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interview HOT DOLLAR (July 2007) | Interview By: Eddie Gurrola

      
Dubcnn recently met up with rising star Hot Dollar for an in-depth, exclusive video interview. In this feature, you will hear all about Hot's beginnings as a rapper, and how his mixtape grind eventually grabbed the attention of the major labels and led to him being signed. We also speak about his relationship with Jermaine Dupri, and their experiences in the studio together. Hot Dollar goes into detail about his forthcoming debut album "My Dreams...A Day In The Life," and tells us that it will be, without question, the album of the year when it is released. We also touch on his now-infamous altercation with Daz, and how that has now been resolved..


As always we have both the transcript and the video for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: eddiegurolla@dubcnn.com
 

Interview was done in July 2007.

Questions Asked By :
Eddie Gurrola

Hot Dollar Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout : Here (Video: AVI)

Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)

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Watch The Video Interview (via the Dubcnn Brightcove Channel)
Press Play To Start Streaming Footage: Fast Connection Recommended

 

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Dubcnn: Weíre here with Hot Dollar. Howís it going?

Whatís good with it baby? Iím just chilliní out in Diego, haviní a ball. You already know how I do it!


Dubcnn: What made you first decide to get into the rap game?

I had a lot of influences, like Snoop, Ice-T, and Pac. Watching them do it [inspired me.] You donít really support a rapper unless you want to be like them anyway, so it was [that,] more or less. I got so influenced by [them so much] that I really wanted to be a rapper, [but] I donít think that really came until later [in life.]


Dubcnn: How did you go about developing your flow once you decided to become a rapper?

I just studied. I studied the [other] rappers, I studied myself, [and] I studied my life. [Then I] started going into metaphors, punch lines, and storylines. Listening to Pac and BIG, they both were great at it Ė expressing their life [and] expressing moments in time. Like ďDear MamaĒ and stuff like that, that would make you gravitate closer to them because you went through something like that. So, thatís what really influenced me Ė Pac and BIGís [music.]


Dubcnn: When you were first trying to get your name out there, what was the most important thing that you did to get recognized and get a buzz going?

Stay consistent! One thing I did learn about being in the entertainment industry is that faces you keep seeing, like sometimes in the club you keep seeing [the same people,] itís like, this motherfucker is either doing something, or he ainít doing nothing! Eventually, if theyíre really hungry, youíll see they just keep doing their thing around the same people [in] the same atmosphere. Thatís what I did, besides just grinding in the streets heavily with the mixtapes.


Dubcnn: Your brother Guerilla Black has been rapping for a while as well, so did you guys ever work on your raps together back in the day?

I came straight from hustliní, and straight D-Boy shit, just living that. He was really focused on rapping. So, he kind of honed my craft. [He] showed me what a 16 [bar verse] was, [and] a lot of different things about rapping. More or less, [itís] being clever about your own life, instead of reading into what somebody else is rapping about with the clichťs. ďIím like this, and Iím like that,Ē but who are you? So, thatís the part that we played together. But, we do songs together. We do hooks and all kinds of shit together.


Dubcnn: Are you planning on doing a duo album with Guerilla Black at some point?

Oh yeah man! Weíve got a Dollar Figga album slated to drop real soon, probably at the top of next year. So, yeah, for sure, thatís my bro man! The niggaís talented as fuck too. I think he wasnít marketed right. When somebody markets you, and people have an illusion or ideal of what they feel you are, and youíre not able to address that, or youíre not marketed [to] where you can address it, then that leaves them with that stigma over their head like ďthatís how you are.Ē


Dubcnn: I see what youíre saying. So, Jermaine Dupri is a hip-hop legend and one of the best around. What was it like meeting him for the first time when you were talking about getting a deal?

The first time I met him [was] on a business meeting with Guerilla Black. So, I met him as a businessman, [and] heís a cool dude. Heís a real person. But later, I got to see how he is as a person - just seeing who he is and how he moves. Dude is laid-back and quiet. Heís an outgoing person at times, but heís laid-back. He reminds me a lot of who I am as a person. Iím laid-back. I donít really deal with a lot of people, I stay to myself.


Dubcnn: Whatís it like working in the studio with Jermaine Dupri?

In the studio, heís more of an out go-er. Heís always trying to top the last thing he did. He ainít a person who just sticks to a record. In that aspect, he reminds me of how Dre is. Heís on something one night, and the next night heís on something else. He just keeps his mind working like that. Heís an innovator.


Dubcnn: Tell us about your experience recording ďStreets On Lock,Ē your current single.

I got the record from Scoop Deville, who is Kid Frostís son. I had been running through a lot of different records, and it was crazy just to find a record that complimented what I was doing Ė South West [music.] Iím originally from Mississippi, and then I moved to L.A. [The production] had a down South feel, and a West Coast flavor with the Pac sample rolling behind it. Thatís what inspired me to do the record.

Then, with sample clearances and all that bullshit, I ainít trying to go through that. If you sell the record, you donít want to have to go through fighting publishing. You ainít getting no money or no publishing for the work that you did. You made the song a hit, and you canít use it. So, we went through that issue. But other than that, I think it was a great launching board for me as an artist. Itís a crazy record. People draw to it. Especially the streets, and thatís really all I want to capture; [getting] the streets behind me.


Dubcnn: Yeah, the record is really blowing up. Iíve been hearing it all over the radio. So, Scoop Deville produced that one?

Yeah, Scoop Deville! Heís gonna be one of the great ones man! I can say that just from listening to a lot of other tracks that he worked on. I ride best with the underdogs. I am an underdog, but the streets anticipate me.


Dubcnn: So, your mixtape ďMoney, Power and TechsĒ with DJ Nik Bean is tight!

Yeah, shout out to my boy DJ Nik Bean too!

DJ Nik Bean: Weíve got the mixtape blaziní the streets. You know how I get down man. DJ Nik Bean, showing my love to Dubcnn Ė the homies Rud, Nima, Yash, weíve got the homie Eddie out here doing it real big. Dubcnn does it real big. Yíall got to finish that interview, because heís about to give yíall some shit!

Yeah, so you already know what it is man! DJ Nik Bean, DJ Felli Fel, DJ Ill Will Ė them DJs played an initial part in my career, as far as standing behind me and just saying ďI fuck with you as an artist.Ē Big ups to them, and everybody who played a part in my career. Big shout out to my boy Pop Gates, my boy Henry Nunez, and everybody who played a part in my career.

I came a long way to get to where Iím at. So, I think that the mixtapes carry a big influence in the streets as far as new artists, because thatís all youíve got as far as album material and people to run behind. I donít give a fuck how big I get: Iíma always be an underground head, [and] Iíma always do mixtapes. Thatís real talk.


Dubcnn: Tell us a little bit about your upcoming album youíre recording. Do you have a title for it yet?

Yeah, [itís called] ďMy DreamÖA Day In The Life.Ē Basically, everybodyís got a dream about what they really want to do and what they really want to have. [In this album,] youíre watching me get it. A day in the life of it. Itís like youíre watching my movie, being corresponded.

I think everybody [shares] that same aspect about being in the rap game; itís my dream. [This is] a day in the life of it. You catch them in the club: theyíre getting fucked up, theyíre having fun, theyíre fuckiní with bad ass bitches, driving fancy cars, [and] wearing a lot of jewelry. Thatís the benefits of being a rapper and being successful. This is my dream Ė Iím living it. I was living like a rapper before I was rapping, just doing what I wanna do, having nice-looking females, [and] driving nice cars. So, being that Iím doing it now on a larger level, and I can do it legallyÖ Man, I feel at home!


Dubcnn: How deep are you into the recording of the album?

Iím 75% done with it right now. Weíre just looking for those records to take it over the top. Until I get those records that I feel are going to do that, Iím gonna be 75% [done]! But, Iím coming to a close with it, and Iíve got some crazy artists and crazy producers on it. Iím gonna keep it real and say: look, itís the best album of the year! I donít care whoís dropping. Concept-wise, [and with the] in-depth speaking on different things, and content, I donít think thereís anybody really going in that zone where Iím going, and being clever about it.

I know Iíve got the album of the year, song-wise. You can name a lot of good rappers - theyíve got a lot of good lyrics, [and] thatís cool, but they donít have hot songs. Thatís the difference. Thatís what separates me [from the rest.]


Dubcnn: You mentioned that a lot of hot artists and producers would be making appearances, so who do you have on the album so far?

Umm, so far... *Pauses* I want to unveil this mystery to you! But, I can say my boy DJ Toomp, NoID, Shawty Redd, Scoop Deville, and Diverse. Iíll leave [it at] that right there. But, I mean, thereís [going to be] a couple of motherfuckers where itís gonna be like, ďWow! He pulled that off?Ē So, I want to keep it a mystery until you, as the world, hear it.


Dubcnn: Weíre looking forward to it. So, what do you hope the fans will get out of the album when they actually get to hear it?

A piece of them - to be able to carry that in their mind, where it will always alter how you remember those songs in that time. You know how you just hear something and you catch everything in its time because that song makes you feel good? So every time you jump in your car, you play that song and you keep that moment in time a treasured moment when you hear that song again. Thatís what I want [to achieve.] I want my whole album to be like that. Everybodyís got at least four to five songs [where theyíre] like, ďI fuck with that one, thatís my shit!Ē


Dubcnn: I know exactly what youíre saying.

Yeah. Real shit man.


Dubcnn: Youíve got the major label deal now, but youíre still doing mixtapes as well. Are those two worlds different when it comes to creating music?

Yeah, itís definitely different because I come from the mixtape game. I even honed my craft off the mixtape. But one thing I can say, itís a big difference from just writing songs, like regular songs, to writing songs that youíre potentially looking at to be on your album. You want to be able to put songs out that got a high level, [and] itís just real competitive. The records are competitive with what other records youíre listening to sound like.

I think that was one of the biggest things that I had to focus on: how to make records thatís really going to compliment how I really feel as a person. [I didnít want to] get caught [up] in somebodyís image of how they want me to look, but at the same time, [I wanted to make] records that make other people adore me like, ďDamn, I love this motherfucker because he made that record!Ē


Dubcnn: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future that you havenít worked with yet?

Man, theyíre already gone, [so] I canít collaborate with them! Marvin Gaye, Tupac Shakur, and Biggie. [We] canít bring them back. A couple of living legends like Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, [and] Nas. Cats like that, just to sit down and chop it up with them while writing or doing a record with them. Just the history of sitting down and understanding who they are as people is more important than the record.


Dubcnn: Definitely. Are we going to be able to catch you on any other projects before the album drops?

I just shot a video to ďStreets On Lock,Ē which is going to be crazy. (Editorís note: The video is now available to watch on Dubcnn) I finna drop some new street records [and] some mixtapes.

Iím a cool dude, laid-back, but at the same time I ainít really vibing with every rapper [just] because heís rappiní. I ainít vibiní with a lot of bullshit [and] fake nigga shit. I ainít a nigga that bite my tongue neither, so if I feel something, Iím gonna say it. Iím gonna keep it pushing Ė Ď07 is my launching pad. Anybody that feels in their little sneaky time mind, [when theyíre] kickiní it by themselves, ďfuck that nigga,Ē thatís something theyíve got to worry about. The more fame and the more power I get, the more time Iíve got to focus on the people who cross me.


Dubcnn: So, we know you had an altercation with Daz. Has that been resolved yet?

Yeah, that was resolved. He had some issues with my brother, [and] he mentioned my name. I confronted him, we never really spoke on it, but dude [told] some other people that weíre both affiliated with [that,] ďI ainít trippiní on that shit. I had an issue with his brother, and that was that.Ē But at the same time, thatís my brother, and I love him, so Iím ridiní with him regardless of what. Same thing with Snoop Ė if Snoopís cool with me, but Iím going at his cousin, then heís gonna have an issue with that.

But at the end of the day, Iím pro-West. Any artist on the West, Iím fuckiní with them. If their music is hot, then Iím really fucking with them because thatís the only way weíre really going to get on as a coast.

So big ups to all them cats, them dudes is legends in my eyesight. I donít have any negativity to wish upon them, or downplay them, or none of that. Itís just, as a man, you respect a man as a man. If you donít got no real issue with me, and you donít really know me as a person, donít go and sneak diss me. If youíve got a problem with me, confront me with it. Itís easy - if you talk to me about it as a man, Iím gonna respect it. If you act belligerent, thereís repercussions behind your actions.


Dubcnn: Is there anything else you want to say to everyone reading this (or watching this) on Dubcnn?

Thank you for having me! Itís a pleasure. I come to give the fans what they want. West is back, in full effect! West up man. All those people who adore me and fuck with my music real tough man, I just want to say ďthanksĒ because I mean it.

This shit ainít easy. A lot of cats see rappers, and they just see the rapper. They see his success, [but] they donít see his grind. Itís easy to kick in and fuck with a motherfucker when the light is on, when everything is poppiní. But what about all the time [before,] when it was ďdark time.Ē Where was you with your support? You was at home, or at work, or doing what youíre doing. It definitely wasnít towards what that artist was doing.

This shit is a job, and it comes with a lot of perks and a lot of problems. I feel like Iím one to endure that, and I take a lot of sacrifices for other people around me to win, whether it be financially or career-wise. So, Iím one of those artists thatís gonna be around for a long time. You gotta get used to it. You can ďhate it or love it,Ē like The Game say. [You] gotta fuck with it though. West up! Holla at your boy.


 

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Hot Dollar Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout : Here (Video: AVI)

Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)
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