Brooklyn Rapper DyMe-A-DuZin Wonders: Would Biggie Be Making Trap Rap?


Editor’s note: In “Tweets Is Watching,” Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.

Brooklyn-based rapper DyMe-A-DuZin is currently capitalizing on the success of his great Portrait of Donovan mixtape. He recently dropped a flick for “Father’s Day” while his remix of “New Brooklyn” (with Beast Coast bods the Underachievers and the Flatbush Zombies) is still buzzing. DyMe also rocks a very swanky bow-tie. We tapped him up to talk through a Twitter timeline that takes in musings on whether Biggie would be making trap rap, a park in Long Island named after his grandfather, and his search for a chick named Hilary.

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When did you start wearing a bow-tie?
I would say about four or five years ago. I guess every son looks up to their dad whether or not they’re in their lives or whether or not they know them well and I just think I naturally got the same sense of style from my father figure. My mother says I look like my father and I say we have a similar style even when it comes to regular casual clothes. So I started wearing the bow-tie about four years ago. I really just liked the feel of the bow-tie and the suits. I like to be on stage with that; it gives me that extra confidence and makes me feel like I’m one of those ’70s mega-hit stars, like a Stevie Wonder or a Marvin Gaye on stage but doing rap. It’s soulful rap so I wear my suit.

Does the bow-tie get a little uncomfortable during summer?
Yeah, definitely, but that’s why I pick and chose where I wear it. I say that I have swank–that’s my word–so when I throw on that bow-tie and I throw on that suit I’m swanking it up. I got that swank! I really define it myself so I don’t think a bow-tie is not necessarily needed to have swank. But if it’s 98 degrees you won’t find me in a bow-tie [laughs].

Have you noticed fans turning up at shows wearing bow-ties?
I’d say maybe not bow-ties but more like regular ties. I’ve seen guys that really just appreciate the style and they really appreciate the swank. But I encourage people to do whatever makes them comfortable, ’cause that’s what swank is all about.

Why are you after a girl named Hilary?
That goes back to swank! I was in the studio writing raps and I was thinking of cool ways I can compare swank to people’s names. One thing I also tweeted recently was that I have a stash of swank names: I have a lot of swank names on deck that nobody knows about and nobody has used yet. So I like to play around and call myself the original Swank Sinatra and you got Swanky Lymon… So if I had a girl I was thinking about what her swank name would be and it would be Hilary Swank. So if I had a girlfriend we could be a swank couple.

So there’s no specific Hilary that you have your eyes on?
Nah, I just want to find a girl with the name Hilary.

Why did you have the idea of hearing Biggie rapping on a trap beat?
I’m always thinking of crazy stuff and it happens especially when I go to the studio, so I was heading to the studio and I was in a cab and I was listening to Biggie in my iPod and the cab driver was playing trap music on the radio. I was like, “Hmm, what if Biggie was alive and he was rapping on these beats? Would it be hot?” I asked Twitter that. Everybody had mixed opinions, like it would suck or it would sound crazy. I think it would be interesting to hear.

If he were still alive, what do you think Biggie would think of rap at the moment?
I’ve always looked at Biggie as a trendsetter so I feel like he would have a lot of influence on rap culture and our culture in Brooklyn. I think hip-hop would have looked slightly different and people would have been using that Biggie flow a lot more. Either that or he would have changed his style completely and become a trap rapper, which I don’t see happening, so I think he would be very influential in this time.

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Who was your granddad?
He was an athlete. His name’s Joe Blocker and he was an all-American athlete that played baseball, football and basketball and he was just about to go into the pros–he played at Hempstead in Long Island–but then he got some problems he had to go through that prevented him from going. He was one of the best in the country back then in like the ’60s. And there’s actually a park named after him in Long Island, Joe Blocker Park.

Is the park well kept?
Definitely. It’s actually very close to the place where I used to come visit him. Now his park is across the street from his house.

Are you any good at sports?
Ah, no. I’m terrible. I was never really into sports. I watched basketball and I tried playing it but I was never that sports guy.

You mentioned your phone’s spell-check turning “turnt” to “turtleboy.”
[Laughs] Yeah, ’cause I went out with my boy for his birthday and I was saying something about turnt, like last night was turnt, but spell-check on my iPhone corrected it to turtleboy!

What would turtleboy be in rap slang?
Maybe it would be slump, like it means that you have no energy after being out all night, so like, “I’m turtleboy today and I couldn’t get up.” Yeah, that’s what turtleboy means!

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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2013

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