On November 25th, a host of local MCs gathered to celebrate Lobotomix‘s seven years of hip hop coverage. This show made it clear that Alabama has a large underground hip-hop following. Many of the rappers performing were in the crowd rapping along to other rappers songs. The Alabama hip-hop scene is a fraternity and everyone has a mutual respect for each other.
There were a lot of familiar names but I got familiar with a lot of acts I’ve never heard of. Mostly, the fist performer, D-Gut. This shows how small the world is because I went to UA at the same time and I had no clue he was still rapping. I heard a few tracks of his in passing but at this stage of life, I figured everyone settled into their lives and abandoned dreams. This is exactly why we chose to interview D-Gut. A lot of MCs at this show have the same mission but D-Gut embodies what it means to chase your dream. The life of a rapper isn’t glamorous. It’s late nights, early mornings, and funding your dream. But the dream is bigger than everything else.
Since that first mixtape of D Gut’s that I heard nearly half a decade ago, he’s been all traveling around doing performances. He has an extensive catalog under his belt now. So with no further hesitation, get to know D-Gut.
Sky: Tell us who you are and where you come from?
D-Gut: I go by the name D-Gut, I’m from Selma, Alabama. I went to school at UA and I got to Tuscaloosa and never left. So I’m kinda like a transplant.
Sky: What got you rapping?
D-Gut: I’m gone save yall a very long story. I was in 7th grade and this was when Lil Bow Wow was hot. Like he was HOT. I couldn’t stand it. I was bored in class and I was just like “I’m gone write a Bow Wow diss song”. So I wrote a diss and that was my first time writing. Ever since then I kept writing on and off as a way to express myself. Then I learned how to put it over beats and how to record.
Sky: Was the diss track still fire?
D-Gut: For 13 year old me, yea.
Sky: It was better than anything Lil Bow Wow could’ve done
Sky: You went to UA so I wanna know what you majored in? I always wanna know. You got a dream to be a rapper but you go to school because they tell so you’re supposed to.
D-Gut: My first major was electrical engineering and computer science. I changed that to telecommunication and film with a focus on media production. I like working with audio.
Sky: So you started off on something totally different and started migrating towards your craft?
D-Gut: Yea, yea
Sky: Because like I said, you have some guys who wanna be a rapper majoring in computer science or some shit, something that ain’t got nothing to do with rapping
D-Gut: If I stayed in engineering I wouldn’t be broke today. But then again I wouldn’t be on that stage today
Ron: That’s the trade-off
D-Gut: That’s facts. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Sky: Ok well who influences you? Because when I heard you, what drew me to you is that you have this KRIT kinda cadence.
Ron: Very southern
Sky: Yea you Southern all day. I can hear the Bama in you. You Selma as hell
D-Gut: That’s what I wanna hear. Because there’s a lot of rappers from Alabama or the South in general who want to sound like they’re from Atlanta. I know I’m Southern, I know I’m a country boy for the most part –
Sky to Ron: Yea that’s Demopolis right there ha ha
D-Gut: -but I guess growing up, I listened to what my brother listened to because he’s older than me. UGK, Outkast, Goodie Mob. Then finding my own stuff, getting into indie hip-hop. Jurassic 5, Atmosphere, Murs, that kinda stuff. So I guess being from the South and taking a little bit of what I heard from the storytelling in indie hip-hop kinda birthed who I am now.
Ron: Yea I could hear that when you and [LJ] were on stage, yall have very distinct Southern voices but I could tell, like myself, that yall were listening to Atmosphere and things like that.
D-Gut: Slug’s my favorite rapper
Ebony arrives to sit down then attempts to walk off because she thinks she’s interrupting the interview
Sky: Nah, Nah, gone sit your black ass down
Sky: Ok a little different question, what different would you like to see in hip-hop? Like what you want to be better, some shit you think that’s gotta go?
D-Gut: I don’t think anything in hip-hop needs to change, I think there needs to be balance. Music is going to continue to be different, no matter how you look at it. But as far as mainstream media, there needs to be more of a balance.
Sky: My whole issue is, everybody hops on type of style
Ron: Yea there’s times where I want to hear my turn-up music and sometimes I want to hear other things
Sky: Sometimes I want to hear “The Vent” by KRIT and sometimes I want to hear “Stick Talk” by Future
D-Gut: Personally I love that Desiigner Panda ha ha
Sky: It’s everybody’s guilty pleasure. Now moving on, name 3 artists you’d like to work with in the Future.
Ron: Now this could be big picture, it doesn’t have to be reasonable
D-Gut: Atmosphere is one. Wow…Kendrick.
Sky: I can actually hear you on a Kendrick song
D-Gut: I can’t even think of a third…um. Tech 9ne
Sky: Now that’s a curveball
D-Gut: Tech 9ne is in my top 5.
Sky: I can understand that, man. People listen to Tech 9ne
Ebony: He kinda dark to me
D-Gut: He’s very dark
Sky: Yea he’s dark but when it comes to straight riding a beat, nobody can do it better
Ron: There’s nothing Tech 9ne can’t rap over
Sky: What album or track are you listening to right now?
D-Gut: Right now, Isaiah Rashad been getting a lot of spins
Ron: Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite track?
D-Gut: I think it’s Tity and Dolla
Ron: “Look what I got bitch it’s Tity and Dolla”
Sky to Ron: Remember when we saw him in Austin?
Ron: Yea, we saw him when Cilvia Demo first came out. We were like front and center. When was that?
Sky: Ummm, 2014?
D-Gut: Yea that was probably the same time we were down there. We played that album that whole way there.
Sky: Aight man, we’re about to wrap it up. What’s your social media
D-Gut: Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/TheOnlyDGut
and Instagram: TheOnlyDGut
Ebony: He don’t be on Instagram, I checked your Instagram
D-Gut: I got it but I don’t use it, it’s a necessary evil
Sky: So where can people check out the music?
D-Gut: Bandcamp. I put everything on my Bandcamp
Ron: Rod said you have a new instrumental album out, we’re definitely going to check that out
D-Gut: Yea I do
Ron: I’m really interested in checking that out. I’m always curious to see rappers’ visions when they go over into beat making.
D-Gut: I started doing both at the same time. I start producing when I started recording. I figured it out. Well hopefully. I’ll let the people be the judge of that.
Sky: So those songs you were performing were your beats?
D-Gut: Like the first half of that set was songs I produced.
Ron: That’s what we were talking about. I hope this doesn’t sound the wrong way but when we were listening to your set we were pleasantly surprised by the production. At these indie showcases, the production is good but might still be a bit rough around the edges. I can tell you put work into your craft.
Sky: Yea that’s what drew me in. I could tell this wasn’t a Casio beat ha ha. But you got some merch up there?
D-Gut: Nah man, we too broke for that but we working on it.
Ron: Yea we trying to get our merch off the ground too, we know the struggle.
If you’re interested in getting to know more about D-Gut, check out his Bandcamp page. Support local rappers.
PS. We’re still interested in hearing that Lil Bow Wow diss.