Dugee F. Buller may be the DMV's most underrated rapper. The talented artist has performed on the local hip-hop circuit for several years and has compiled an impressive body of work.
Dugee recently released Moet and Mad Dog, a project he feels is his best album to date. Dugee is ready to take his career to the next level, and by the end of 2014 he expects his name to be known worldwide.
ST: Let everyone know who you are and where you're from.
DB: My name is Dugee F. Buller, made in Cleveland Ohio, a product of Uptown DC, and polished in Clinton, MD. No crew, just me and my folks. Titles are like underwear: some people wear them on the outside!
ST: How did you get interested in music?
DB: Actually, being from Ohio, that part of the country has a history of being the leader in funk music during the 1960's and 70's. And of course DC has its own musical genre called go-go. I have been involved in music for about 15 years. I got interested in hip-hop around 1998. The Dirty South style had a big influence on me. I was just so impressed by the hustle and the new sound (drawl, concept, beat selection) that it made me want to rap. I was infatuated by it. And around the same time (1998), go-go had really opened up to freestyling over cover songs instead of actually "covering" songs.
ST: Were there any rappers in particular that inspired you to pick up the mic?
DB: Los of Backyard, the whole frontline of UCB, and the great hip-hop icon Jay-Z. In go-go we developed freestyling to the point that no next line is so common that anyone can repeat your next bar. Los is known for that! The whole UCB frontline, including Tre, are writers/rappers. Mickey, Bo, and G-Money are rappers! They are the closest thing to a DC version of the Lox. They each had a different persona: G-Money would be in the crowd, Bo would be chilling and Mikey presented himself as a star. With Jay-Z he's amazing because he doesn't need a hype man - the crowd is the hype man. If you make memorable music they will repeat it and you don't need a nigga running around stage doing fill-ins and hyping the crowd. Your music will speak for itself.
ST: Who do you think are some of the best local rappers right now?
ST: You named some serious MCs. How do you feel about the DMV music scene as a whole?
DB: We like to say, "we need to support each other" but unfortunately, that's not always the case. We live in an area where people hate your music until another part of the country loves it. If Delaware and North Carolina love your music then you get a pat on the back because you're buzzing. You don't get any support until you're on MTV Jams. But in spite of my sidebar, the DMV music scene is blooming! DC is known for producing great musicians - going all the way back to Marvin Gaye and Duke Ellington. And now that the DMV rap scene is coming up, things are definitely going in the right direction!
ST: What's your opinion about rappers paying to perform and paying for blog postings?
DB: I understand it takes money to make money. My personal problem with paying to perform, and paying for blog posts, is: how does the artist benefit? You end up paying to be in front of 50 other rappers that also paid to perform. Paying to perform in the DC area is a waste. There is also no point in paying for blogs because there's no actual journalism anymore. It's very hypocritical. I was told that if a blog charges you to be on their site, that means they don't have any paid advertisers. No one is a hip-hop journalist anymore. With social media anyone can have a "respectable" opinion on hip-hop music. People have taken an art and turned it into a money making machine.
ST: I think I disagree with the part about there's no more hip-hop journalism, lol. But let's talk about what you bring to the stage in terms of lyrics and charisma.
DB: I'm dropping the most unique brand of hip-hop in the DC area. Big Krit said it best, "most of these dudes want to be a rapper but they can't do a show." I pride myself on my performance - that's the edge I got from go-go. You perform in front of so many different people on so many various nghts that you build up a stage presence for yourself. I love performing. I love developing a show list. I design my performance to fit the venue, crowd, and show. I always create a type of situation to entertain the audience.
ST: What projects are you currently working on?
DB: I'm still promoting Moet and Mad Dog and I plan to release a few more singles and videos. I have the ability to give two different sides of myself as an artist. Moet and Mad Dog is my introduction to a larger audience. It's was kind of a "day in the life" and it was fun to make. I personally feel it was my most complete album to date. The next album will be called God Emcee.
ST: Talk a little bit about your latest single.
DB: "Migo Hit My Boost" is a song featuring Killa Cal from Rare Essence and (formerly) the What Band. It's a great song that's actually the opposite of what's it's about! I want to give you the details about the verses, but I have a remix about to drop that actually explains the verses! Lol!!
ST: Do you have any upcoming shows scheduled?
DB: Yes, on November 14th I'll be performing at the Art Music Fusion Experience. It takes place at the Lounge of Three (1013 U Street, NW).
ST: Thanks for your time. Do you have any final comments?
DB: I just want to thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. As always, Google me: "Dugee F Buller", or follow me on Twitter @DugeeLFE for all updates, commentary and of course, good music! Swish!