James L. Tyler, better known by Dough the Freshkid (DTFK), was raised in South Central Los Angeles but is the product of Gary, Indiana. DTFK’s passion for music came at a very young age. As a fan of music he really enjoys melodic tunes and powerful lyrics. In such, as he began high school he started writing and recording music. His love for recording grew where he decided to forgo a major label deal and create his independent label, Every Penny Counts Music Group (EPC). In 2010, DTFK began building EPC from the bottom up and PUSHed his way on the scene with his Million Dollar Dreams mixtape.
This project was rated 5 stars by Datpiff mixtape website. Freshkid then followed up with No More Dreams in 2012 http://www.datpiff.com/Dough-the-Freshkid-No-More-Dreams-Tuxedos-Champagne-mixtape.309761.html, which was also rated 5 stars by Datpiff.
DTFK credits his inspiration as his older brother Antiowe “Foot” Tyler. Yet, his musical influence’s includes Ice Cube, NAS, Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z, and 50 cent. In such, DTFK appreciates the grind and humility it takes to be an influential and successful global artist. During his brief time DTFK has shared the stage with many artists including DJ Quik, PacDiv, The Kool Kids, Dom Kennedy, Outkast, Wyclef, E40, Wu-Tang Clan, Twista, Too Short, Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, The Dogg Pound, Juvenile, Glasses Malone, The Alkaholiks, Chingy, and The Lox. In all, DTFK is the next artist from South Central Los Angeles to be a global phenomenon. His social media (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter) followers and YouTube subscribers are steadily increasing. All of his music videos can be found on web and blog sites including, but not limited to allhiphop.com, Hip Hop Early, Hip Hop Lead, Thisis50, WorldStar Hip-Hop, Datpiff, HHS87 (HiphopSince87) and VladTV.
Presently, DTFK is in the studio working on his upcoming mixtape, Arlington Avenue, which is set for release in February of 2016. Just as important, DTFK is working on his first #streetalbum No More Dreams 2, scheduled to be released the Summer of 2016. DTFK is focused on making power moves and continuing to market and promote his brand The Push Family.
1. Ok for starts how did you come up with the name Dough The Freshkid?
Originally I was known as Doughboy. But when mainstream artist like Young Jezzy started making the Doughboy a phrase for trapping, I started seeing a lot of artist call themselves Doughboys etc. On the underground circuit I was known by many as Doughboy so it would of been too difficult to completely change my name. Therefore, I just attached the Freshkid to Dough so I wouldn’t completely lose my name and it’s too unique for someone to steal it. Although now I see lots of artist with these three word names. I grew up in the neighborhood in South Central where they filmed Boyz N The Hood is how I attached the Doughboy to my stage name because I actually lived there, and it wasn’t no movie.
2. How old are you?
I hate giving my age because Hip Hop always wanna put a age cap on who is old or young in the game. So when Jay Z said 30 is the new 20 I’m like yeah Hov I feel that. But also Rock N Roll, you have these guy putting out albums in there 50’s and also country music. I say if you still got it keep going, hip hop isn’t just for teenagers. But I’m 27 and not the youngest in the game but have no intentions on stopping no time soon.
3. How old were you when you left Gary, Indiana for the sunshine state?
I was 9 years old.
4. How would you describe your style of Hip Hop and what do you want to bring to the table that hasn’t been done before?
It’s not your typical westcoast style obviously. I’m always compared to a eastcoast style not that I use the language like waddup b, you bugging son, or how you living Fam, it’s just my bars. I hate that they compare any artist who has lyrics, punchlines, and bars to be eastcoast. And not that I have a problem with the East but the westcoast breed some of your dopest lyricist and I got a list. It’s just so much light have been shared on our gangster music, ratchet music, and not enough of our westcoast lyrical MC’s have been acknowledged. So now that you have this Independent market, a lot of Westcoast MC’s is putting out their own music not depending on the labels to try to clone another Eazy-E, 2 Pac, Snoop Dogg, or Game with no disrespect to these legends. Perfect example Kendrick Lamar in fact the entire TDE this is not your typical Westcoast music to the masses but for me it is, growing up and battling on these South Central streets. So with that being said, I call my sound “Presidential Music” and this sound is interchangeable but not only limited for one coast. It’s pretty much soul music, old school samples, story telling some of your golden era retro music lets just say.
5. Do you ever go back and visit Indiana?
Yeah all the time. Although most of my family moved to Chicago so I be back and fourth from Gary, to ChiRaq, to Killa Cali.
6. A lot of your inspirations were a lot of west coast legends. How would you describe the current state of West Coast Hip Hop?
You know I never looked at who was from the westcoast, eastcoast, or from the south these were just the artist who had a major influence on my artistry. I mastered and studied each and every individual on my top 5 list so I’m paying homage if you hear them in me. Most artist hate to give credit to their influencers or teachers but we all learn from someone. But I love where Westcoast hip hop is today. DJ Mustard provided this retro westcoast sound that’s opening up avenues for a lot of new artist to put music out. Once again, TDE I love the hip hop sound that their pushing for the Westcoast and all the other list of upcoming talent coming from this side. I think it’s great that the westcoast is getting a look again. Now I could honestly say that more of our veterans can lend a helping hand to us up comers and the radio should try harder to break records and discover more of this hidden talent but who am I to complain.
7. We recently featured your new song “Scrooge Mcduck Money”, which project was that track off?
Scrooge McDuck Money is the lead single off my upcoming street album “Arlington Avenue”
8. What’s next from you as far as releases, etc?
I just released a mixtape called “Six Shots” I released this unexpectedly for shock value. But “Arlington Avenue” street album is what you guys can expect. We have a release date in March 2016. The project will be available for free streaming and downloading from your major mixtape website, available for purchase or iTunes and all digital stores, and we gon hit the streets with physical copies for free. The only reason we’re selling the project on iTunes etc is because some people don’t go to mixtape sites for music and iPhones makes it difficult to download mixtapes or free music but we want everyone to have this album. In fact, go out and get my leading single “Scrooge McDuck Money” available in all digital stores now.
9. Your track and video for “Insivisible Niggas” was dope as hell. It had a lot of that west coast scenery and essence to it. How did that track come together?
I appreciate that family. When my producer sent me that track I felt I wanted to make a song to bring it back to the streets in a hip hop way. I love grimey soulful hip hop and that’s what I heard on that track. But when I create music I see a visual first that’s how that came along. I’m a story teller like Slick Rick, Nas, Biggie Smallz, and Ice Cube I have a great imagination. As far as the imagery, I wanted to show some organic westcoast shit with a new twist. I want people who haven’t been to South Central and only heard about it to see a different light. I wanna do everything different than what has been done already in California.. It so many different styles of people out here but the media and labels only show this one side of us, I’m here to show the other side.
10. What’s the 5 year plan for Dough The Freshkid?
See I know what your doing. Every real businessman suppose to have that 5 year plan. Mine isn’t really concrete but I definitely plan on having my first official album released. I have a few artist on my label, I wanna make sure they have projects out and building their careers,and hopefully on my first world tour by then. Next time we talk I’ll have more for you but do understand I have lots I want to accomplish.
11. Are you looking for an Indy or Major label deal?
No disrespects to the majors but I enjoy my independency. As a far as independent labels I have my own label EPC Music Group. On the other hand, I am looking for business partnerships from the majors, investors, partnerships & sponsorships. And if they labels offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse… I’m signing that paperwork.
12. What’s a typical day like for Dough The Freshkid?
To be honest, just hustling to make money to dump back into the label because everything is funded out of my pocket. No label money, investors, or partners… All Doughboy money no exaggeration. Then researching about the music industry, building contacts, marketing and promoting my music while at the same time creating music. On my down time I’m usually watching movies. I love old gangster films and movies from the 70’s like Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier (Let’s Do It Again).
“Ferraris and Boats” was like a mini movie. Nowerdays you hardly see those type of videos anymore. Seems like everyone just wants a part video. What made you stick to keeping your visuals like that and do you write your video treatments?
Exactly my point. That’s my whole purpose and idea. Once again I wanna do everything different, if everybody is going right, I’m going left. As far as Ferrari’s & Boats it’s actually part 3 of a 8 part series of videos that will be a small film once all connected together. Invisible Niggas is actually part 1, a song called Friends is part 2, and Ferrari’s & Boats is part 3. The other treatments is already written and ready to shoot. Me and my Director Hdtay write the treatments for the videos. It’s my ideas because I write the music but visually he’s the mastermind. We’ve gain a lot of attention from these 3 videos so we’ve decide to pull the plug on it and build up more buzz before we drop the short film. This actually comes off one of my future project entitled “No More Dreams 2” due later 2016.
It was good chopping it up with you homie. We look forward to more of your releases.