RESPECT. Interview: Doe Boy Talks Cleveland, Fears, and Success

Doe Boy

I done seen death. I seen it all. There’s nothing I haven’t seen.”

Doe Boy’s artistry, lyrics, and vibe leaves zero to the imagination. During his telephone sit down with RESPECT., he spoke in a matter-of-fact tone about growing up in Cleveland, whose soil hasn’t been seen as a mecca of hip-hop like New York or LA. The streets are gritty despite the exposure never being centered there, people are still out in the streets surviving. In his interview with VladTV, he very confidently, and unremorsefully, said, “There’s probably someone getting popped as we speak.”

Doe Boy recently dropped Streetz Need Me, which further details his outlook on the hood and where his head currently resides. His flavor of rap is idiosyncratic in style; it’s very easy to distinguish him from other artists because of the tenacity in the lyrics and his poise. During his interview, he spoke on his fears, the inauguration, and gangsta rap.


RESPECT.: What are you afraid of?

Doe Boy: Nothing. I’m just not. I was raised that way.

RESPECT.: What does Streetz Need Me refer to?

Basically what I’m saying is the streets need authenticity. That project was influenced in prison; I came up with the title when I was locked up. Most people need to know what’s going on. Nobody really talks about what’s going on.

Rappers just be rapping. They just be talking about it. When I say the streets need me, they need a n**ga like me that can talk about it.

RESPECT.: What’s really going in the streets?

Basically, like, real trap n**gas. A n**ga really be with real trap n**gas, real hood n**gas, real shooters. Everything you hear in these songs isn’t just turn up music for a Friday, it’s reality. Every n**ga around me really is like that.

RESPECT.: How early were you exposed to it?

I’ve been around it ever since I was a kid. I jumped on it when I was real young. I just liked it. I just had it around me so much.

RESPECT.: Who did you listen to growing up?

When I was 9 or 10, listening to a lot of 50 Cent. I can’t speak exactly what I was listening to, just because it was so long ago, so specifics I don’t remember. But I know it was gangsta s**t.

RESPECT.: On “956 Nights” you rap: “This ain’t gangster rap, I’m just bringing hood back,” what were you trying to get across? Would you consider yourself gangsta rap?

I’m not going to say I’m not gangsta rap. Because if you wanna put it in a category, it’s going to be gangsta rap, or something along those lines. The point was that this isn’t a performance- it’s not really “rapping” because, like I said before, it’s just a reality.

RESPECT.: When will you be able to say that you’ve done it all? In other words, what’s your top goal?

To make sure everything and everyone around me is rich. Everyone. Anyone that’s around me gotta be millionaires. When everything around me is rich, I’m gonna be set, I’m gonna chill.

RESPECT.: How have you helped the people around you?

There’s n**gas around me who’re shooting n**gas, taking lives, selling and all that. I need to pull them out of that! And I have. It’s dangerous out there, here is where it’s at. That’s the most important thing. Getting n**gas away from that shit. That’s the biggest thing I be doing, and continuing to do for my n**gas.

RESPECT.: What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?


It’s like. What else is a n**ga gon’ do? I’m not about to wake up every morning and get a job, either. I feel like that’s losing in a different sense. Nothing’s being achieved, I’m not being fulfilled. I ain’t never had a job a day in my life. I’m not going to do that. That’s why n**gas be in the streets.

Like I said, n**gas don’t really have a choice. I think about that all the time. I just can’t live like that. And you know why? A man will work a 9-5 a year, And he- I’ll be nice with this- might make 50K a year. You could get 50K in a night in the streets!

RESPECT.: Today was the inauguration, how do you feel?

You know what’s crazy? I been out all day I wasn’t even focused on that. I hadn’t even really sat back and thought Donald Trump is really my president. I don’t like the dude. I don’t think he even wanted to be president. I think he was playing around cause he knew he had money and the power/ability to do so.

RESPECT.: What’s next up for you?

I got the “Way Too Many” video out soon, and I got the “Free Band Anthem” video out soon. Gonna be good.

You can follow Doe Boy on Twitter & Instagram.