Embark on a sonic journey led by artist Drue, a luminary in the hip-hop rap scene whose latest musical opus mirrors the intricate, mind-bending allure of a Christopher Nolan blockbuster. Amidst the whirlwind of beats and verses, Drue deftly weaves threads of hope, creating a tapestry that glimmers with optimism amidst the chaos. Echoing the evocative vibes of Kid Cudi and Travis Scott, his music exudes a magnetic fusion of introspection and vibrant energy. Not solely confined to the realm of creating music, Drue also spearheads BLAQ VOID, a visionary company spotlighting emerging DJs nationwide, solidifying his stature as a multifaceted creative force transcending boundaries in both music and entrepreneurship. Continue Reading our interview below to gain some insight into his musical journey.
RIPDAYDREAM: First I want to congratulate you on your debut album 'Hover'. Before we dive into the album let's talk about your back story and the influence music has had on your life.
Drue: Thank you. I didn’t know that I was going to be as passionate about music as I am today. I do come from a very musical family though. My mom was offered a couple of scholarships to play the Oboe. My aunt is a concert pianist in Washington DC. My uncle sold the rights to a music festival a couple of years back to Metallica. All my cousins absolutely shred guitar and bass. I spent most of my time downloading music and jamming out while absolutely killing my computer using Limewire and Frostwire. I got a lot of influence to start making music from my brother. He started rapping at 14 and was playing venues around downtown with my cousins. I started making music of my own when I was 16 with my buddy Sam who actually designed the logo for BLAQ VOID. I then developed my skills as a lyricist with my brother rapping in this old ass shack he had in the backyard of his house. Smoking weed, knocking back malt liquor, and just rhyming for hours on end in the dead of winter.
RIPDAYDREAM: Going off the last question, for our readers that aren't aware of what BLAQ VOID is can you dive into that company and side of your life?
Drue: BLAQ VOID today is essentially a party that I’ve been throwing with my friends for the last 5 years. We book DJs that are on the rise from around the country and bring them here as “special guests”. We are also a record label. I used to run Blaq Void as a label first, then throw shows to promote the music when I was 21. So it’s really been around for 8 years but we’ve been going hard for 5. Generally speaking, I just love good music. But I kind of got a good taste for electronic music and raves when I was 16. I love the culture behind it because “small” and DIY artists can really thrive in it. Our goal has always been to prop up growing artists who wouldn’t normally get booked elsewhere and put them on a platform to play for a crowd they deserve. Me, Brandon Gebo, and Randy Jimenez are the owners. I’ve known these guys since I was in High School and I owe a lot of BLAQ VOID’s success to them. Most of the people you meet on my team I’ve known for 12+ years. So growing this with my friends has been amazing.
RIPDAYDREAM: Now that we have discussed a little of your background let's dive into 'Hover'. Start at the beginning conception of this project and talk about the creative process behind the album.
Drue: The main idea or theme of HOVER was essentially to grow and ascend beyond what I think I’m capable of. There’s a lot of subject matter around balancing the party lifestyle and achieving your dreams, while also dealing with depression and leaving behind old vices. Adam Banx really helped me find my voice on this project. I came to him with the idea and really fleshed it out and recorded the whole thing at his studio. I was listening to a lot of Kid Cudi, Don Toliver, and Travis Scott. I love that dark and trippy style of hip-hop and feel like I’m cut from that same millennial cloth. There’s a lot of psychedelic undertones throughout. I took a lot of acid and shrooms during the 3 years I wrote it. I’ve developed a deep respect for those drugs so I only take them about once every year or 2 now. In fact, it’s funny that I’ve released this project now because I’ve been done with alcohol for a little over a year now. Just goes to show how long it can take to release an album haha.
RIPDAYDREAM: The production is crazy and definitely fitting for the futuristic vibe of the project. How do you choose the beats or instrumentals for your songs?
Drue: I wanted stuff that had very strong and distinct beginnings, middles, and ends (intro, body, climax, outro, etc.). I love synths and strings too so those elements are pretty highlighted throughout. I know it’s common for artists to lean into shorter pieces nowadays because of a “short attention span”. But I don’t think we give people enough credit. If something’s good enough, they’ll want to digest it. So my intros are long and cinematic. I want people to feel like they just started a Christopher Nolan film when they listen to HOVER. Because that is precisely how I wrote it.
RIPDAYDREAM: How do you feel your music has evolved since your debut or earlier works?
Drue: My music now basically shits on anything I’ve ever written haha I think that’s partially because I’m taking my music career more seriously that I’m older and got some experience. But I also feel like this is the most “me” I’ve ever been. I’ve gone by several aliases and used to make dungeon depression rap. But I chose a different source for creativity now. Kind of like when Zuko loses his firebending on ATLA and has to meet the dragons to regain it lol. Basically, I write with a glimmer of hope amongst the chaos nowadays.
RIPDAYDREAM: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
Drue: I want people to feel things. Feel through them and be conscious of their experiences. And hopefully, walk away with a feeling that they can overcome whatever it is that they're dealing with.
RIPDAYDREAM: What can fans expect from you in the near future? Any hints at upcoming projects or collaborations?
Drue: I’ve got some great stuff I worked on with Simigishi and Adam Banx. My brother will be on a project that’s been my favorite so far. My girl Salem is working on some electronic projects with me. And I’ve been making a lot of pop songs lately so get ready for that.