We sat down with Doeman recently to discuss his music, lifestyle and creative approach. Here at Urban Circus we always ride for emcees who fuse lyrics rooted in higher-minded mentalities mixed with grit from growing up in the hood. It’s always important to identify with people in your hood through lyrics they can relate to, but equally show and teach awareness of self and environment through artistic expression. These are both things the young 23-year old emcee does quite well. Don't let his age fool you though because his lyrics pack a punch that keeps up with the best of them.
Just for our readers, here's an exclusive premiere of "Gemini", a freestyle-track Doeman says is the perfect sound to tide fans over until his new album is done being mastered. Bump this while you peep the interview below.
UC: Your “O.B.E.” project was our favorite release of yours so far. It bridges the gap perfectly between identifying with growing up in the hood, but also pushing enlightenment of mind. body, spirit. Can you tell us a little bit about where your mind was at when you released “O.B.E.”?
Doeman: It came from a little bit of a lower, darker place. Sometimes everything you think is one way is really something different. At that time I had several homies die and other ones fall off. I kinda got lost in my own mind for a minute. Started self-reflecting and focusing on myself and my own mind for a minute instead of on rap. I had to find a way to get out of the dark place I was in. It was a good thing to let that all out, it was what I was really going through at that moment and what I really felt. That’s why I named it “Outer Body Experience”. It’s been my favorite project I’ve released so far. I was just exploring my mind and it came out dope.
UC: As visual creators here at UC, we like the visuals you’ve been putting out with your music lately. It shows how you identify with your latin roots but still keep it fresh. The “Barrio God Vol.1” project certainly nailed this perfectly. What was the difference in the approach between “Barrio God” and “O.B.E.”?
Doeman: That was more like a mixtape. We were fuckin’ with our homies in San Antonio, getting fucked up in the hood out there and making a lot of music. That project helped to hone that “Barrio God” image. It was a different persona from Doeman like, “this is like a different dude rapping’”. It was some hard, real gritty shit, not as artistic. I was rapping’ my ass off. It was really just a mixtape. I want my people and everyone that listens to me to have elevated thinking. You gotta let people know everything you’ve been through is similar to their own experience.
UC: Let’s talk about the track “American Me”. Most new artists these days are standing on stages in front of millions and have no real message at a time when society could use artists speaking out about social problems. Where were you coming from with this track and what’s the message you wanted to convey?
Doeman: I remember writing that hook on the way to SXSW a year before I recorded the song. The imagery was all the homies picking me up, riding out, mixed with visualizing all my homies who’ve been killed. What were their last thoughts before they got killed? It was like “this is why, this is the shit that we come from, it’s kill or be killed”. “American Me” was on an acceptance of self. Not just being accepted in the hood, but the evolution of being a Hispanic. It was helping kids feel like, “I’m the shit being Hispanic”. It’s all around the world like that. Like in Mexico they don’t like Mexican Americans or accept us, like how Africans don’t like African Americans. It’s like we’re a different species. We didn’t cross the border, we been here. Kinda puttin’ the flag down for us.
UC: Giving a voice to not just Mexican kids but even more in a specific sense to Mexican-American kids who grew up here in America and what that was like.
Doeman: Yeah man, definitely.
UC: One of your hardest hitting tracks to date is “No Limit ’91”. It comes like a kick-to-the-teeth, punch-to-the-face. Wanted to get an idea of your creative process for that song and the production of the track.
Doeman: Fano Bee produced that track. He’s out of Cali and Seattle. No Limit is on some real rapping’ shit. I realized I could do something with the message of it, going from some real dark devilish shit then going into “God’s Son since birth, Devil wanna fuck me I’ll put him in a hearse, that’s work, what’s worse?” its like 2 different sides. Like two different people talking to each other. I was showing mo’fuckas they ain’t fuckin’ with me when it comes to bar-for-bar. That was one of my favorite records I’ve ever recorded.
UC: We felt like you really came correct on that record for sure. There’s certain artists in the game that you can tell aren’t ever going to stop making art and we can tell you’re one of those artists.
Doeman: ‘Preciate that fam.
UC: Your new record you just dropped with Kirko Bangz called “Way Up” is on a very different vibe from most of your music. Tell us how that project came together.
Doeman: I had that song already made and was going to feature a certain artist on it, but he was taking too long. By that point I ran into Kirko at the Space City Liftoff show and we’ve been wanting to do something together for a minute. I saw him back stage and he was like, “Man, I fuck with ya’lls movement and shit. Send me something”. I was like, “Man I don’t even know what to send this man…” cause he usually does shit for the ladies. My boy Sal, was like, “Man, send him that ‘Way Up’ record”. I sent it to him and he sent it back the next day. Kirko got on that record and spoke some real shit. He talked about him having to lose a lot of things just to come up, some real veteran shit. Losing a lot of what you thought would always be there. You tell big dreams to small-minded people and they get intimidated or scared. A lot of homies from the hood get intimidated because they think it’s not possible. People who have a bigger vision and have already done it know its very possible.
UC: We know exactly where you’re coming from. Here at Urban Circus we’ve been visionaries, artists and creatives for a minute now. It’s weird when people get scared or intimidated because you have a big vision. Why should that intimidate? If anything it should inspire and be applauded and people should want to fuck with you because of that.
Doeman: Yeah man, never a bad thing to be inspired.
UC: Wanted to wrap-up by asking about your new project thats coming out. Do you have a name for it? What can your fans expect?
Doeman: The title of the new project is called “From My Soul To Yours”. It’s already finished, I just need to get the mastering done for it. It’s going to be a full-length LP and is my best work to date. I only have a few features on it… Kirko, my boy Bamsworth, and Bee Honey. I don’t have an exact date for it yet, but its dropping here in 2017.