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Hella Juiced: D Savage

October 19, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

D Savage is way more than just a SoundCloud rapper. Although the music streaming platform did give him his start, it’s his ability to drop bars over hard, trapped-out beats that fans can’t help but gravitate toward. With a 2700 tattoo above his right eyebrow, real name Dylan reps the Neighborhood Rollin’ 20’s Bloods, a symbol of his roots and upbringing. Read more…

It wasn’t until D Savage dropped his first song ever, “30 Round Clip,” that he realized this rap thing was forreal. Not even one month in, the record had already accumulated a little over a million streams on SoundCloud alone. Losing his best friend around the same time, D Savage made the conscious decision to put his efforts into the studio, using music as an outlet to channel all his immediate thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

For those who don’t know, who is D Savage?
D Savage is 20-year old-rapper from West Adams/Gardena California.

Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
I feel like I’m making my own lane right now. I don’t really fit into R&B really. It’s more hip-hop, but it’s like I’m making my own lane of hip-hop. I can’t even answer it. I can’t explain it, I don’t know. I’m trying to make my own lane.

So you were born in Queens, but moved to Los Angeles?
I was born in Queens, yeah. But I was only out there for a couple years and then my mom moved out here. I didn’t really get enough time to become aware of my surroundings. I was that young in New York, I was about 3 or 4.

What does Fairfax Ave. mean to you?
It’s that place. I always loved clothes growing up, so Fairfax is spot that I used to beg my mom to drop me off and buy me clothes and stuff like that. Fairfax had all the cool swag.

How does being from LA play into your life and career?
It’s a lot of history, as far music-wise and rap-wise in LA. When you think of LA rap, you kind of think of one sound. I’m trying to expand the sounds of LA. Really, I just want to make my own lane. That’s really all I want to do.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s super important just because every rapper needs to know where their home is, so that you can never get too big-headed. You just know your purpose I feel like. It’s like, LA is supposed to be my home base right? Why wouldn’t you want to show love or claim the city you’re from? When you can bring the whole city out to turn up for a show or a festival or something like that. That’s what I think about that.

How long have you been rapping now?
Like 3 years. It’s kind of been a long time, but kind of not. [laughs]

The visual for “Kame In” is at over 2 million views. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
For sure, because I kind of co-directed it. I saw it blowing up because I didn’t have that many music videos to begin with, so I knew the music video for “Kame In” should be super ignorant. Around that time, Chicago rapper Fredo Santana had just passed away. I kind of wanted to give it like a Fredo-type vibe, as far as in the trap.

How did you know Fredo?
Fredo reached out to me 3 years ago with the “30 Round Clip,” when I first started making music. He had me pull up on him at his house. We were rocking with each other ever since that.

What was your reaction when he passed?
It was surprising, that’s all I gotta say. It was surprising because I wouldn’t expect death. Man, you gotta change your… I don’t know, rest in peace Fredo. I can’t say nothing else. Rest in peace to the legend.

How did you get your name?
I randomly made it up in the studio after I made “30 Round Clip”.

What’s your real name?
Dylan.

Was that before 21 Savage?
Nah, it was after. 21 Savage kind of gave me my name too. I fuck with 21 Savage hard. That was probably another main reason for that. It was completely random though, I wasn’t like “21 Savage, D Savage.” I get it though.

Talk about the features you have on your most recent project, D Phoenix.
Lil Yachty, Yung Bans, Ty Dolla $ign. We were gonna do Juice WRLD, but we probably have to take that song off. Just a whole bunch label work, I’m trying to hurry up and drop this. I’m not trying to wait any longer.

How has music been a form of therapy for you?
It gets me to focus on something other than life. When you want to escape life for a couple hours, and all the problems life has to offer, you can just go in the studio, smoke your weed or whatever you do, and just be free minded. You don’t have to worry about too much that’s going on. You just get lock yourself in whatever you want to do.

Talk about working with Juice WRLD on “Choppa.”
Wow, Juice WRLD changed the way I recorded completely. We don’t write anything, we freestyle. But the way I freestyle, it might take me a hour to make one song. I might be doing the verse: I might say something, stop and punch in, then keep going. Juice WRLD doesn’t do that. Juice WRLD will start from the beginning of the song and he doesn’t do any punches. He literally does start to end all in one take.

I spent a lot of time making music with him, and just being in the studio and watching him make music. That helped my entire approach on music. Juice WRLD gives the feeling of 2 to 3 years ago when I first started. Everything was super fun and organic, it was free. He really has fun with it, and that’s what I have to remind myself.

I actually ran into him at Rolling Loud in the Bay, he’s so nice.
He’s super nice. Super sweet kid.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
You can do it too. It’s not hard. Focus on whatever you like. Set goals that’s not too crazy, that you can achieve. And keep snakes from around you. Keep that grass cut. Other than that, just stay to yourself.

What did you do with your first advance?
Oh shit. My first advance, I was in a little situation where I had went to jail. My bail was a quarter of a million dollars, on everything that I love. The first thing I had to do was pay my bail bondsman $25,000, because 10% of a quarter million is $25,000. That sucked. It was the worst feeling. But at the end of the day, it was good feeling because I didn’t have to worry about anything else. Everything since that, I kind of just choose. I bought a crib in Brooklyn, New York. Shoes and clothes and shit like that. I got little fat, I been eating a lot.

So are you a street rapper?
I’m not super street, like “I been from the streets my entire life, all I know is the streets.” I’m not one of them type of dudes, but I’m not stupid. You’re not gonna drop me on any street and I’ma just look dumb. I’m street smart, for sure. But you gotta be some type of street smart somewhat in LA. It’s different problem just right around the corner, so you always gotta know what’s going on.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I would be in the trap, straight like that. I can’t do a normal job. I’ve never had a normal job, ever.

How important is social media for your career?
I’m starting to find out that it’s super important. Because I’m not really social media savvy. I don’t know when it’s like, “Oh yeah, I should post this on Twitter. Yeah, say this.” My management are ones sending me screenshots like “here, post this, this looks good.” I’m starting to see what is good material for social media, so now I’m starting to learn. And hell yeah, that shit is super effective for my career. To be honest, without an Instagram or Twitter, some of these rappers wouldn’t be where they’re at right now. I feel like it’s super important, I just gotta learn how to manipulate social media.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Wake up, smoke a blunt, call all my friends and see where they’re at. We’re probably gonna link up and go grab Korean BBQ, or go to the hood and get some soul food. Then probably go buy some more weed, because we smoked all our weed before. Then pull up to my OG’s house and probably chill there until 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning: just making plays, playing Fortnite, smoking. Got a little studio in there so if we wanna record, we just pull the microphone in front of us and start recording.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Let me pull out my phone, because I don’t want to say somebody and it’s not factual. Who do I fuck with a lot? Lately, I would have to say G Herbo. Literally, every song on Swervo is bangers. You know those certain songs that rappers do that’s timeless music? You can go back 4 years and be like wow, that was a really good song. That’s what I feel like he did with this album.

Do you have a producer like Herbo has Southside?
No, but I’m looking for one.

Dream collab?
Chief Keef.

He’s out here!
Yeah, we were supposed to link up, but he busy and I be busy. I remember he was just in the Bay too. I was supposed to go with them, but nah. He’s a walking legend, and he’s only 23 years old.

He legit got banned from his city.
Exactly. You hear that mom? [turns to mom]

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
a) I love it when fans sing the lyrics for me, and it’s the right lyrics. Like they’re not messing up the words. b) I love tattoos. I love it when fans come up to me with the D Phoenix eyes. They tattoo it on them, literally everywhere: thighs, arms, body.

Anything else you want to let us know?
Rest in peace Jack Phoenix. Shout out Nick Phoenix, Sake World. 2700 Mob! MPR, money power respect.

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