In the age of Melodic trap and mindless lyrics sung in a half singing half rapping manner, its' hard to find a voice that isn't drenched in auto tune and reverb. Let alone a voice that provides substance when it speaks. Not to say these artists don't exist, but they are defiantly few and far between, especially when it comes to the main stage of Hip-Hop. Something that I personally love about Hip-Hop is the diversity of styles and how many sub-genre's there are. In our generation it is hard to find someone who doesn't like at least one style of Hip-Hop. Zip Dot is a Lo-Fi/Conscious (not to restrict him to those sub-genres as his styles range vastly) rapper who brings meaning back to lyrics.
Q. How old are you, where did you grow up, and where do you stay now?
A. "I’m 20 years old. I grew up most of my life in Luthervile, Maryland. I lived there for about 16 years then my family and I moved to Naperville, IL when I was a junior in high school."
Q. What was it like Growing up in Luthervile, Maryland, did it have an effect on you creatively? What was the creative scene like there?
A. "If I could describe it in one word, I’d say nostalgic. It had everything you’d think would be in a neighborhood; from robberies to all neighborhood parties. I can happily say I’m from Maryland. And creatively, I would say it gave me a lot of memories to write about. The creative scene is very different tho! It’s not as ignorant as Chicago it’s more Lofi than anything. There’s hella talent over there I can’t lie.
Q. Have you thought about moving back? Or is Naperville/Chicago a place you’d like to stay?
A. "Honestly I have, there’s a few people that’d I’d love to see again. But I’m not sure now, right now I work 45-55 hours a week at dominos so I’m just saving up all of my cash I get. But overall I would want to live somewhere warm."
Q. So what got you into writing and creating music?
A. "It wasn’t until I moved to Naperville that I started to write. I made some friends in high school that were in the music scene and It stunned me. I already loved music growing up so when I started to pick up the pen... dam man I fell in love. I also started to go to Complex Studios in Chicago sitting in on sessions just observing. I’m a student to the game, I’m always learning. I don’t think I’ll ever quit."
Q. Who would you say were your musical influences growing up, who do you draw inspiration from?
A. "Growing up my mom would always play 80s music, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, all that lmao. My dad on the other hand showed me bands like Yes, The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd. Since I grew up with that I accepted it but for me I found danny brown, lil wayne, and especially Logic to give me inspiration. I’m into lyrics and substance so anything in that field. Count me in."
Q. So what are some of your goals as an artist?
A. "I try to keep myself busy working for goals, small or big. But mainly i just wanna be able to connect to people through my music and lyrics. I try to stay busy with posting on social media and releasing songs, but it does get hard. If there’s one thing I want a listener to get from me and my music is to be true to themselves. Find your true north and stick with it, in any situation, when you rap or at a social event, just be true to yourself and to others."
Q. Who are some of your favorite people that you’ve worked with, and who would you like to work with in the future?
A. "Ooo dam that’s a hard question. There’s ERT, Hittz, Rick Stevenson, and definitely my work w/ Cameronazi. That song we did is my biggest song I ever dropped. It’s currently over 30k+ streams on my SoundCloud. And for the future, I’d love to work with logic, gianni & kyle and some signers. I like my music now, I think I have what I takes. I just need to make it more dynamic."
Q. If you could describe your music to someone who has never heard it what would you say?
A. "I couldn’t even describe it, I make a lot of different types of songs. I sing on some, scream, or go lyrical. I don’t like to stay in one lane, I try to find inspiration in people and old experiences. My past is what fuels me as an artist, good or bad."
Q. I know that you’ve played some shows, do you ever get nervous or does it feel natural to you?
A. " Mannn I wish I didn’t, but I do get nervous for shows. It’s not the people I’m nervous about, I’m more worried about me messing up embarrassing myself. I grew up with a stutter and I’m still not over it when I talk regularly so when I’m on stage introducing myself or my next song, I stutter. Sometimes it doesn’t happen though! It all depends on how comfortable I am with the people."
Q. What advice would you give to someone who’s debating on following their passion or not?
A. "Do it!!! And do no quit! There’s going to be ups and downs but literally you can be anything you want to be. It’s all on us whether we do it or not. Write down your goals, it’s all about what you do in your free time. If you really want something, you can get it. As long as you’re true to yourself and open to learn new things, anything is possible. Believing in yourself is key!"
Q. What is your biggest challenge when creating?
A. "My biggest challenge when creating is probably the writing process. When I write I don’t want to feel like what I’m putting down for a record is forced; I pick a topic,try to write what first comes to mind and go from there."
Q. Do you pay attention to others' strong reactions to your work? Does that affect what you create?
A. "I do! I see everyone who engages in my work, I see all the love and hate that’s given towards me. I am very grateful for the fans and people who genuinely support me and my passion of becoming a rapper. I tend to not give hate any recognition what so ever. If anything it boosts me, giving me more motivation to keep going."
Q. What do you feel is your best song you’ve ever released and why?
A. "Lost and Found, I don’t know man after I wrote that song and heard it on the beat, it hit me hard. All my tracks usually hit but with this, it had a visual and everything to it... That song I feel best represents me and my style of rap. I try to relate to the listener as much as possible while showing I still have lyrical ability."
Zip Dot is obviously passionate about having a message in his music along creating a strong bond with his fans. These are both focuses that sometimes I see abandoned a little too often in today's game. It's a breath of much needed fresh air listening to Zip Dot's music because of the style that I don't hear enough. If he keeps working the way he is now I don't see why he can't become a big player in the game.
You can follow Zip Dot Below on his Social Media below.