Creative Destruction: An Interview with Rising Hip-Hop Artist Dunson
Special to Informer | , John Richards | 2/11/2012, 2:16 p.m.
A lot of rappers condition themselves like boxers -- spending countless hours, days, months and years preparing for greatness. And just like in boxing, to prove your worth in the world of Hip-Hop, you have to work your way through the ranks-bodying contenders on your way up.
Similar to Muhammad Ali's epic boxing match against Sonny Liston in 1964, Dunson enters Hip-Hop's crammed ring of newcomers as a considerable underdog, battling to increase his solid fan base and gain the respect of his peers and predecessors.
Dunson spent his formative years in every region of Maryland, gaining different perspectives on life and music along the way. During an era where most rappers assimilate into sub-cultures that highlight criminal, social consciousness, backpacker and indulgent lifestyles, Dunson epitomizes individuality. His strongest selling points are his quick-witted wordplay, musicianship and genuine likeability.
Dunson's Creative Destruction mixtape series were all exceptional pieces of work that solidified him as a force to be reckoned with in the Hip-Hop ring. However, he's learning that they were only sparring sessions in preparation for the 'beautiful fight' he's destined to encounter. With a new mixtape in the works, industry alliances, and a can't lose attitude, Dunson is more ready than he's ever been -- and this time the gloves are off.
Washington Informer: How you feeling?
Dunson: Incredible, but I definitely think days should have at least 3-4 more hours in them!
WI: You have grown this growing fan-base from your Creative Destruction mixtapes- what was the motivation behind those tapes?
Dunson: That was a period where I dropped everything I worked for in terms of a career to do what I loved. Soon I realized that I had destroyed my lifestyle. I was flat broke, had my car repossessed and living back at home with Mom making music in a bedroom! But for some reason I felt really proud! I had to prove to myself that I was a focused artist. It was part of the process. In order to become a full time creative, some things are destroyed.
WI: Did you ever think anyone would feel the songs as much as you did?
Dunson: No. I was totally selfish when I made Creative Destruction 1 but it's wild how much your own honesty can belong to so many others. With Creative Destruction 2 I opened up with more generic song themes and the fan base grew exponentially. I started noticing people really owning these songs like soundtracks to their lives at shows and on social media!
WI: You're from Maryland, right?
Dunson: Born and Raised. I think I pretty much covered the state from Capitol Heights, Silver Spring, Laurel, and Baltimore...couldn't stay in one place. I spent most of my childhood summers in DC over in Riggs Park, Northeast.
WI: The DMV is a tough area to break from in the music industry, especially for an ex investment banker. Are you finding that to be true?
Dunson: Haha. Well, I was actually an investment advisor. Investment bankers don't have the best reputations right now, ha! But working in that industry definitely gave me more relevant experience than I would have imagined. Some of the principles absolutely cross over to music. As far as the area, I was absolutely privileged to grow up in such a musical atmosphere between DC and Baltimore. But the industry presence in NYC, LA or ATL just doesn't exist here. But now you see major artists emerge from places like Pittsburgh, Detroit and so on. There's absolutely no reason you can't emerge from this area. I'm an artist so I'm more focused on my music than my area. I think that's one issue with artists everywhere, specifically in Hip Hop.