Dooch the Hope Boy is sharing a message of faith and hope through lyrics and rhymes. His latest album Underrated, Slept On and Overlooked takes us back to revisit some of his favorite songs, and once again encourages us all to make a difference.
EV: Welcome to Entertainment Vine, Dooch. Thank you for taking the time to share your music with us today.
Dooch: You’re welcome. Thank you for considering me interesting enough to do a interview on me.
EV: Absolutely! Would you start by sharing a little about your new album Underrated, Slept On and Overlooked?
Dooch: Underrated, Slept On and Overlooked is simply a collection of songs that I’ve released over the past two years (plus three new songs) that were underrated and overlooked. They were all songs that for one reason or another were very dear to me. I just wanted to compile them all on one CD, and give everyone another chance to enjoy them.
EV: In your song “Drowning” you pour your heart out, and I for one was really touched by your honesty. How important is blending honesty and life’s struggles within your lyrics?
Dooch: It’s VERY important. It’s all my music revolves around. I believe that I’m to do music to share my life (the good, bad and the ugly) with others. So if it isn’t inspired by real life situations or experiences then it’s not of much substance to me.
EV: Is there a particular song on this album that resonates with you more so than the others?
Dooch: All of them! Especially in different seasons but at this particular time I probably would say “Fight For Today”, because that is the daily battle every time I open my eyes, to fight for my family.
EV: I really enjoy “Fight for Today” as well. In it you mention taking things minute by minute and lesson by lesson. That is great advice to keep pushing through. Do you have a favorite quote or verse that gets you through a rough day?
Dooch: As far as a favorite verse or quote that gets me through a day, that changes with the day. It all depends. What’s really big in my life currently is Ecclesiastes. Each day there are multiple verses that help me through the day and help me realign my view and focus in life.
EV: How did you get your nickname ‘Dooch The Hope Boy’?
Dooch: Well, Dooch is a lifelong nick name that was given to me by my older brother as a baby. Hope Boy came about because I use to spend a lot of time in the inner city with gang bangers and drug dealers to show them and speak to them about Hope (Jesus). And I saw myself kind of like a dope boy (dealer) except I only had hope to deal.
EV: Your music has obviously been inspired by your faith, but do you feel at times that your faith can also be inspired by your music?
Dooch: I believe that can definitely happen. There are times when I’m encouraged, challenged and convicted by my music so yes.
EV: What other musicians have you found inspiration in?
Dooch: Lots of musicians, both Christian and mainstream. Cata9Tales, Lecare, Flame, K’Naan, Lupe Fiasco and countless others.
EV: How old were you when you were first introduced to Rap, and who were some of the artists you listened to?
Dooch: I was young when I was first introduced to rap a toddler maybe. I began rapping at age eight and was influenced by my teenage uncle who rapped. Wu-Tang Clan, and anyone else from New York at the time.
EV: Do you remember what you used to rap about when you were that young?
Dooch: At age eight I use to rap about the only thing a “normal” eight year old would, i.e. money, girls, cars, violence … ( I hope you sensed my sarcasm). But unfortunately that is what I rapped about at such a young age, but that’s what I saw and learned from my elders, surrounding and society.
EV: Rap has a history of collaborating with all genres of music. Which has been your favorite pairing?
Dooch: Alternative Rock and Pop!! A dream of mines would be to have a band that fuses Rap with alternative rock and pop.
EV: Your city can be found intertwined throughout your music, do you have any special community outreach programs you support?
Dooch: When I was stationed back in Lynchburg VA I was heavily involved in the inner city and tried to get others to take notice and be concerned about getting involved as well. Sad to say, not many had a heart or desire to serve the inner city.
EV: How would you recommend people become more involved with their local inner city ministries? For instance, what did you find was needed the most (time, money, or supplies)?
Dooch: It requires all of the above, but just throwing money at something doesn’t cut it. It can be an easy cop out to just give money and not want to get your hands dirty around “unlovable or undesirable” people. People want to feel loved, they want to know that you care, that you want to understand them and their world (because most times their world is different TOTALLY different). They don’t want to feel like a project but like someone you truly care for and words aren’t enough for them. Action is needed for them to believe it, and it will require you getting your hands dirty and getting on your knees to serve.
But, I would recommend them go to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and volunteer. Getting to know the people as they serve and little by little branch out into the community around the shelter etc. Or go serve on a prison ministry, or look for a ministry that specifically serves in the projects, ghetto, trailer park etc and help them.
My wife and I actually gave ourselves and that included time, money, our home, our things, but most importantly our care, love and realness.
EV: You are a celebrated family man. Would you describe the importance of keeping your family first, especially in the music world where time is money?
Dooch: Family has to be first. They will be there before and after the music, money, ministry etc. Teaching my son how to be a man is the priority. That’s something I didn’t have. Teaching my daughters how to be women (with the help of my wife!) and what it looks like to be loved on by your husband and father are priorities. Being a great husband is a priority these are the things that matter most. After the music stops like Lecrae says! (laughs)
EV: What advice would you offer a young rapper trying to break into the business?
Dooch: Learn everything you can about the business, study other artists, perfect your craft, invest in yourself, build a team around you and be patient because it takes time! Also, don’t do it for the fame or money. Be purposeful with your music.
EV: One last question, if you were a super hero how would your theme song go?
Dooch: Veggie Tales ale ales, veggie tale ale ales, veggie tales ale ales, ve-ggie tales! Lima beans, collard greens … you know the rest!! (laughs)
EV: I love that show! Thank you so much, Dooch. We look forward to hearing more from you.
Dooch: Thanks again!
*Be sure to check out Dooch’s official website www.doochthehopeboy.com for more information on downloading his new album Underrated, Slept On and Overlooked. You can also connect with Dooch on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Drowning by Dooch