It’s been nearly a year since Freebandz rapper Doe Boy set foot outside prison walls, and he has yet to take his freedom for granted. During his first holiday season as a free man, the Cleveland native refused to take any days off. After releasing his latest mixtape Streetz Need Me, Doe Boy spent a lot of his time back in the studio but music wasn’t his only prime focus.
“I was always in the studio working, but I chilled though, and hung out with my son a lot. That’s what I did for the majority of the holidays,” says Doe about his time home. Although he turned the eff up for New Year’s like most of us, Doe Boy spent the first week of 2017 dropping off brand new visuals for records like his collaborative effort with Machine Gun Kelly entitled “Gang” and “956 Nights,” which features Future’s trusted mixer DJ Esco on the song’s intro. He’s also in the process of prepping his next video with Remy Boy Monty for their joint single, “Way Too Many.”
That’s not all he is working on — it’s just the beginning. Along with numerous show dates in the future, Doe Boy is already working on his next project, as well as more new music with Lil Durk, who also makes a cameo on his recent mixtape. While he plots his next moves,the rising emcee is dead set on bringing a new voice to Future’s Epic Records backed label, which also includes Zoey Dollaz, Metro Boomin’, Young Scooter, Casino and of course DJ Esco. He also strives to raise up the entire Ohio rap scene and usher in a new sound that has already begun to convert Freebandz into a sonically unique hub for truly unique artists.
“I definitely feel like there’s been a lot of progression since I’ve gone and came home,” he said regarding Ohio’s rise in the game. “I’m actually proud of n*ggas out here. It’s n*ggas who are really turning up in the state, not just Cleveland but all of Ohio.”
We recently spoke with Doe Boy about his personal contributions to the Freebandz Gang. The Cleveland rapper drops hints about what’s to come with his Chicago brethren, how he got to work with Remy Boy Monty, and what he has learned thus far from his label boss, Future.
VIBE: Freebandz has grown significantly within the last year or so. What do you feel like you’re going to bring to the table that no one else is bringing right now?
Doe Boy: My whole thing is Future is one of the biggest artists out right now especially in the rap lane. Period. What I’m about to bring to the table is somebody who can run in that lane with him. I’m not trying to be no background n*ga or no shadow n*gga or something like that.
You definitely proved that with your mixtape Streetz Need Me. I know it was something you really wanted to get off your chest. What was some of the best feedback you heard from your fans?
Man they think it’s the hardest sh*t they’ve heard in life. They think it’s the hardest shit they’ve heard ever!
With the project well in rotation, you fueled the hype by dropping off the video for “956 Nights” featuring DJ Esco. I noticed Esco wasn’t in it with you. I won’t front. I actually expected you to be next to him while he debuts some new dances moves or something. What happened with him?
Well about that situation with the “956 Nights” video, I wasn’t even thinking about all that. I didn’t think that I had to grab Esco just to talk in the beginning. For the video shoot, I would’ve had him in the beginning of the song just talking on video. So I wasn’t really thinking “Oh my god, Esco gotta make the video shoot!” It’s not like he had a verse or something like that. It’s just the intro so I wasn’t really pressed to get him in the video. But I did shoot a video with Esco the Other day at Club Aces. He stars in it all through the video with me.
Lil Durk also made an appearance on your recent mixtape with your “OTFBG” skit. Do you guys have something else cooking in the stash?
I ain’t going to talk much about what me and Durk got going on, but we’ve got some sh*t planned for y’all. I won’t say too much but me and Durk, you already know we been plotting.
How did you really get involved with Remy Boy Monty?
When I was locked up, I was listening to Fetty Wap a lot. I got hip to him when I was in jail. When I got his album and from everything that I had seen, Monty was ‘on’ that. I saw Monty was nearly every song and shit so I was like ‘I fucks with him.’ When I came home, I wanted to do a song with him. I reached out to him and he reached back like a real n*gga. I sent him the song. Then somebody sent me an Instagram link from DJ Big L, which is one of their [Remy Boys] DJ’s. He had posted a video on his Instagram of them in the studio with the song playing in the background and Monty was doing his verse. That’s how I found out Monty did the song. I’m like ‘Oh yeah that’s cool. That’s love right there.’
In your ‘Letter To Future,’ you embrace Future Hendrix as a true ally in your career. What’s something you learned from him since you started working with him?
It’s that work ethic. He just showed me that you really got to have a lot of songs. He showed me that you really need to be in the studio every day, and if not every day then every other day. While you’re there, you better make a lot of songs. When you got so many songs, how are you going to fall off?
There ain’t no way you going to fall off because you’re recording so much. Let’s say years pass and people aren’t feeling the way your new music sound and they want the old shit back. I could be like ‘Cool, if y’all want the old me back then I’ll dip into the ‘old me stash.’ That’s why it’s cool to record as much music as possible and you’ll stay relevant. You will never fall off because you’ve got music to fit every situation.
You kicked off the year strong with your string of videos. What’s next on your calendar for the rest of 2017?
My calendar is looking crazy right now. I got sh*t coming up in Texas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, and of course throughout all of Ohio. I can’t really say nothing right now but there’s a lot of sh*t coming up.