shit that I get stuck and don’t even do it. It’s really like a day to day thing, for some days it’s there. Some days it’s not.

(dawg9thizzy, self timed)

GSC: For your own beats that you rap over, is it predetermined which one’s you’re going to use compared to one’s for other purposes?

Dawg9000: It’ll usually happen as I’m making the beat. I’ll hear some shit and then start writing to it. And then stop writing for a long time and come back to it. Then it’ll be on a different beat by that time. 

GSC: Do you feel what you write is more about self-expression or an attempt to be understood? Does it feel self-therapeutic in a sense or is it more about having people hear how you feel?

Dawg9000: That therapeutic feeling comes more so in terms of beats. I find it hard to create that type of atmosphere so I try to force myself to express to compensate for that. I usually feel like I’m over expressing, instead of trying to convey some emotion niggas can feel instead of hear.

GSC: I feel like the difficulty of combining having that “feeling” with your own truth and self-expression, while saying it in a unique enough way to be considered “good” is what makes it hard coming to work everyday.

Dawg9000: Especially with self-expression. I see people drop shit all the time And I be feeling like, ‘Damn I can’t even drop one tape in four months’. But I’d rather have nothing out than some shit I don’t fuck with.

GSC: I wanted to ask about working with JLVSN, some of those songs [1] [2] [3] you have together are the first songs I heard from you. I was interested in how that relationship started.

Dawg9000:I got introduced to JLVSN because he was making beats and a friend told me he had a place to make music. So I go over there and he played some shit that was hard as fuck. He stayed right around where I live now. It was on from there, bro was just cool. He moved to New York and invited me up there. That was my only real reason for being in New York.

GSC: I was wondering what other creative lanes you’re interested in if any?

Dawg9000: One day if I have enough money to play with, I want to refurbish samplers. Fixing old MPCs and SPs. Even upgrading and enhancing them. I would even fuck with building a DAW or working in some type of field like that. 

GSC: I’ve seen you reference that a few times. Is getting some form of job with Ableton part of the “end goal”.

Dawg9000: Definitely is. I just have to put in more time. Get way colder. I know certain people get sponsored, but if it was easy everyone would do it. 

GSC: You mentioned college briefly earlier, did you go to college for anything music related?

Dawg9000: Nope. If I did, I probably wouldn’t have dropped out. I went for psychology and left after the first semester. I didn’t like any of the people there, I didn’t like school. I went back a couple years later and the same thing happened. Not as bad, I just didn’t like school. Next time I go I’ll have a set plan get my shit [diploma] and get out.

GSC: Something related to psychology/academic based or–

Dawg9000: No, no, no. Working with audio production, and probably some type of business marketing. I’ve seen people who started making beats the same time as me that I went to school with, who went to school for audio production and they’ve gotten internships and different opportunities and resources through school. 

GSC: You spoke about it a little when you said the music scene is disjointed in Akron. You also mentioned working with people sometimes but mostly just sending beats out. Do you feel like it’s important to have a community in order to continue your growth?

Dawg9000: Yeah. I performed at two shows you were at in New York at Bars and Rec and Halfmoon BK. Both weren’t my best shows but they had a great community aspect to it. I also did a show a year ago at Satellite Syndicate with Ade Hakim, Theravada, and Lamb Rabbit. A community definitely helps.

GSC: I wanted to ask you about performing. You’ve done beat sets and rap shows in Akron and New York. Can you tell me about that?

Dawg9000:  There’re a lot of cool people that be on the same shit out in New York. You’ll have a bunch of people freestyling over your beats that sound like Mach Hommy or Westside Gunn. Out in Akron people freestyle like Joyner Lucas or SpaceGhostPurpp. In Cleveland I do a show called BeatFreak out of Brittany’s Record Shop, with people just playing beats and rapping. In Akron people who have the facilities to do these things are more concerned about if you pay. In Cleveland it’s the OG’s throwing the shows. People who’ve been making beats before I even knew what a beat was. At the record shop you can just come. This dude who I discovered BeatFreak from through an instagram flyer, posted a video of his daughter in diapers playing with his beatpad. She was making some dope shit. That’s the kind of thing I want to be able to do.

GSC: That’s dope. I was speaking in these interviews a lot about knowing where you’re from helping you to know where you’re going. And it sounds like his daughter already has some sense of where she’s from, already going in that direction. Are there musical influences in your family? 

Dawg9000: My brother for real. Both my parents too because they listen to R&B and old soul music, but my brother was the first person who introduced me to MF DOOM, OutKast and all that. Then after that was functioning, me and my friends trying to listen to all the new music, finding new songs. Just wanting to be the nigga that had all the slaps.

GSC: I noticed you speak on the idea of “freedom” and the places where you feel free, and places where you don’t. I’m wondering what freedom looks like to you or what you’re hoping to break free of.

Dawg9000: The older I get, I don’t know the real answer to that. I feel like my real definition of freedom is sitting on a porch rocker like Thanos and looking over a fat piece of land that nobody else owns.

GSC: Isolation? 

Dawg9000: Unfortunately that is kind of what I see as freedom. Like if you would’ve asked me a few years ago, I probably would’ve said ‘being away from all the white people’. But everybody lowkey sucks.

GSC: Not everybody who looks like you, are your people.

Dawg9000: And lowkey everyone wants to be white people. So I just want to be in the company of MY people. The people I pick, and they’ll know where to find me.

GSC: Who are artists you’re looking forward to working with?

Dawg9000: Hopefully, I got some time to sit and work with myself. Rappers, I want to work with Amir Bilal for sure. I just want to hear him on some of my beats. 

GSC: Does videography still hold your interest? I feel like that’s the most important medium for directly getting your perspective out. 

Dawg9000: For a while it did. It’s a lot of technical shit, it’s kind of hard to get the vision out. Actually I’d love to work on a TV show, on some writing shit or even to make my own. I hate to say it but on some Atlanta shit. I watched a 10 minute making of this season of the Eric Andre show, and I’m just like man how do I get a job there? Just writing what’s in your head.

GSC: Future projects and or flip tapes or beat tapes?

Dawg9000: I want to say like a whole shit.  Probably like the best one yet that’s why it don’t exist yet because it’s still a work in progress.  If not I’ll probably drop a beat tape. 

GSC: You have a lot of flips from artists I can tell you listen to often like Los, Veeze, and Babyface Ray. Does inspiration for flips come while you’re listening to music? 

Dawg9000: Yeah, it does. I want to hear Roc Marci and Babyface Ray over a Top$ide track. If there can be a Boldy, Kasher Quon, TeeJayx6 and Lonnie song over an Alchemist beat, there can be a Babyface Ray and Roc Marci track they talk about the same shit.

GSC: What I like most about your music is it speaks to a shared emotion or experience I’ve never tried to describe. And the first time relating to an artist like that is powerful.

Dawg9000: To be honest that’s why I fuck with MIKE. He be saying things I’m thinking about while I’m on my way home from work, but could never put on paper.

The Following is From Our March Conversation

GSC: Why the title va fangool[i]

Dawg9000: I got it from the Sopranos. The project isn’t really inspired from the Sopranos. But, I just felt like that’s the general idea I wanted to give off. A big ‘fuck off’ type thing. Not in a bad way, in a positive way. Like on some ‘fuck off, I’m on a mission’. Which may hurt some feelings but it’s not about you.

GSC: What do you feel like the biggest differences are from Refreshed to va fangool[i]?

Dawg9000: I’m working on it now, but the production on Refreshed is really good in my opinion. It’s not going to sound quite like that, but hopefully it’s going to be a lot more mature. More concise. Hopefully it’ll have more signified features than just one. I fucked with the feature on it, but I want to have multiple moments not just one. 

(va fangool[i] album artwork, dawg9000)

GSC: What do you mean by moments?

Dawg9000: This nigga Earl said it best, when he was describing how he made DNA. When you make some shit with somebody else, especially if it’s in person, getting that moment of enjoyment, entertainment, and love of it creates a pure energy. And that turns into an awesome product. That’s what I’m looking for in my music. There won’t be too many features. Just a sprinkle.

GSC: So you’re still continuing to work on it adding more moments?

Dawg9000: Yeah I’m working on it right now.

GSC: Besides cleaning up production what else do you feel like it’s missing for you?

Dawg9000: Just inspiration for rapping. Just that feeling, I can write some stuff at any time but sometimes the shit writes itself. And that’s what I’m waiting for but I’m also not trying to rush it because I don’t feel any need to rush it. I also need to start reading more.

GSC: What do you usually read? 

Dawg9000: Usually something about some black shit. I was thinking that the other day, I need to read something without the word “negro” in it.

GSC: Do you ever read any manga?

Dawg9000: Yeah I just read all of Attack on Titan. That definitely inspired some bars. And it was definitely a glorious week and a half. I didn’t even want to read all of Attack on Titan, I was just thirsty. 

GSC: Why the name change from Murky to Dawg9000

Dawg9000: It’s way easier to search up. Murky Waters, Murk Dawg9000, Murk Mane, Murk Franklin, and so Murk Dawg9000 didn’t look as good, I just dropped the “Murk”.

GSC:  Between Refreshed and va fangool[i] the things you’re saying have felt even more personal. va fangool[i] has some similar themes to Refreshed but the way you’re expressing them feels very new. Is that conscious?

Dawg9000: Yeah, that’s something I’m trying to be conscious of. I wanted to be a lot more impressive with the words. Because it’s too easy to get lumped up in a box. I’m not even going to say anybody’s name, because everybody knows what the box is. And it’s really hard for me because I’ll sit here and try to think of something to write, meanwhile I’m making a really good beat.  Or I could be around some people spitting some shit, and when I do that it has a completely different cadence and subject. So I wanted a nice median between what’s natural and my formal writing. When I’m just in the groove it’s a lot better. 

GSC: Going back through this project I always hear something in a new way from a previous listen. You mentioned wanting to be more impressive and I feel it’s working. 

Dawg9000: I want to be beyond reproach. I’ve had certain people say things about my raps that didn’t sit right with me. And how other rappers talk to me, they’ll be hard on me for new beats. But never on some ‘hop on this track real quick’. I want to be respected on both ends of the spectrum. I want to be equally good at both 

GSC: And that brings me back to the title. You get that va fangool[i] feeling throughout. Is there anything from the Sopranos involved in the music besides the cover?

Dawg9000: Besides me saying va fangool a few times not really. I would love to incorporate the scene where Tony chases Phil Leotardo from season 5. That’s the funniest shit ever.

GSC: The way the project is uploaded on Soundcloud is so it’s all one track and even listening to the project there doesn’t seem to be a real break between tracks. What’s the reasoning for that?

Dawg9000: I did it in a way so I could have them in one file.  I recorded from my phone into the SP. Most people do it through Ableton, but I was doing it real quick because I was thirsty to hear how it would sound 

GSC: Did you work on this at a concurrent time or is it an accumulation of different things over time? 

Dawg9000: All across 2020.

GSC: Are you constantly pushing yourself to make something, or do you focus on a project, a title, beats and lyrics for that specific project. 

Dawg9000: I should do stuff like that. I’m pretty unorganized. But right now I’m just trying to make as much music as I can. I sit down for some months and make as much as I can.Trying to get the creme de la creme type shit. I know some artists can make a song in a day or a week. But most of the time it’s a long ass process. After I like it enough, and I’ve rapped it a few hundred times. I’ll record it and listen to that a few hundred times. Then I’ll just leave that where the fuck it is. I did that a lot last year.

GSC: What happens with any tracks that don’t get used.

Dawg9000: I’ll probably drop va fangool[i] one and a half. A lot of it does rightfully belong where it is. But some of it is good so I have to go back and revive it. I don’t make music as fast as I’d like to. I will say that. Pumping out mad content. That’s why I fuck with Rio Da Yung OG. Free Rio. He can rap his ass off.

GSC: Is part of the reason it takes so long to put music out, because of how personal it is? Does it take some time to come to terms with releasing or even writing some of those things?

Dawg9000: Yeah. And also I don’t want to keep saying the same shit. Even though the same shit is on my mind all the time, I don’t want to be saying the same shit on every song. 

GSC: Do you feel like to keep from talking about the same things you have to be in a different situation, either physically or otherwise.

Dawg9000: Yeah I do actually. And that’s why I feel like I need it. And people tell me, ‘That’s not everything’. And it could not mean everything. But I don’t need everything, I just need a little squeeze. 

GSC: You might feel like you’re saying some of the same things, but the way you’re saying it has evolved. I’m wondering about the use of effects on your voice. Because that changes the feeling of the bars as well.

Dawg9000: That’s just based on how I’m feeling for real. I fuck with the deep pitch but I don’t want everything pitched down. The thing is rap is so easy when you’re reading it but once you get the mic in front of you, sometimes you just sound like a nerd or a robot. Or a “rapper” which is even worse. I like songs that sound like people talking but it’s hard to do that after so many times.

GSC: Well the changes in your voice do add a different feeling to the music. What I really like about this project compared to Refreshed this feels deconstructed into just raw feelings sequenced into one stream of consciousness. 

Dawg9000: I was just making stuff. Like I saw Lil Dicky say before, one out of every hundred songs is what he calls a “good” song or hearable. And that’s kind of true.

GSC: That’s more like crafting the song. Revisiting it and coming with new ideas after a few months until it comes into something.

Dawg9000: Over the years I’ve sampled the same song like 20 times to get a different sound from it. It usually doesn’t work crazy, I usually don’t make something better than the one I made before it seems like, but I still sample the same thing like a thousand times. Especially W**dy C**y, I love W**dy C**y.

GSC: The same way your music feels very personal, so do the instrumentals behind it. Does that come from how much time you put into resampling and crafting it?

Dawg9000: I wish I could do it even more. Knxwledge does that really well, his sound is mad personal without any words over them. That’s the real reason I do this. That feeling is just so good. My cousin Jordan is my best friend, and we were chilling smoking one day and a Knxwledge flip of a Lil Wayne and Rick Ross song came on. My cousin’s eyes just popped like a bomb went off. Knxwledge can evoke emotion really well, it almost makes me cry. 

GSC: I wanted to ask about the ‘Feel So Good!’ sample added to va fangool[i]. It stands out within some of the themes of the song, especially when you start manipulating it.

Dawg9000: It was really a beautiful loop that I made. And I put it in there because it was kind of ironic. Because everything sucked in 2020. That was something I wasn’t going to use, I came back to it months later and decided to put it in. 


GSC: Once you start distorting the loop it starts to distort how you’re feeling with it. 

Dawg9000: That’s hard. That’s exactly what I intended with that one.

GSC: You mentioned, recording and listening to your songs a few hundred times. Of course you’re making the beats and writing them. Who’s the first person you go to when you’re ready for outside opinion.

Dawg9000: My friend Kenny. Sometimes he’s a little too honest but he definitely looks out every time. 

GSC: Is that why? For his honesty?

Dawg9000: This nigga knows where I should be. Because we have the same opinon in music and most people say ‘Oh that shit is hard as fuck’, but most people don’t give real criticism. But if it’s really hard he’ll say it without a doubt. That’s what I do it for.

GSC: Do your beats ever give you that same feel you’re trying to evoke in others, and does that help your writing?

Dawg9000: That’s the perfect duo. Even if it’s not that type of beat. It might inspire me to put a flip or something over it. That feeling is something that I chase.

GSC: I feel like part of what you’re music has always given off is that “Go fuck yourself” energy. I think with chasing that feeling it also seems like you’re demanding respect from others on your talents and passion. Is that emotion within the music? 

Dawg9000: I feel like it’s a thing of not having shown it yet, in my opinion and wanting to reach up to that level. Because I’m about to be old as fuck. And to be honest it’s really fun. If it’s good it’s fun. Especially at shows. I just need to be beyond reproach. I want to get everything while the time is nigh. I don’t know if I want to be doing this at 38. I’ll probably still produce at 38 but…

GSC: Well that’s somewhat the goal isn’t it? Being able to have multiple skills in tuck so you can choose what you want to do as you get older. I read in an interview Andre 3000 said he’s always creating things just not anything he finds new or good enough to share. Which sounds like any artist.

Dawg9000: I feel like a lot of artists we grew up with like Kanye don’t make music the same way we do. Like on their laptops, and they could. He’s using a studio and shit. I don’t think he’s just hopping on Ableton or FL. Kanye on Ableton would be hard. 

GSC: When you said they don’t make music the same, I thought you meant because everything they do is directly for money. So they never just drop something because they feel like expressing themselves.

Dawg9000: If you were to say that to Kanye, he probably would think he was trapped.

GSC: I mean in some sense…

Dawg9000: That’s probably why I lose interest in a lot of big artists because when you can see an artist like Ski Beatz or LeemLizzy working on their art in real time. Mastering the software. If anything I want to be like them. Just chopping beats on livestream after making dinner for my kids. The long term goal is to be sponsored by Ableton. Become an Ableton certified trainer, get bread testing gear for them or something. Shoutout to JWords she’s sponsored by and that’s hard as fuck.

GSC: You mentioned Leem and the Twitch streams. Last time I asked about videography and you said you weren’t too interested in that. I know JWords does some live streamed beat sets for virtual shows, is that something you’d be interested in doing?

Dawg9000: I’d be mad interested in that. Especially if I had great content. 

GSC: Live music is a completely different experience. Same way a stream is. When you’re performing live with music this personal, is that performance you expressing yourself to the audience or you expressing yourself to yourself in front of other people.

Dawg9000: It would probably be me expressing myself to myself in front of other people. It’s always in the back of my mind. I have to get it out there but it’s hard, and then it’s out there.

GSC: What else are you listening to?

Dawg9000: I get most of my music from my girlfriend, she put me onto Amir Bilal for real. I just be listening to old school songs to try to find the perfect songs to sample. Something that hits my heart and makes me want to cry.

GSC: Does that mean this is the kind of music that’s inspiring the music you’re making?

Dawg9000: I think it is. I make music around a lot of people that weren’t raised like me but are still mad cool people. We think the same shit is hard but they don’t have the same background with music that I do. They probably weren’t falling asleep in the back of the car to that shit 24/7. They probably disregarded shit like that for a long period of their life until they realized that shit was gas. That’s why sampling was so interesting to me. Listening to ‘Throw Some D’s then hearing the Switch  sample on my mom’s oldie station 93.1 as a kid. That sound is definitely my inspiration.

GSC: If these are songs that make you want to cry, is that going into your music as well?

Dawg9000: Yeah if I can get it in there the right way. Some people can do it a lot easier than it appears to be. But I can tell you it takes a lot of work and patience. Because you can sample something and not like what you get, but you can sample it again the next day and the next day.

GSC: You mentioned Bandcamp Fridays when we first spoke, before the release of va fangool[i]. So I was wondering if for the updated version, you plan on releasing any cassettes, or collectibles for the project?

Dawg9000: I don’t think so. I would do cassettes if I had anything to play a cassette in. I might do CD’s or vinyl maybe. But really, you’re going to have to have a phone or a laptop.

GSC: The fact that you’re still working on the project speaks perfectly to how you referenced working on your material in terms of creating something, relistening to it and going back to it months later. So it’s almost a perfect analogy this interview was conducted in a similar way.

Dawg9000: It is for real. Everything takes time.

(dawg9000 shot by yesfatherken)

GSC: Any producers (or artists)  who give you inspiration?

Dawg9000: Hesh, Aasir, NO-FVCE, Argov, Douglas McQuaid, JLVSN, m1tch, fuzzy, JWords, JUNIE. I have a friend named Joe who makes really high quality production, but doesn’t really release it. He’s one of my favorites. All of Phiik’s projects are amazing, DFNS, S!lence. Doof is one of the best out. He’s on top of everything. Al.Divino Blocked You is beautiful. 

GSC: The last question is always for the artist’s last thoughts. Anything?

Dawg9000: I used to be close friends with Quincy Jones, but not no more. We fell out.

Follow Dawg9000 on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Stay tuned for the re-release of va fangool[i] and come back to GSC for a full review of the project when it’s released.

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