Houston Music

Meet Doughbeezy, The Beast From The Southeast

Each Wednesday (or Thursday), Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

It's not complicated. If you see someone say things into a microphone that makes grown men say, "OOHHHH SHIT!" and then high-five each other, then you make that person Artist of the Week. That's exactly what rapid-fire rapper extraordinaire Doughbeezy has apparently been doing weekly at SF2's Kickback Sundays, which is exactly why he is here now.

Doughbeezy is a Southeast Houston fellow, a fact evident as soon as he starts talking. He also wears a ball fade, which nobody has successfully done since 1998. Time moves slower on the southeast side. His flow, somehow preternaturally polished, is enjoyable for a lot of reasons, but the most impressive is that he seems to be able to effortlessly tie together the strong, young, brash psyche of the New Houston Collective with the organic, soulful, drank-drenched psyche of the old heads.

We reached out to Doughbeezy to talk about a few things. Hop along to read about backstabbers, bumble bees and how he absolutely did not bite when we tried to bait him into a possibly incendiary conversation.

Rocks Off: Same opener as always: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Doughbeezy in exactly six words.

Doughbeezy: Faith, Loyalty, Family, Headwreckin', Southeast, beast.

RO: Do you have a problem with people smilin' in your face, all the while they wanna take your place?

D: It all depends. If it's all in competition, then I have no problem with it at all. But if you're smiling in my face but you really have a problem with me then we have a problem.

RO: About that, you've got that song that samples "Back Stabbers" by the O'Jays. How happy were your parents when you picked that? Wait. Your parents aren't dead are they? Oh Christ. Nevermind.

Doughbeezy, "Back Stabbers"

Doughbeezy, "Back Stabbers"

D [laughs]: Naw, my parents are alive, blessed, and happy. My father lives in the city I was born in (Cleveland, Ohio) and hasn't heard it yet, but I know he would love it. He's been into music since he was a kid, so I know he would enjoy hearing the O'Jays over that crazy beat. And my T Lady (mother) likes it. She says I still don't have a song she can send to my Grandmother though.

RO: Ooh, we probably should've addressed this earlier, but what precisely is a "doughbeezy"? Is it somehow related to baking? Bumble bees, perhaps?

D [laughs]: My nickname originally was "Doughboy" and I got that name from getting money in ways that I'm not proud of today... and because I've always been a little chubby.

But once I started rapping, I thought two things: 1. I wouldn't be able to use the name if I do blow up, due to copyrights or something of that nature; or 2. It would be 30,000 other rappers named "Doughboy" so I dropped the "boy" and added the "beezy" since it was more catchy and people in school had already started calling me that.

RO: The first time we saw you performing was at the Kickback Sunday thing where you just went berserk. That seems like a particularly intimidating setting. What are you feeling in your guts and brain two minutes before you get hold of the mike?

D: Shoutout to Theresa and everybody at SF2 and the artists holdin' it down at Kickback Sundays. But I feel excited and anxious at the same time. Two minutes before I go on I think the exact same thing every time: I'm finna crash this hoe! (Excuse my language.)

Kickback Sundays at SF2 is the only place in Houston that provides a spot for you to showcase your talents in front of people that are actually "somebodies" in the city consistently every week. And the best part about it is it's free. It's a good vibe and the other artist are positive. Good things like that don't usually last long, so I feel like I gotta go "berserk" anytime I get the opportunity to. I got a lot of people counting on me, so I can't drop the ball.

RO: Let's say you have to battle-rap two living Houston rappers tomorrow. A completely unbiased crowd will judge the competition. The losers will each be banished from rapping for the entirety of their lives. This is some serious shit. But you get to pick the two guys you're going against and the order that you three will go in. Who do you pick and in what order are you all going?

D: This is going to sound real weak, but fuck it: I really can't answer that question for two reasons. One, I honestly want to see every rapper/artist in the city get the shine that they deserve. And two, I see nothing positive coming from me answering this question. Too much negativity will be brought from my answer, so you got that one, sir.

Follow Doughbeezy on Twitter at @doughbeezy and hear him online at www.doughbeezy.com.

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Shea Serrano