The elusive D-LO

Sjimon Gompers

D-LO Interview

It was weeks in the making.

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From the moment I
saw the minimal budget “No Hoe” music video, I was
intrigued (warning,
contains explicit content that might be considered NSFW):

The elevated celebrity status of one D’Angelo
Porter (a.k.a. D-LO) happened almost overnight. It was a chance recording, using
a novelty approach to minimalist sequencing that created the
aforementioned ubiquitous track heard on Bay area blocks, car stereos via mixtapes, rapid-shared on blogs and clips on YouTube. Everything changed with an
attempted robbery charge that saw him in county jail for 18 months. Upon
D-LO’s return, he found that his collaborator and brother Sleepy D had created
notoriety by tirelessly promoting the “No Hoe” track through CD-R distribution on the streets of Oakland.

With momentum and hype building for his yet to be
released album Undeniable Talent, the pre-album release of The Tonite Show
with D-LO
features production by DJ Fresh and provides a taste of things to
come with guests like E-40, Mistah F.A.B, Beeda Weeda, Yung Moses, Hongry, the
Jacka and Nitti. The hype built for me even more in the three week long search
to get in contact with D-LO. His press agents assured me the interview would
happen. 20 press e-mails, 12 phone calls, three weeks and finally the
interview was on.

Hello
D-LO, I was wondering if you had a few minutes for an interview for Impose.

Oh hey, yea, hold on a minute, aiight? (voice trails off to the background of a room
with other voices
) I’m going for it, I’m going for it! What up Terry? Ha ha
ha…

D-LO?
Hello?

(D-LO can be
heard in the background saying
) I’ve
been waiting a long time, o­­­h, oh!

CLICK.

****

The next day…

Hi
D-LO, Sjimon here again from Impose.

Oh hey man, what up. Look, I’m really sorry about
the other day.

Oh,
no worries it seemed you were busy…

I was playing Madden for money!

No
way! Madden 10? What system?

Yeup! Madden 10 on X Box.

Nice.
So tell me, you recorded “No Hoe” using the Fruity Loops computer program with
your brother Sleepy D, he distributed CDs at BART stations and wherever to get
public interest, you get incarcerated for a year, meanwhile the song blows up
as a hit. How have these huge initial experiences impacted you?

It made me want to (rap) more and I wasn’t doing
nothing else with my life, I never had any thought about rapping, I was just
fuckin’ around and it blew up big.

How
do you respond to “No Hoe” being heralded as a Bay Area anthem?

If they like it, I love it.

What’s
it like to work with Beeda Weeda? Can you describe how you guys met up?

Just being at the studio, we met and ended up
becoming cool. It’s cool working with him, although we don’t work together that
much. We’re busy doing our solo things.

And
what can you tell us about DJ Fresh? His production is pretty tight.

That’s my favorite DJ hands down; the best DJ there
is. He was a DJ for Nas, you know. And it’s funny, ‘cause a lot of people think
he’s from here, but he’s actually from Baltimore. His brother (DJ Dummy) is a
DJ for Common.

Let’s talk about the YouTube clip titled “D-LO ROBS RICK ROSS FOR HIS CHAIN!!!”

What up with that?

That’s just to show people if it was some real
educational shit on YouTube, they won’t wanna click on it. But if you put up a
video of D-LO mobbin’ and snagging Rick Ross’ chain, people be clicking all
over that! Shows you what kinda shit people want to see!

Is
that a signal of possible beef between you and Rick Ross?

Naw, we were just fucking around.

Given
your collaboration with Shady Nate and Mr. Tower on the banging “Any Mini”
track from The Tonite Show with D-LO pre-album, do you think this evidence of
a “hyphy” rebirth wave on the rise?

Not really, I just mixed the hyphy with the gangsta, you
know, the mobbin’, you feel me? It’d be the beats that people associate with
hyphy, the things you can dance to kinda.

Love
the E-40 “No Hoe” remix. What’s E-40 like in person?

He’s humble, he is humble; he is the type person you
could be around a lot, a lot anywhere and especially in the business.

I
liked that Roger n’ Zapp, “Computer Love” type vocal synth on “No Squares.” Are
“squares” and “nerds” a problem these days and could you elaborate on the issue?

I mean, I’m not talking about real nerds or squares the
way you might. You know what I mean, with the glasses and shit. I think it’s
like you can be the hardest person by the way you look and dress and still be considered
a nerd by how you act and how you do shit.

How
did you hook up with Clear Label/PTB?

Just ended up recorded with Yung Moses a lot, then
it became a relationship and eventually it became business.

How
have the talks with Interscope and Def Jam been?

I mean they’ve been good, they’ve been all right,
you feel me? But I can’t punk myself. You see, they’re offering these 360
packages and I want none of that.

When
will the Undeniable Talent album be released?

Late January, or February. We’re working on it right
now.

Can
you give us a preview of what to look out for in the future?

Right now, you feel me, we’re making the video for
the “No Hoe” remix and it’s crazy. We crash a model’s runway and bust out performing.
It shows some people in the audience not happy about it, but then they sitting
there listening to us perform. We’re also working on a video for the track “You
Played Me.” Working on new songs and trying to hit that radio.

Random
question, I know basketball was your first love. If you could
choose a team to play for, who would it be?

Right now? Shit if I’m gonna play, I’ll play for the
Warriors, you feel me? I mean, they’re right here! I’m gonna be a Warrior!

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