With friendly permission and support from ROKHIPHOP, we are happy to present you SCV’s Mineral Excavation Interviews! ROKHIPHOP has started this interview series that looks for rappers who have released good mixtapes and albums but receive relatively less attention, thus the series is titled ‘SCV’s Mineral Excavation Interview’. The first guest invited for the interview to ROKHIPHOP’s office with its friendly atmosphere was Dbo.
SCV: Please introduce yourself.
Dbo: I am Dbo. I live in Anyang, was born ’92 and rap. Nice to meet you.
How did you make the name ‘Dbo’ and what does it mean?
My artist name wasn’t Dbo from the beginning. When I was in Canada, my friends suggested that each of us chooses a name, so I chose ‘Domino’. At the time, I didn’t give it much thought. Afterwards, I took the last syllable of my own name, Shim Hyunbo’s ‘bo’, and joined it with Domino’s ‘D’ to Dbo. With my first mixtape, I sent off the nickname ‘Domino’.
You have been chosen as the first guest of ROKHIPHOP’s new content, how do you feel?
As this is a first for me too, it feels quite fresh.
You actually got more famous through Show Me The Money. In season 3, the edit showed you as a freak which not only gained you more fame but also an eccentric and crazy image. Please tell me about your feelings at the time and your current situation in comparison to it.
I didn’t feel too well about myself back then when I made a mistake with my lyrics and was eliminated by Vasco-hyung. I was angry too. I didn’t feel too well because being eliminated meant that I couldn’t show everything I had wanted to show. But when I watched it on TV later, I liked how they edited my appearance funnily.
Don’t you think it was evil editing? You’re saying you actually liked it?
That’s right. I had fun watching.
What part of you made YDG acknowledge your musicality, and what do you think of the so-called titled of ‘prophet’ which YDG gained for choosing you and Jung Sangsoo?
I am really thankful to him for passing me at the time. I agree with the term ‘prophet’. I’ve liked Donggeun-hyung’s music well before. I didn’t especially look up his songs to listen to them, but I liked them a lot, so I am simply grateful that someone like him chose me.
I heard that after SMTM4, you were contacted by Okasian and thus performed for the first time at All Force One together with The Cohort. What had happened?
After Show Me The Money, he contacted me via Instagram. He invited me to Hi-Lite Records’ 4-year anniversary party, so I went. And there, Okasian-hyung told me that he had listened to my mixtapes and I got to perform with them on stage.
How was the performance at All Force One? Was it successful?
Hahaha .. I think it was just so-so.
After that concert, you have worked with Hi-Lite on several songs. Recently, the free single ‘우주선’ [Spaceship] with B-Free came out. How do you work together with Hi-Lite?
These days, when they ask me, “Do you wanna do this with us?” I tend to do so. Sometimes when they send me a song, I listen to the beat first and when I like it I write lyrics for it right away.
Will you continue to work together?
I’m continuously working, so they can ask me anytime. If both sides like the content then I would like to continue to work with them.
I remember that Giriboy and Nochang were trying to get your contact details via social networks after last year’s season [of SMTM4] ended, what happened and did you get to do anything together?
At the time, they contacted me briefly but then they were busy with concerts and I was in the midst of working on something at the time too, so the contact broke off naturally.
What is your new song ‘Cloud’ about?
It is just music about intercourse. Just …. like …. clouds …. uhm … (He seems flustered for some reason.)
So, what kind of … meaning does it have ..?
Intercourse … uh … you should try to find the meaning for yourself. (laughs)
How did the people around you react to it?
Those who like my music have liked the song even before it came out.
The reactions .. I don’t know. I mean … I don’t know. Lukewarm, somehow?
The cloud rap genre is still new to listeners in Korea. How did you start with it?
As many artists of the US-American scene are already doing cloud rap and I listen to a lot of foreign music, I naturally ended up doing it.
Is there any album or music you often listen to these days? And if, what do you like about it?
Most recently, I’ve listened to ‘It G Ma’ remixes. I enjoyed them.
What kind of music are you into these days?
I listen to my music. (laughs) I’m busy listening to my stuff, so I can’t listen to anything else. I think I should, though.
Which artist was a big influence on your music?
I did not expect that at all. I thought you’d definitely name Yung Lean or Mick Jenkins.
Of course I was influenced. I receive inspiration by nearly all the music I listen to.
Where do you see your position in the scene and how would you like to take responsibility for its future?
I think I’ve just opened the door and came in. (makes gesture of opening door) It feels like I’ve arrived just now? I’ve arrived at the entrance, and it turns out that many people are doing their thing. I’d like to try this and that first to find my place too.
What is the biggest difficulty you’re currently experiencing?
Money. Money is the problem. I’d like to be able to do music without any hindrance.
How did you meet your current team?
It’s a team that got together in Toronto, Canada. There’s a station called ‘Finch’ where we decided to hold cyphers. Whenever anyone said to meet there, I participated too. We all stood in a circle and had fun. As we met often, we became friends. One after the other, we returned to Korea. Don Mills-hyung was there too, at the time we called him ‘황마’ [read ‘hwangma’, translates to ‘jute’]. Don Mills-hyung wasn’t in the same crew as us but he was the first to go to Korea and become a rapstar.
That’s quite a cool way of forming a team. What kind of team is the FPL Crew that you’re part of at the moment?
FPL stands for ‘Fuck, Peace & Love’, it’s a team where we combine our goals, help each other, and do the music we like. It originally started out as ‘Finch Parking Lot’, but the name changed when we came to Korea.
What can your team be proud of now and do you have any upcoming plans as a team?
The crew’s oldest member KIGGA raps well. He’s our boss. Also, there’s a lively exchange between us crew members. We tell each other what we want to do and help each other by producing or mixing songs. Sometimes things slow down but until now everything’s still going well and it’s going to thrive even more.
Disputes about Show Me The Money have increased a lot these days due to things like problems with Black Nut and Song Minho’s lyrics .. Although I don’t think you mind it very much, but as last year’s participant, have you ever felt treated unfairly or displeased by the image that was shown of you on Show Me The Money? And what is your opinion on the show?
That alone is not all, so if you want to watch it for fun you just enjoy it, and if you want to watch it seriously then you watch it seriously. First of all, I think it’s good that Show Me The Money made hiphop known to the masses. However, I wish that Show Me The Money’s final season ends well. Honestly, if they tried they could do it, but I think they might not do it.
Last but not least, anything you’d like to say to ROKHIPHOP’s readers?
That is … it?
Yeah … uhm … if you read until the end, thank you very much and if you like my music, I’d be grateful if you’ll show me love from now on too.
Interview by SCV
FPL Crew’s Facebook
Translator’s note: a big shout-out to SCV for not only allowing me to translate his interviews, but also especially creating the English version of the banner which you see above, and even checking the finished translation! Also many thanks to ROKHIPHOP’s head who made all of this possible.