Alabama ain’t exactly known for its rappers. Enter new Hustle Gang member Doe B; After his time left him with one and and a second shot at life, Doe B chose to put down the gun, pick up the mic and get on with his life. He sat down with Planet Ill to tell his truth, and how dancing when God clapped enabled him to change his life. We talked Birdman, T.I and hustle Gang and how the sacrifices of his mother and a chance meeting with his father laid the groundwork for his motivation. Here’s how it went down.
Planet Ill: Sometimes the world gives us messages. Sometimes, we’re going too hard. The world gave your ass a hell of a message. Tell us about it.
Doe B: Yeah, you know, it just came with the streets; it just came from being in the streets. That comes with any person being in the streets. But I just thank God that I was able to being here and tell my story; it was a blessing. Everything happens for a reason. It was a blessing; I truly believe that. Everything you can live from you can give from.
Planet Ill: What happened in your mind to make you not want to go back?
Doe B: Yeah once I survived…man I thought I was dead. I just knew I was going to die. Once the bullet hit me and all the blood that I felt come out of my face, I was like I know I’m dying. I thought it was my brain leaking out. I’m just like how am I still living?
Once I got to the hospital, I just blanked out or whatever. When I woke up I was like, “It’s a blessing. This is what I gotta go.” I know I’m here for a real reason. I got shot in the eye. I lost my eye. The first thing I was thinking about was I gotta get get me a Gucci purse or something [laughs] I gotta have some type of image. I don lost my eye, you know?
Planet Ill: So you put down the gun and you pick up that microphone…
Doe B: My intentions in the streets was never to just be in the street. I always was trying to figure out a way how to get out the streets and I always knew like this music was like a big key role in getting me out the streets. I just had to learn how to maneuver while I was in the streets, you know? You gotta have a gun while you in those streets because everybody else got a gun. So I had to have a gun. They shoot at me, I just shoot back. It’s all about protecting yourself.
Planet Ill: So now you’re here. You’re rhyming with people you grew up listening to. You got the Kemosabe joint with B.o.B., Baby and Young Dro. How does that feel to be in the studio with people that you used to listen to when you were a kid?
Doe B: I embrace every moment. Just for them to even know my name. When I can see Birdman by myself and he know who I’m is like, “What up Doe B.” Like shit, this a $100 million n***a. These are moguls in the game; these are pioneers. These are the niggas that’s going to be talked about forever in this rap game and they know who I’m is. I embrace that moment. That’s big.
Planet Ill: Alabama is known a little bit more for the football than for the trap or for rappers, man…
Doe B: They not known for rappers at all. When you think Alabama you talk about a rapper from Alabama like people they normally turn the page. But my job is to keep people…any time you see a rapper from Alabama now, I want to try to keep people looking through that. That’s what my goal is right now. I just want them to look at Alabama as…Alabama is not just no country town It’s not just no football town. I want to walk the rap game through the streets of Alabama, where I’m from.
Planet Ill: Do you feel any pressure to represent Alabama?
Doe B: It ain’t no pressure. I feel like it’s more motivation that I can put on for my state like that and that’s my whole state riding around with me. I got a whole state to ride with me. If it’s a million people in Alabama, I should be able to sell a million records just in Alabama. That’ the type of support I feel like I should be getting from Alabama and I feel like it’s there. If it’s not all the way there it’s at least half way there. No it’s not no pressure to rep Alabama. It ain’t no pressure at all.
Planet Ill: So how did you hook up with T.I.? Juicy J and T.I. were on the Let Me Find Out remix. How did that come together?
Doe B: Man my label Interscope/Blueprint decided that they wanted to go with T.I. on the remix and when he had the song, he liked it. We met up before he did the remix, one thing lead to another and we just been rocking with each other ever since.
Planet Ill: So now are you officially down with Hustle Gang or are you an affiliate?
Doe B: Official. It’s official.
Planet Ill: Now that you’re in the league with the big boys, you dropped a couple mixtapes. Your latest one was Baby Jesus. What’s the name from? What are you trying to accomplish with that?
Doe B: It wasn’t anything. It’s just at the time ODB always called himself [Big] Baby Jesus and I just used to play around with it; it wasn’t anything spiritual, you know? I wasn’t even going to name my mixtape that. But when somebody sent me the cover to it, I had an idea for it and I seen the cover and was like yeah, I’mma go with it.
Planet Ill: You have any kids?
Doe B: Yeah, I got two.
Planet Ill: Your father introduced you to the studio, yes?
Doe B: Yeah, when I first met my father, when I was like eight, he had a studio and when I used to go kick it with him, I used to be around the studio all the time. That’s how I got a connection with music.
Planet Ill: You still speak to him?
Doe B: Yeah.
Planet Ill: Good. How important is keeping that connection with YOUR kids? Obviously you survived a big ordeal, but now that you have a second chance with your kids, how important is it that you put that food on the table and are around them?
Doe B: That’s my number one goal. As far as me just doing the music, I’m not around them as much and I wish I could be. But my goal is just for them to be comfortable. More comfortable than ever. And then when I’m working, I can be around them more.
Planet Ill: A lot of rappers make songs about their momma and how they momma love them and all of that. Your mom put it down so that you and your brothers and sister could eat. When you look at the lengths that she went through, to put that food on your table, how important is it for you to go extra hard in this rap game?
Doe B: Like I said, it’s my number one motivation to get mom that house to where she don’t even have a worry in the world.
Planet Ill: What’s going to be the difference between your album coming in 2014 and your mixtapes? Are you going to take a different approach?
DoeB: I feel like I’mma have a different approach but I really just be working, man. I just love being in the studio anyway. Everything I do I feel like it’s album material. Like all my mixtapes I feel like, are album material. I’mma have the same format; the same formula.
Planet Ill: What do you have to say out there to anybody that’s hearing you for the first time? What message do you have for any newcomers?
Doe B: Just pay attention. I’m selling lifestyle and game. I feel like you can learn more from my music than anybody.
Planet Ill: Any shout outs, or anything you want to plug?
Doe B: Shout out to everybody. My whole team; my whole staff and everybody that’s about my movement. Shout to everybody that got my CD in they CD player or downloaded it to they phone or computer.