After completely selling out his debut London date at the prestigious O2 Academy in Islington, Memphis, Tennessee’s Young Dolph looks to embark on expanding his global P.R.E. brand with a three date UK tour, alongside close compatriot Key Glock.
The tour, which stops off at Birmingham, Manchester and London respectively, will expect to see Dolph engage with his British fan base for the first time and in particular, will see him perform fourteen trap rooted tracks, which make up his latest album, Role Model.
2017 was a fuelled year for Young Dolph, seeing him drop a number of projects, including three studio albums; proving that in the trap game, he is most certainly at the top when it comes to consistency and his unmatched work rate. Throughout his musical discography, Dolph has been known for the themes he places on his projects, with titles such as Rich Crack Baby, Gelato and the decorated Bulletproof just to name a few, offering a vivid sense of imagery into life, grinding in the streets of Memphis, and working towards better days. Within these, Dolph offers invaluable anecdotal tales from his younger days all the way up until where he is at in his career in the present day, with his music acting as a gospel to the ridden streets he came up from.
On his latest body of work, Role Model, he bucks the trend set by his previous works, instead taking a more reflective, inspired approach to his usual style and the fourteen track LP documents a special point in Dolph’s career. With 2017 being a year that he used to solidify his place in the scene over in the states, Role Model acts as a celebratory, checkpoint like moment with Young Dolph now at a point where his sonic progression has elevated him to a point where he has become admired by peers, fans and competitors alike.
2018 has noticeably been a year in which the scene has seen a vast array of new faces, filling every pocket in the rap realm, however with that said; there have been a greater number of younger creative hopefuls entering the industry more than ever before. With success comes riches, and without a solid foundational team behind you, it can be hard to sustain and correctly manage yourself. To help guide the next generation in a more proper way, Young Dolph expressed that through Role Model, aside from the trap heavy production, with the likes of Zaytoven and Buddah Bless as well as its selected features, there is a heavier, deep rooted message to be taken from the the album.
We managed to sit down and converse with Young Dolph ahead of his UK tour to discuss a number of topics ranging from his relationship with his mother, to who he has been keeping his eye on, over in the UK.
The title Role Model takes a new turn in comparison to themes in your previous works, can you expand on the name of the project and does it signify a point in your career?
“I just wanted to do something different, you know what I’m saying? Like right now where I’m at in my career I just wanted to put out a vibe where its like “you can do this too”, you know. That’s pretty much it, like if I can do it where I’ve come from, then you can do it too.”
You take quite a different approach with the intro of the tape, paying homage; can you talk more about that?
“I mean I decided to start the project this way cause of the name of it, Role Model, like if you’re going to look up to me because of what I’ve got or how I dress or this or that; just know where it all came from. I just want the people to remember, that all these materials is not all that makes me up. A big part of this is because of my momma and I want people to know that showing appreciation to their Mothers is very important.
“It’s like the real important shit you know, the actual important shit. That’s why the intro is like a thank you track, slash an “I’m sorry” track, slash a celebratory track, you know, so showing all my appreciations in one”
There were only a select few features on Role Model, notably Snoop Dogg, how did that come about?
“Yeah! That’s my favourite feature on Role Model.
“I reached out to Snoop and it was just all love, you know what I’m saying, all love. I mean we had already spoken and had a relationship where we both had been fucking with each other; this was just our first time working. It felt right.”
The UK scene here that we have is really starting to gain accreditation over in the states, and here its the biggest its ever been; is there anyone you’re particularly feeling?
“I just know the first time I heard that Giggs song, you know the Whippin’ Excursion one, damn [laughs], I remember the first time I heard that, it was like man, this is the hardest shit ever [laughs].
“That shit was super hard, I know that went off over here too, shout out to Giggs”
During your time here, are you going to be getting in the studio and working with anyone in the UK?
“Oh for sure, if we get time imma try get in the studio, but I cant really speak on that one too much [laughs]”
Aside from the UK, who are you listening to in your spare time aside from your own stuff?
“Mmm….To be honest, if imma keep it all 100, all I’ve been listening to apart from my own music is Glock, we putting together his projects and continually critiquing our own work.
“Me and Glock are just preparing for the next one though, you’re going to be seeing more from Dolph and Glock soon”
I really enjoyed the beat selection on Role Model, from a sonic standpoint, who did you choose to work with on this one?
“There were a couple of different producers we worked with on this one, you know, to create that sound. We wanted everything to sound right. My favourite was the one Squeeky, DJ. Squeeky did with the “Lipstick” joint; that shit just hard as hell, on God that just sound crazy, it’s different.
“What else we got on there, the “Major” joint with Glock that Bandplay did too, go hard, we shot the video for that as well, went off.
“Zaytoven did that one with me and Kash Doll too, we worked together a lot in the past, that’s my brother, he killed that track too.”
Lastly, as someone who documents being from the streets, sharing your experiences through your music; what message would you give to the young generation who want to be like Young Dolph?
“It’s cool. Like its cool to do that and look up to me, but at the same time I think it’s important to remember that just because you listen to me, it doesn’t mean you have to be doing what I’m rapping about; you know what I’m saying.
“If this isn’t your life, then this isn’t your life, but if that is your life and your life is like mine, well either way, I just want to let you know that you can do something successful. It doesn’t have to be what I did, the whole idea of this is to motivate you to go harder at whatever you are doing in life when you listen to my music, know what I’m saying. Like take that shit to the next level man.
“If you a camera man, aspire to be the best camera man, shit, if you work at Walmart then think to yourself “let me be the manager of my Walmart, then the district manager”, always look to level up yourself, set your standards high so that when you get to that position you wanted, then you will also have something to pass down to the next generation when it’s your turn, that’s some real shit.”