“Hip hop in my opinion is going in several directions at once … I think wherever it ends up going, artists should always do what’s comfortable for them. Do not compromise your divinity for shit.”
Check out the interview with DRU (Divine Ruler Universal) exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
DRU: I started my journey in 2003. I wrote my first real verse to an Outkast beat on the train riding home from school. At the time I was a poet, so I had absolutely no flow whatsoever. I honesty heard something in that first rhyme that made me realize I could be an artist. At that moment, I knew I found my calling.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Of course, like most artists, I choose social media as means to promote my music but I am a firm believer in the power of word of mouth. I actually converse with people about music in general, work my way to their specific favorites. then introduce them to my music.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The entertainment business’ infatuation with finding an artist who sounds exactly the same as what’s perceived to be hot at the moment. Although I respect all types and styles of music, I’m far from a normal artist. I’ve come to realize that’s my greatest advantage in this business. I do things differently.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
New York City is full of dope artists. What I like about the music scene in NY is if you’re paying attention, there’s no way you can be or should be comfortable with being a weak artist. What I don’t like about our music scene is I think we need more unity among NYC artists. The quickest way to get your music out is by banding together and building a fan base.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
Hip hop in my opinion is going in several directions at once. Raw lyricist, entertainers who simply entertain, content artist who speak for the people to the people and so much more. I think wherever it ends up going, artists should always do what’s comfortable for them. Do not compromise your divinity for shit.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
If this is what you really want to do, get better at your shit. Keep people around you who help you do so. Learn the business side of music. You can make life so much easier on yourself if you learn how to make your expenses into a profit. Stay true to your heart, God, and don’t ever forget where you came from.
What inspires you to write your next song?
The beat itself usually dictates the direction of the record. Although if I have a strong emotion on a particular subject I go looking for a beat to match that particular emotion. It depends on what I’m feeling at the moment. Certain records have to be constructed while others just need to be made.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I listen to a beat for a couple hours, days, weeks, sometimes months. The words usually come relatively quickly. I pen it as smoothly as possible with no interruptions. I’ll spit it back to myself dozens, if not hundreds of times, changing words, building new flows and if needed changing the direction of the record.
What do you think makes a great song?
A song with longevity definitely has a message attached to it. A sound that provokes an emotion or thought. It moves you. A great song for the moment has a great sound, usually a hard beat with a catchy hook and/or bar or two. It may describe a venue, season, environment, or short-term feeling. Both are needed in the game.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?