Words + Mix by Antonio Hernandez. Photos courtesy of CHESS.
With the release of Dizzy Gordo’s “Young Gordo” album, music collective CHESS continues its impressive streak of releases over the past year, including Miles Meraki’s “Angels May Die” album, and a slew of tracks from Gordo, Meraki, Allen Le Grand and Knight. Born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised in Forestville, Maryland, Gordo merges sub-shattering bass and syrupy melodies, with effortless braggadocio that incorporates the DMV’s unique slang, with references to choppin’ (the cousin of beating your feet) and boof (read: narcotics). “Young Gordo” is the rapper’s first full-length project and marks a year’s worth of work, and is something he hopes “everybody could vibe with.” Via e-mail, I chatted with Gordo about his work and his life.
The Mercury Rising mix includes a number of songs from “Young Gordo,” “Trap Gordo,” features and an exclusive via CHESS.
Q: How did you get into music? What made you decide to make your own?
DIZZY GORDO: I always been into music. I was playing instruments when I was younger and I was a big Lil Wayne fan. My cousin was always freestyling and shit so I played around with that but it was never serious. Then one day I was bored and downloaded Audacity and used my Call of Duty headset and recorded a “Brand New Guy” freestyle over that A$AP Rocky and Schoolboy Q jawn and I been rappin’ ever since.
How did you link up with CHESS and After F?
DIZZY GORDO: Codie (CHESS Media Manager) been my mans since 6th grade, and Allen has been my engineer since back in high school and he got the studio. Working with him and Codie, I found out about CHESS. I ended up meeting everybody that year right before I dropped my Trap Gordo EP in February of 2014. Everything was natural and the music was tight so we just started working.
^ Dizzy Gordo (photo courtesy of CHESS).
I didn’t get apart of the group until like December though. I had been a fan of the (Kool Klux) Klan when I was in Middle School and shit but didn’t know any of them. When I started rapping Cal Rips, was one of the first people who followed me and that’s how I got introduced to the rest of Klan. I met rMell (Gram Fam) when he was in Klan through Codie so I already knew him. Miles is also apart of CHEES, and I met Matt (McGHee) on Twitter.
^ Dizzy Gordo & Allen Le Grand interview with T. Brown (@tbrownmedia) for her #MediaMonday series.
One of the first things I noticed was the difference in your hooks, as compared to the Trap Gordo EP. Did you hone in on that for the album?
DIZZY GORDO: Nah, not really. It’s not really a certain rubric I go by when I make songs. I just wanted to show people I could rap. “Young Gordo” is more about me and the shit I dealt wit so it was just easier to make the shit that’s just sitting around in my head. It’s an accumulation of music since last June when I dropped the single.
Your sound has been very consistent. How do you work with the producers? Do you spend time in the studio with guys like Miles Meraki or Clayt da Great?
DIZZY GORDO: Appreciate it. I’m rarely in the studio wit the producer. People usually hit me wit beats or I’m finding new producers online. Like Fxnesse is in Tennessee and OG Taxx is in Detroit. Miles and Allen used to stay in the same neighborhood, so when we first met we started making music. I met Clayt at Cal’s house and shit just clicked and we’ve been working ever since. That’s our (After F) in house producer.
What are some of the challenges of being an artist in the area, which is still arguably considered up-and-coming?
DIZZY GORDO: I never tripped off the fact that there aren’t a lot of artist coming out of this area, because it’s the same almost everywhere else. People need to stop blaming not getting on because people not tryna listen or give them a chance and just keep working on their craft and make it undeniable.
How do you measure the success of the project? Do you base it on plays, downloads, crowd reaction? A mix of all three?
DIZZY GORDO: It’s a mix of all three. I love performing and seeing people know the words to my music. It’s motivation for me to keep making the music and putting it out for the people.
Where will you be in 5 days, 5 months and 5 years?
DIZZY GORDO: Somewhere smoking gas.
Mercury Rising Mix Tracklist:
Dizzy Gordo – Young Gordo
Dizzy Gordo – Pockets
Dizzy Gordo – Know Im Poppin
Yin Yang ft. Dizzy Gordo – 24 Hours
Dizzy Gordo – Catch Up
Dizzy Gordo – Yola
Dizzy Gordo – GTF
Dizzy Gordo – Ok (exclusive)
Dizzy Gordo – TMWYN
Dizzy Gordo ft. Aceology – Guapanese
Miles Meraki & Dizzy Gordo – Eat Shit (Prod. ClaytDaGreat)
Dizzy Gordo – Curbside
Allen Le Grand ft. Cal Rips, Dizzy Gordo, & King Rosè – Deposit
Dizzy Gordo – No Remix