In the age of social media and instant gratification, new artists are being found every day; some have changed their lives forever. Over a year ago, a freestyle video had gone viral on Twitter and ended up in my feed. That artist was Drebae.
Boasting 141k followers on Twitter, he has basically become a viral star consistently uploading new videos to his feed of some of the most fun and intense wordplay and bars that just make you think, “Oh damn!”
Not just fans and followers react and share either. Massive names such as Nicki Minaj and Cardi B have taken notice and personally have reacted to his videos.
His debut EP was released this week entitled Work Of Art and includes many of the freestyles in their proper studio form while offering some new ear candy his fans haven’t heard yet.
At surface level, the music is club-ready and fun with the lyrics seemingly sexual and vain, but digging deeper uncovers some serious topics about these lyrics and experiences he is sharing on the release. He is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and unashamedly shares that in his music taking pride in who he is while having some fun along the way.
Drebae is a natural on the mic from the high-energy single Badd to the radio-ready closer I’m Gone Be Great, he is versatile with his lyrics and vocal melodies. He truly has his own vibe and style that is hard to find in rap right now and is poised to carve a path for himself to be the next big thing in the genre.
We got to catch up with Drebae and discuss his climb on social media, the DIY hustle and building his brand himself, Lil Nas X, and some of the songs on the EP.
Soundlink Mag: It’s impressive you have built up this following so far on social media all independent. It’s like there’s a punk rock DIY hustle there, how’s this grind been for you, and what does what you’ve done so far mean to you?
Drebae: The grind is never-ending. I have big dreams for myself and can never give up. It’s been a long journey but I’ve learned so much & achieved many things! It feels unreal and I know my younger self will be proud of me in the end.
SLM: When people hear your music, they hear fun wordplay and some “oh damn” bars that came from freestyles. What is your background and how did you arrive at this drive to become a musician, and do you want to keep doing everything yourself?
Drebae: Thank you for the love on my freestyles I work so hard on them! I’m from Cali and I always had a passion for music. My father used to rap & I’ve always written poetry since I was young to express myself. I decided to take my music seriously in 2018 when I DM’d Nicki Minaj on Twitter a video of me rapping and she responded by saying “you killed that” and it gave me the confidence to keep going. Being independent I am in control of everything I do but help from a label who believes in me, pushes me, pays me my worth, and doesn’t try to change who I am will always be welcome.
SLM: Lil Nas X came out as a gay man in rap after Old Town Road got massive and got some backlash. He has however kept going and showed pride in his identity. Have you been in touch with him in the background any to apply some stuff he’s learned to your own journey? There was a photo of ya’ll together last year sometime.
Drebae: Me & Nas talk often! You are referencing his Montero release party last year. Since then I’ve seen him a ton of times I also went to his birthday party to support him and we always show each other consistent love. He’s a really good friend and a genuine soul who deserves everything. Regardless of what anyone says I will always support him and cherish our friendship.
SLM: The two tracks that stand out to be the most are Lonely, and I’m Gone Be Great.
Lonely has some introspective feel to it about some personal things, what space were you in writing this, and what do you want listeners to get from it?
Drebae: Lonely is a song I wrote when I was extremely depressed and alone. Black youth & especially black LGBTQ+ youth have a high rate of suicide and often are isolated, and neglected and we have nobody there for us. This song was a letter to the feelings I felt during that time and I know others could relate. I want them to know they are not the only ones who have felt that way.
SLM: I’m Gone Be Great to me is THE song. The song that’d thrive as a single and on the radio. Are there any plans to push that direction as an independent artist or do you have others waiting in the wings to release to make that push?
Drebae: I’m gone be great is a motivational song about self-love empowerment and believing in yourself. There will be days you don’t feel like doing things but it’s important to get up and do them anyway. Life may knock you down but you get back up and persevere. Diamonds are formed under pressure & it’s important to be unbreakable regardless of the opinions of others even with the hardships you may face you will be great. The song is getting a ton of love and I’ve had big names reach out for opportunities with it already! Fingers crossed those things go through. For now, I will be pushing it on my socials and expect a music video as well
Stream Work Of Art below: