As the line between hip-hop and mumble rap continues to blur with the coming of each new generation, purists with true hip-hop loyalty always search for the next artist to surface with devotion to the realness. Meet DBM aka Dane the Beautiful Monster, who comes across as a businessman, political radical and skilled rhyme machine. During our conversation over the phone, he tells me where he’s from, but more importantly where he’s headed.
Born in Long Branch, New Jersey DBM describes it as being “quite a blessing.” The area and community were nice, but he lived in a run-down house with his family which kept him grounded to focus on what he wants. “My goals are extremely wealthy because I have seen people who had masses of success,” he notes. Residing in Newark, New Jersey now, he stays busy with multiple businesses, one being the owner of A.B.S.A.L.U.T.E. Carnegie Records and another being a broker.
The love for hip-hop been in Dane’s life from an early age. Some of his favorite artists growing up were Boogie Down Productions, Rahkim, Mos Def, Jay-Z and Nas. From there he knew he had a thing for lyricism and knew he could talk to people.
“I’m blessed that I’m a natural communicator. That’s my gift.”
Dane witnessed and lived through the golden age of hip-hop, the 1990s. He takes me back to a time in the early 90’s when he got two albums that eventually made him start his music career. “Strictly Business [EPMD] and Illmatic, [Nas’] album is just a perfect piece of art,” he states. “That changed my life. I perused it, loved it and walked away from it,” he notes. I then asked, “Why would you walk away from something you love?”
“At that time, making the art was at an all-time high, but the business was an all-time low,” Dane replied. “It was hard to be a part of that [music industry].” He never stopped rapping or enjoying the music, but not having an understanding of the politics behind the scene made him not pursue it wholeheartedly.
Fast forward to August 2016 was another turning point for DBM to refocus on what he truly loves, music. His best friend, Eggy, passed away battling Sickle Cell Anemia. Not only was Eggy Dane’s best friend and business partner, but his biggest fan.“That’s what makes me want to do it now. If he could love my music as much as he did, then other people could too,” he states.
“Art is something I do strictly for passion and love,” says Dane. “I want a wider audience for my art. I truly believe what I have to say, is worth wild. I think it’s important, especially in today’s culture – everything is very substance driven [buying jewelry, on drugs] there is a tremendous void in the hip-hop culture, and I seek to fill that void.”
Dane released plenty of music over the years, and now we can expect his first album, From Ashes Rose A King early next year. Some topics on the album are global politics, extraterrestrialsex, money, and the how the industry treats women. His latest single from the album, “Slow Money” was released last month. Produced by Youseesounds, this is an anthem about DBM’s commitment to achieving his goals of becoming a successful entrepreneur, saving money, and becoming a prominent lyricist in the game.
DBM focus is on the music and is not driven on getting a record deal. “I’m not very needy [lives a good life already by taking care of his family with his businesses],” he says. “I can say whatever I want; it’s like having a conversation with fans/supporters.”
Check out the visual for “Slow Money” below.