A Q&A with Openly Gay Rapper DDm

Victor Yates September 17, 2012 4
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Baltimore’s openly gay hip-hop artist DDm is the LGBT community’s Kanye West.  Give him a mic and he’ll freestyle-take-down any mainstream rapper. His freestyle over Iggy Azalea’s, My World, beat with the lines, “feens like that white girl/ but I just want her trust fund/ you might think that’s mean/ but you know what I mean/ cuz I’m such a f#cking queen/ mo suga than Paula Dean,” and “I goes hard/ I can f#ck your b#tch for free/ but that ho look like a tranny/ she must f#cks with Mr. Cee,” feel Kanye-esque.

Even though DDm doesn’t want to be compared to any other artist, the comparisons will soon come with Spin Magazine’s stamp of approval, for having one of “2012’s Most Slept-on Mixtapes.”

DDm’s latest mixtape, Winter and the Tinman’s Heart, with the standout songs, Piece Of My Heart, Click Pow, Run, and Get By, is a “loosely based concept album on the life and times of a young, gay male” and covers suicide, church queens, self-identity, ball kids, AIDS, and fear. Guest artists include: Weho dance diva Rye Rye, whose debut album Go! Pop! Bang! peaked at Number 1 on iTunes’ Electronic Album’s chart as well as Bad Boy recording artist LOS, and WISH.

The hardcore-ness coupled with his magnetic lyricism make him a contender to be America’s Next Gay Rap Superstar.

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VICTOR YATES: To anyone who hasn’t heard your songs how would you describe your music in four words?

DDm: Bold, daring, trendsetting, and fresh.

VY: How have you molded your sound to go in that direction?

DDm: I think I’ve really settled into myself as a person. That was the most important part of my artistic development. I own who I am without using it as a crutch or a gimmick. Being from Baltimore, we already have a ‘in your face’ type of attitude. So once I understood my place in the world, it was nothing for me to speak my mind on records.

VY: Speaking of Baltimore you’re billed as Baltimore’s First Openly Gay Rapper. How did you come to accept yourself as an out gay man and be comfortable with it as a hip-hop artist because hip-hop is often perceived as homophobic?

DDm: Well Baltimore is a different type of city. It has a pretty sizable gay population. I think because I earned my respect in rap battles and people have seen my work ethic, that I really have no problems here. Once I accepted myself, it was easy to accept that title, which makes me be a better rapper. Because I have to be great, not good, but great at what I do.

VY: Describe your first rap battle? As a non-rapper I’m just curious about the process?

DDm: My first battle I was an unknown. It was thirty-two rappers in the battle and I made it to the final two. Though I didn’t win, I made an impression that was talked about for weeks. That was when I realized I had something. In Baltimore City respect is everything. I earned a lot of respect because I came in with no name, no crew, and made it to the end [of the battle].

VY: Are you performing anytime soon?

DDm: I’m always booked now. I just got a booking for Canada this summer.

VY: Will it be the first time you’ll be in Canada and at that first rap battle did you think rapping would take you to all the places you’ve been and are going to?

DDm: This will be my first time in Canada. I always wanted to be a star but I had no expectations. Now I want so much more.

VY: Where do you want your music to take you?

DDm: I want to signal change. I started out wanting to be famous and now I am becoming an activist and humanitarian in my own way.

VY: How so?

DDm: I’ve seen a lot of the “kids” here start making records, which I love. People come to me at shows and say that I can save lives. I want to today’s young gay black male to feel included in hip-hop and be proud of their gay artists.

VY: As we’re talking I’m listening to Piece of My Heart. What inspired that song?

DDm: Being accepted inspired that song. Having friends die from AIDS also inspired that song, as well as feelings of loneliness, fear, and a whole lot of regret.

VY: It’s amazing that from a painful place that art can be created to potentially help others. Describe your new mixtape, Winter and the Tinman’s Heart?

DDm: ‘WATTH’ is a loosely based concept album on the life and times of a young, gay black male. If you listen it covers the thoughts of suicide, the perspective of church queens, the kids who go to balls, and the thoughts you have when you have to sit alone in your thoughts.

VY: I love Al Pacino (Marily Monroe Remix) [which is not on the mixtape]. In the chicken versus the egg or the sixteen bars or the beat debate. Why that beat? And how long did it take you to write those lyrics?

DDm: My friend Max Milli suggested I do it.

VY: I’m getting a flashback. Did Milli do photography or video for you?

DDm: He does all my photography and his brother Moe does my graphic work. And I wrote that verse [for Al Pacino] in about 20 minutes.

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To hear DDm freestyle, go to his official website www.GoDDm.net. To connect with him via social networks, you can follow him on Twitter @GoDDm or ‘Like’ him on Facebook at GoDDm.

4 Comments »

  1. Jason J September 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Awesome interview, would love to see him if he ever comes to Seattle

  2. ruben navarro September 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    its good because a lot of mean things are said by rap.like 50cent. thank you for shareng his story

  3. Antonio X. Garcia
    Antonio September 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Glad he’s addressing the anti-gay stigma that’s generally associated with rap and hip hop. Good read!

  4. go go gadget go October 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    great! Gotta share this story!

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