Hip Hop Artist Dex_Dodger
We’re discussing how he contributes to the hip hop game.
Join us in this conversation with hip hop artist Dex_Dodger
DSR: How old were you when you developed an interest in making hip hop music?
DEX: I was 11, when I was forced to join band but actually caught on pretty quick playing the tuba. But I started making beats at 16, on FL Studio and it’s been a wrap since then. I started self-recording my songs and posting them on soundcloud once I turned 18, and I’m 19 now, with a 20th birthday this upcoming August still going at it.
DSR: What formed your love of hip hop music in your head and inspired you to start making music?
DEX: When I used I get picked up from school, I used to hear the various songs on the radio, but I remembered them ALL. Since there’s no music industry in Little Rock, there’s not many local rappers with a buzz and I got tired of it and took it into my own hands head-on.
DSR: Let’s get to know a little more about you and how you grew up. What was it like in your hometown? What kind of kid were you?
DEX: I was a quiet kid. Really calm. All A’s. But I’m from Cheatham Park, which is on the East side of Little Rock, and at the time, gang activity was in full effect. I’m not a gang member, but back then, alot of things were going on in the ‘hood that nobody thought I was mature enough to know about. And it did start to affect me. And my grades. My family moved across the river to North Little Rock because of that I believe. I love my city though. No entertainment business though. So you have to be your own investor.
DSR: So let’s talk about your music. How would you describe your hip hop sound to someone who has never heard it before?
DEX: Well when you start off as a producer, you already know what kind of sound that you have & make, but when you take out the time to build up a flow, and not just some punchlines, but actual lyrics to coat that beat perfectly, you get recognized for what your songs are which mine are: energetic, positive, crunk, fresh.
DSR: What is the significance of your name?
DEX: Over time, I’ve managed to stay outta trouble when it comes down to it. (Trouble with family, friends, job, police, money, etc.) Anything bad happens, I found a way to stay out of it. Which I called myself the Dodger of Trouble. My name is Dexter so I shortened it to Dex and threw the underscore in between to make the name a lot more distinct. So Dex_Dodger is the name. With the underscore too.
DSR: There’s a part of the industry that irks me the most, where talented individuals gets overlooked because they don’t fit a mold. How frustrating is that for you, if people seem to think that you don’t have that hip hop sound for radio?
DEX: Well I don’t get too frustrated because it just means it’s a greater come-up and I never doubt myself no matter how bad it gets, but i realized that everyone’s ears aren’t always pointed at the radio so, if radio isn’t your niche, take it elsewhere where you know people pay attention and can find you. Other outlets such as the Internet, Television/Film, Performances, Newspapers & Magazines are other outlets of getting your music to people’s eyes AND ears without having to sweep the radio market.
DSR: What do you think needs to be brought to hip hop music in this decade and how do you plan to add to that?
DEX: I think alot more originality needs to return. People are so materialistic, and want to be known for something, so they make songs that actually get them KNOWN for something. But it’s way more to it than that, to me, I do it because it’s fun and I know that people listen to your message, which if fans can relate and like you for you, you’ll get REMEMBERED for something. Not just known. I make music that comes, not from my heart but, me as a whole. I do this. I plan to use my originality to bring out others’ too. You are not your own spokesperson at the end of the day. It’s your music speaking for you.
DSR: What do you think of the hip hop music that came out in the last decade?
DEX: Speaking for the 90’s decade: I believe it built the concrete structure that people still use today. It’s highly needed in this generation of young, new artists and takes me back to the whole originality topic. It was a matter of you being you, and sticking to that. Speaking for the 2000’s decade: I believe that many genres turned alot more commercial and more mainstream. Everyone wants to be popular, have the most fans, friends, and followers but don’t want to build that. People don’t like to watch the underground scene too much unless you already have clout, especially in a non-music U.S. state. But you have to truly “Be You” in order to stand out in this game.
DSR: How would you rate your skills when compared to other artists heard on the radio?
DEX: I say that for the artists on the radio, shoutout to those song engineers making the tracks sound on point because if weren’t for them, alot of people’s songs wouldn’t even have been submitted. But I think my talent is at the same level as the artists on the radio if not better. Around this time last year, I was not this advanced. I’ve taken out the time to build myself up as an artist, and I’m getting better, so by this time next year, who knows, I might BE on the radio.
DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?
DEX: Commitments are NOT taken lightly. Know as much as possible about what you are wanting to learn. You can’t talk to everybody personally, but your product can, and if it’s not worth listening to, you’ll be talking to closed ears.
DSR: Are you working on any new projects with artists or have any projects that you are promoting right now?
DEX: I have some music videos that I’ve directed for Three 6 Mafia’s Koopsta Knicca and we’re working on all those trying to promote them alongside with the new Three 6 collaboration, Da Mafia 6ix. Those are one be crunk forreal. I love being behind the cam. It’s like a second nature. I also currently have my debut mixtape, “The RunOut” on HotNewHipHop and I’m doing some local performances in reference to the ‘tape. I also currently produce for my fellow local act, Green Mafia Gang. I produce for another fellow MC, Comeet coming outta Gary, Indiana. And I also have projects with my fellow friends and musicians, Statelabz246 but there’s no release dates.
DSR: Have you entered any hip hop competitions and won?
DEX: I performed at the Coast2Coast Dallas Convention in August 2012, but I didn’t win. It was a lesson learned for me and it was actually my first performance EVER. Plus, I was the 1st performer of that night. So it was hectic. But I loved it.
DSR: Where can we find your hip hop music online?
DEX: Go to dexdodger.com and bead your eyes around a little..Google and search, “Dex_Dodger the runout” and you’ll find my recent mixtape. Download it. Go to Soundcloud and search’ “Dex_Dodger” if you wanna hear all my other music I’ve made over the last year. My song, “Shawty Say” is on iTunes so go hear that too.
DSR: We ask everyone that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you?
Stay true, keep real people around you, know all you can, & learning has NO limits. Enjoy it while you can.
DSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in closing of this interview?
DEX: Visit dexdodger.com & Follow Me on Twitter, Like Me on Facebook, or Subscribe on YouTube if you want to see, read, or hear the daily actions of Dex the Dodger.
Thanks Dex_Dodger for providing your insight on this hip hop movement!