Everett Bred Filipino Rapper: Dolo Gambino
From his fun beats to his lyrics of vulnerability, Dolo Gambino knows what he's doing when being able to produce and engineer his own music. Below you will be able to see his creative process when choosing a sample, his background, and working with other artists like PhuMoney, another Asian rapper from Everett. Keep this young artist on your radar and see what more he has to offer.
Boston Culture: Being an Asian rapper from the Boston area, have there been any challenges along the way?
To be honest there's really no challenge, it’s just that other Asians don’t expect me to be rapping like that or be the way that I am. I grew up with a lot of people of different nationalities, it was mad diverse. There weren't that many Asians I knew growing up. I say the only challenge with music and trying to have a name in Boston is that no one here really supports you. You really just gotta have your own back and surround yourself with people that really fuck with you heavy because I feel like people in Boston love to bring other people down when it comes to trying to come up from music or just any type of craft. That’s why there aren't that many famous artist from over here because we all just bring each other down.
Boston Culture: How do you include your identity in your music? What are your roots?
I really just wanna put on for my Filipino people when it comes to this music shit. There aren't that many famous Filipino artists, especially in rap. I'm tryna be different. Hopefully my music will put us on the map and inspire other Filipinos to become artists as well because you really don’t really hear about us when it comes to music. If I ever go on tours and shit like that I want to have Philippines go crazy over my music.
Boston Culture: How did the relationship between you and rapper Phu Money come to be?
Me and Money met in high school, sophomore year. We had a health class together but we never really talked to each other like that. I used to always just make a bunch of Asian jokes with him during class. But outside of health class we never talked. We might’ve said hi to each other here and there but it was always awkward. But one day after high school he hit me up saying that he wanted to make a song and I was for it. he told me he heard my song move on and that he really loved it and that he wanted to make music with me. My boy saw potential in my music and I saw potential in him when he told me the idea of making hot pot. Phu is a visionary and he’s really creative shout out to PhuMoney, that's my guy.
Boston Culture: For your newest single, Toxic, what was the decision behind choosing Britney’s Toxic as the sample?
Toxic was heavily influenced by a lot of drill music in New York. They tend to sample a lot of old songs and toxic from Britney Spears just had a really cool melody to me and it was The perfect sample for a drill song in my opinion. The tempo, the melody, the song itself is just too good. And I’ve been listening to a lot of new york drill for a really long time before it was trendy. I’ve always wanted to make a drill song and I’ve always wanted to sample just a crazy ass melody.
Boston Culture: What was the thought process behind the creation of Move on? It is a more vulnerable track. Was it hard to write a song like that?
“Move On” was a song I made when I was 18 years old and I just went thru a heartbreak. Originally the beat of Move On was just supposed to be a beat I was gonna sell but I loved it so much that I turned it into a song. I was freestyling to it and it just became the song it is today. I love melodic songs like Move On. Songs that A Boogey, Lil Tjay, or J.I would be on. The lyrics are sad but I wanted to make the drums contrast that sadness by making it really upbeat. It wasn’t hard to make Move On because at the time I was going through it and the lyrics just came to me when I was listening to the beat. I truly just tried to pour my heart out into this song. The only hard part about it was recording it because it was my very first time recording anything.
Boston Culture: Do you produce your own music? What’s the process like?
Any music that I drop, just know I made The beat, I recorded myself, I engineered it, and all that. Cuz it’s like you want your own music to sound a specific way and if I do it on my own, it just opens up more opportunity for me to create what I want. i’ve been producing since 15 but started taking rap serious at 18. being my own producer helps me out a lot because I can always make the beat compliment my voice or vice versa. and that way I don’t have to pay for beats or anything like that. The process is pretty simple. As I come up with the beat im always freestyling to that beat and just coming up with lyrics. And then once I’m ready, I start to record and mix all that stuff and then it just becomes a song.
Boston Culture: Are there any thoughts about getting an album out? How do you want to go about that?
I’ve always pictured dropping in EP or an album. I already have an idea on one and this year I’m gonna be working on it like crazy. for the EP/album I want it to be mostly melodic rap like my song move on but I also do want to drop some stuff like toxic and the song I'm featured on hot pot. I feel like I can be real diverse with music because I grew up listening to a lot of genres from rock to R&B to hip-hop. I could really just listen to whatever as long as it's good.
Boston Culture: Is there anything else you would like to let us know? Your fans are waiting!
I just want to thank everybody for supporting me and people who are there for me on his music journey. there’s a lot to name but y’all know who you are. I’m truly grateful for everything you guys do and what you guys say about my music. that’s type of shit keeps me going and it lets me know that y’all really fuck with me.
Check out Dolo's socials: