We all talk about the grind in hip-hop, we have to work non-stop in order make in this right? One facet I feel some (including myself) forget is the effect chasing our passion has on others and more so how the wrong people can be a distraction to where we’re trying to go. Florida emcee Durell has truly captured this not only in his latest release “Call Me Later, Way Too Busy” but in the campaign push for this record. From his music video “Wrong Time” all the way to dark cover art accompanying the release. I had a chance to sit down with Durell and talk about his mindset going into this project.
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who don’t know, who is Durell?
Durell: A down to earth guy with a lot going on in my head who uses music to express himself and everything around him.
DEHH: How were you introduced to hip-hop, how did we go from Durell the listener, the fan to Durell the artist?
Durell: I remember a specific day in my childhood where I was over my Dad’s crib, since I went to visit him every other weekend. I remember the kids of the girl he dated at the time reciting lyrics to a song that I can’t quite remember but I just remember being the only one in the room at the time who didn’t know any of the words, the song, artist, nothing. Something about that struck a chord in me though, I remember saying to myself “that’s cool how they’re all in sync, happily reciting words that I’m sure none of us can even relate to!” It just did something for me. From then on I just loved hip-hop. I want to say my first CD ever was Lil Bow Wow’s “Beware of Dog” because my mom didn’t care about no hip-hop music, she’s into oldies and that’s what I heard most of the time growing up, so if it was going to come from her pockets it had to be something that wasn’t “offensive” or it had to be edited if it even looked bad for a kid to listen to. Got to love the internet though, because that’s where I was able to dive into hip-hop deeper without the need of consent.
DEHH: Tell me how the idea for “Call Me Later, Way Too Busy” came about
Durell: I was in a place in life where I felt like everything and everyone would get the best out of me but myself. I knew it for a while but ignored it because I knew pain was going to be on the other side of everything I had to do & things I had to leave behind in order to do so. I entertained certain friendships that weren’t growing at the rate I felt I was, so I couldn’t even relate much anymore, and that goes the same for some of the women I had ‘situationships’ with lol it just hit a point where I realized maybe what I want from life and what these people want from life are two different things. Which is fine, but just how I can’t understand much why you’re okay with not wanting anything from life, not even to do better for yourself, I also knew there’s a big possibility that I wouldn’t be understood for wanting what I wanted as well. So it’s me taking myself back and it’s basically like saying “Listen, I’m busy attaining to myself now.. if you’re cool with that, cool but unless you REALLY need me, I’m too busy.”
DEHH: Now listening to “Call Me Later, Way Too Busy” you have a couple interludes, at first I thought they were all going to be from the point of view of the woman from the first one. However you went the extra mile to kind of convey that sometimes even your own friends and homies don’t understand what you’re pursuing. Can you speak on that a bit?
Durell: Yeah, I’m pretty sure people around me knew it just they didn’t care for it as much as I did and that’s expected but that’s just what it is. Maybe there’s a lack of understanding on the end of what it really takes to chase something you’re very passionate about? I don’t know. Sometimes I feel people only love you in a box they threw you in, or in a way they’ve always known you to be, if that makes any sense. Certain people loved me when I played small but when I started to make personal changes to work toward this dream, I’d notice the changes in certain friends that took it personal. The old me wants to make it all right and sympathize but the person I’m becoming feels like “you’ve done that too many times before, it’s about you now.” I don’t know where I’m headed & what it’s leading me to but I just know there’s no looking back.
DEHH: Tell me about recording this project, there aren’t many guest appearances and on a project where you’re asking for patience while you work, what was making this project like? Did you just hole up in your crib until it was finished?
Durell: I’m never against working with other artist I just feel like the song has to FEEL right. I can’t be collabing just to say I collabed with you. I can love your music without wanting to make music with you.
I featured Rel B because I just feel we mesh well together on songs. I usually hear a beat and know exactly who I want on it before I even get it started sometimes. As far as the songs, all the songs were written at the crib, in the car driving places, everywhere but in the studio. Unless I’m sitting down to collab with someone, I like the comfort of being alone when I write.. I can’t deal with distractions. I try to come to the studio prepared and ready to just record if I work on any lyrics at the studio, they’re just tweaks. I’ve worked with my engineer for years now so it’s a pretty smooth process at this point. It’s like I handle my work at the crib, come ready and he takes care of the rest. I feel he just understands my vision without me even having to say much.
DEHH: What do you want people to leave “Call Me Later, Way Too Busy” with?
Durell: I want people to listen to it and understand if there’s something you want out here in life, to be patient, work toward it and be ready to make sacrifices with the expense of comfort. No I don’t have it all figured out so I try not to preach in my music but more so put a spotlight on my true feelings and thoughts around things while I’m going through them. So me just being honest with myself, hopefully it makes others comfortable to do the same within their own life/journey no matter what anyone else thinks.
DEHH: What’s something you learned about yourself during the process of creating “Call Me Later, Way Too Busy”?
Durell: Great question. When my comfort zone stopped feeling comfortable, I learned that I was more crippled by the fear of success than I was failure.
DEHH: Now I know the year just started, but what can we expect from you during the rest of 2018?
Durell: Well without saying too much, definitely more music, consistency, and I recently picked up production late last year which I’ve been really excited about because I wasn’t planning on it, it kind of just happened and now I am working on releasing a full-length album this year.