Drumma Boy is a true student of the game, a music-lover if there ever was one. For the past two decades, the Grammy award-winning producer has been cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the rap game, producing records for all your favorite artists from T.I. and Jeezy to Gucci Mane and Scarface. When you hear the producer tag, “Listen to this track bitch!”, you already know the song is going to be a banger.
Drumma Boy describes himself as “a therapist. Music producer. Life changer. Big brother, the big homie. Even the lil homie. I like to apply knowledge to success. I feel like I’m a messenger for God. I’m here to save as many people with my musical talents as possible.”
Hailing from Memphis, real name Christopher James Gholson was born to parents who were opera singers and a member of the orchestra… hence why music sits in his DNA. After getting his first drum set, Drumma quickly fell in love with the art of beat-making, while picking up a passion for spitting bars too.
Now, Drumma Boy shifts his focus into his own projects, most recently pushing his forthcoming album titled Drumma Boy & Friends arriving on March 11th of next year. The collaborative effort is spearheaded by lead singles “Still Can’t Believe It” featuring Derez De’Shon, “Wake Up” with Lil Gotit and QC’s Kollision, and “I Said What I Said” with Ludacris and Snow Tha Product.
Flaunt caught up with Drumma Boy in downtown Los Angeles, who had just flown in from Atlanta. Read below as we discuss what keeps him motivated today, dropping music as a rapper and producer, new singles and visuals, his new app, clothing store in Atlanta House of Fresh, new podcast Beauty and the Beats, love for fashion, who’s up next out of Memphis, the “No Hands” days, and more!
20 years later, what keeps you motivated?
Losing my brother, him leaving his 4 kids. We got 4 grandbabies now, just passing on his torch. It’s one thing to be known for your name, but it’s another thing to be known for what you do. Your face, your recognition. Everybody knows Drumma Boy the name, but I’m right now practicing and promoting the face. It’s like Kanye West in the midst of telling Jay-Z, “Yo, I’m the shit!” He’s like, “Alright, I’ll just go in there and make me some more beats.” And now he has just as many Grammys as Jay. My rap shit, I just dropped an animation video called “Drug Dealer.”
With Sukihana right?
Mmhmm. Everybody keep telling me to keep dropping music, keep rapping. Then on the DJ Khaled vibe, dropping albums with collaborative efforts. But I’m a producer, so I’m making hit records. The first single we dropped was “Still Can’t Believe It” featuring Derez De’shon. Second single “Wake Up” featuring Kollision and Lil Gotit. Now, we dropped “I Said What I Said” with Ludacris and Snow Tha Product. I got two more singles before the album drops, we dropping the album March 11th, 2022.
How many songs are on the album?
I’d say about 15 or 16, somewhere around there. 3 singles out and we’re coming with 5.
Has this been a long time coming, Drumma Boy & Friends?
Oh yeah, it’s been a long time coming. Definitely a lot of hard work put into creating the records, completing the records, clearing the records. Just the business levels of everything, now we’re in the process of shooting videos. It’s been a process but definitely well worth the wait.
How was shooting the video with Derez De’Shon?
That was a blessing, working with Storch. That was my first out here since my brother got killed. My brother plays piano heavily so being able to work with Scott Storch: him playing keys, he’s smoking a joint the whole time. Playing the piano with the joint in his hand. Working with Scott Storch, he’s a legend. He definitely reinspired me to do what I’m doing now.
How was that experience, two legends collabing?
It was amazing man, just for him to even reach out and want to work with me. His manager Steve Lobel, shout out to Squeak my manager. Them two putting together the schedule and making it happen.
Did you learn anything from that session?
I learned how important I am, and how many people appreciate me. It really woke me up like damn, Scott Storch fucking with me. Swizz Beatz fucking with me. Timbaland fucking with me. Dre fucking with me. All the OGs fucking me, Jazze Pha. When you look at a lot of them, even Pharell getting some of his biggest success in their 40’s. I’m 38. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz with the VERZUZ, really making some of their biggest money they ever made in their lives. Sometimes you think “man, why haven’t I gotten this far? Why haven’t I done this?” It’s just timing. Some of my OGs are just getting their just dues. It’s a matter of following protocol.
How did Derez end up on that track?
Derez actually popped up at Scott Storch’s house while we’re there working. Steve Lobel came in the room and said, “Aye man, you cool with Derez De’Shon?” I’m like, “Hell yeah, that’s my family! ‘Young Penny Hardaway!’” You know, Penny’s from Memphis. I’m from Memphis. I gotta work with him, he’s shouting out Penny! So when he pulled up, we started vibing. I said, “Man, I’m a fan!” He said, “Likewise!” We got in there and went in the studio. Y’all follow my YouTube channel, drumsquadTV, and check out the making of “Still Can’t Believe It” video part one. You see us in the studio coming up with the melodies, coming up with vibes, and creating the music from scratch.
Best memory from that session?
Watching Derez De’Shon create the melody, that’s the most fascinating part for me. Seeing him from where we started to where we ended. That, to me, is the most fascinating part of most “making of” videos: how it was made, but seeing the growth of the session as it develops. That’s priceless to me.
How did the song with Snow Tha Product and Ludacris come about?
Me and Snow are cool. Shout out to Dove PR, that’s family. She said, “Yo you gotta work with Snow. If you’re gonna be in LA, I want to get y’all together.” I initially went out there to do some beats for her, for her album. While we’re working on her album, I snuck in some shit like, “While I’m out here, you really one of the only mothafuckas that can keep up with Luda on the rap. While I’m out here, I gotta get you on this record.” I played it for her, she said “Oh shit, this is hard! I’ve always wanted to do a song with Luda, this is a dream collab.” I said “If you kill that mothafucka, I’ma keep you on it.” Shit, she killed that mothafucka! I remember she sent it back, I said “Yo we gotta do this joint.” And here we are.
Talk about the Lil Gotit and Kollision single, is Kollision from Atlanta too?
Yup, Kollision’s from ATL. Kollision’s signed to QC. My boy Verse, he’s an A&R that does a lot of stuff with different labels. I got a call from him, he said, “Pull up to QC studio, I’m in here working on Kollision’s album.” I went up there, dropped some stuff off for Kollision. We started a jamming record. Next time you know, Lil Gotit came through. They said, “Put him in there with Drum and Kollision!” And we did the record.
What’s your relationship with Sukihana?
Sukihana was on the My Brother’s Keeper album, the rap album I dropped when I lost my brother. A lot of people say, “What does your rap album sound like?” Go listen to My Brother’s Keeper, that’s my first rap solo project. I did a record called “Drug Dealer,” I put Suki on it and it took off.
She’s funny as hell!
Yeah she’s funny as well. She came through the studio in Atlanta, I got a studio I work out of. She pulled up and said “Yo, I’m in town.”
Best memory from that session?
Really vibing with Suki and understanding where she comes from. She’s a real ass, down ass bitch. I come from Memphis, Tennessee so we can relate. She’s like, “Drumma, I fuck with you man.” We did a record “Drug Dealer,” and been locked in. I did a couple more for her project.
Talk about your app.
Drumma Boy the official app for exclusive content. I got my podcast Beauty and the Beats on there. Exclusive photos, behind-the-scenes. Members only content. We’re coming with some master classes, things like that you can learn from me as well.
Why’d you name your podcast, Beauty and the Beats?
Me and Jessica Dime was laughing and joking around. We posted a picture on the internet like man, “If we started a podcast, what should we call it?” A lot of the comments were coming through. One of the comments gave a hint, we took it and ran with it.
What’s the premise of the podcast?
Covering struggles, success stories, the in’s and out’s of most industries. The do’s and don’ts, really dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. Covering those success stories. A lot of us are successful, but the story isn’t always told.
What have you learned from this industry?
Everything man. Pay your taxes. Brand yourself. Copyright your music! As a producer, that’s one of the most important things: copyrighting your music and having ownership. I own a clothing store in Atlanta, House of Fresh. @HouseOfFreshATL is our Instagram, definitely check us out. We’re the #1 boutique in Atlanta.
What kind of clothes do you have there?
Skater, urban. I support all the rapper’s clothes. Playclothes. AKOO. Hustle Gang. We got Cookies, Runts. Shout out to Berner. We hold it down: Supreme, Yeezy, Jordan. We got everything.
Talk about your love for fashion.
My first job was Just For Feet, a clothing store like Foot Locker or Champs. I was selling shoes at 14. Having the Jordan’s, having the top exclusive Nike’s and Reebok’s, it feels good making people happy through clothes. Through music, through expression. Whatever it is, seeing people being able to release. Whether it’s movie-wise or soundtrack-wise, everybody comes to us in Atlanta. Especially the rapper community, a lot of people doing shows late in Atlanta. The mall might be closed at 9pm, but they can pull up on us and make an appointment at 9:30pm/10pm after the mall closes. Get Yeezys, get the Jordans. We even got a barbershop in our store.
How does it feel to be this entrepreneur?
It’s a blessing man, always stay on the grind. Being an entrepreneur and being in control of life, you have an opportunity to change the world and to change so many lives. For me, it’s always about changing as many lives as possible. Being the motivation, inspiration, encouragement to people. Help them get out of bed in the morning. You might see somebody and be like, “you know what, Drumma boy help me get out the bed.” Get out the bed. Go handle your business. Go get this money.
3 things you need in the studio?
Equipment, can’t do shit in the studio without the equipment. My voice, and some paraphernalia. [laughs] We good.
What other features do you have on the album?
I have one song with Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and T.I. That shit crazy. I did another record with Gucci and Dolph. I did one with Twista and Tink. I’m waiting on one feature I can’t say. I did some shit with Desiigner. I’m working with everybody man. Balling G, Gangsta Boo, of course the homies.
Who are you most excited for out of Memphis?
Man free my dawg Pooh Sheisty. I’m excited for all the upcoming artists coming out of Memphis. I’m excited for the whole city. I’m working on a new project called Welcome To My City Vol. 4. If you’re not familiar, go listen to Vol 1, Vol. 2, and Vol 3. We’ve had everybody from Future to Junior Reid from Kingston, Jamaica, to Yo Gotti and Young Dolph. I always showcase the hottest upcoming rappers at the particular time. On this new album, I got FastCash Jizzle. He’s going crazy. Fiska Wizza, Young Gualla. It’s so many new artists, but that shit hard! I got some head on that bitch. Dolph on the new tape. Super Jay, Trey Haitian, Glitter Gloss, Gorilla Pimp, all the new females coming up in Memphis. Y’all definitely gotta tap in.
Fondest memories from the “No Hands” days?
What fucks me up is seeing people till this day go crazy, or still till this day play the song at the end of their wedding or celebration. Seeing 17, 18-year-olds still party to record like it just came out. It’s still one of the #1 records in high schools, colleges, parties. It’s a blessing. Shout out to Roscoe Dash, that’s family. Shout out to Waka. Shout out to Gucci Mane for booking that session up. Wale is family. One of the top rappers out of D.C., the DMV. All of them brought a different energy that they allowed me to present to the world, so I appreciate them for trusting me. Waka said “man you go blow the record up Drum! You get it poppin’ and we go from there.” I did my part, so it’s definitely a blessing.
What’re you most excited for next?
I’m excited for this cryptocurrency evolution. I did a song in 2017 called “XYO” and I’ve been invested since then, just to see that we’re almost at a dollar. We’re almost at 50 cents right now. It’s been a process. I’ve invested $40K in since 2017, so the numbers are going through the roof. Stay tuned man: Drumma Boy, crypto king.