About a month ago, I was graced with the opportunity of interviewing rising Brooklyn hip-hop artist, Dolo The Bandit. Fresh off the release of his latest album, Target Practice, Dolo and I talked everything from who he is and who he aims to be, to what this album’s about, while taking some detours along the way and speaking on the details of his life that not everyone would know about.
Check out the full exclusive interview below and make sure to check out Target Practice!
Bryan: To those who are unfamiliar, who is Dolo The Bandit and where did the name come from?
Dolo: Dolo derived from hood terms and then became an acronym for DisObeying unlawful Orders. The Bandit came about once I identified my character’s role in this music.
Bryan: How did you first become interested in music?
Dolo: Music was something I was born into because of The Bronx. Initially I was only an illustrator- artist cartooning, but during high school my good friend coached me into taking rapping more seriously. I began writing more than drawing in sketchbooks, battling in school, having cyphers in school hallways, lunchrooms, then shortly after, becoming hands on with the music production and audio engineering.
Bryan: Who are some of your early influences?
Dolo: Growing up I was a heavy Nas fan. Wu-Tang showed me I could have my own Kong-Fu like style of image and word play. It’s because of Ghost Face Killah that I knew there could be a “Dolo The Bandit”.
Bryan: Tell me about your song “Get Down” and how it found itself featured in Spike Lee’s film, “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You”. What was that like?
Dolo: “Get Down” is a record I saved for my mixtape The Hiest – Code: Black Op. During the campaigning of the tape an opportunity was presented to send music in for the film and “Get Down” was one of the songs they chose for the movie. It’s been great to have music selected for non-traditional outlets allowing a platform to reach different audiences.
Bryan: “Get Down” was also licensed by Quiksilver, correct?
Dolo: Yes, was super cool to work with a brand I actually supported, having my music apart of their international surf tour!
Bryan: I also see you performed at BET Music Matters in 2012. What was that experience like?
Bryan: I’ve read your Soundcloud biography a couple times. If you don’t mind me asking, how has surviving a home invasion affected you? Has it changed your outlook on life at all?
Dolo: This album was treated as if I will never make another body of work again. There’s a complete message in everything, bar broken down, line for line in every song. I wanted this album to stand alone and the test of time. Though it has a specific theme, much intention was had in ensuring the sound was authentic to New York, showcasing how well rounded the cities influences are in music world wide. It’s more universal than anything previously released.
Bryan: What’s your favorite track off the album?
Dolo: “Japan In July”.
Bryan: Who’s your dream collaboration?
Dolo: I don’t have a dream collaboration, I really just want to make dope music with dope passionate artists!
Bryan: If you could do a tour with anyone and go anywhere, who would you go with and where would it be?
Bryan: What’s your favorite song to perform live?
Dolo: “Lake House”.
Bryan: If you could pick any song, yours or someone else’s, to describe your life right now, what would it be?
Dolo: “Japan In July”.
Bryan: Who are you rocking with in music right now?
Dolo: It’s an introduction to my sound as an artist and producer. This album should show people the caliber and quality they should look forward to from me now on. The themes, concepts, and lyrical content can allow the world to see how formidable a force I am to be reckoned with. Good music that can be compared to anyone in the major ranks.
Bryan: What can we expect from Dolo The Bandit in the future?
Dolo: A serious increase of content and music being released. Theres a story to be told so I’m rolling out the chapters in each series!