The South shall rise again. Helping to heal a hemorrhaging hip-hop genre, Tai “Doughbeezy” Carr’s lyrics are anchored in life. Hunger, humility, and honesty are among the kaleidoscope of traits that constitute his underlying truth. His innate creativity and cultivated stage presence serves to silence whispers of the South’s demise. Lyricism trademarks his patented style. Modesty reinforced by confidence, a mischievous smile tickles the corners of his clever mouth; the South East Beast will verbally demolish any adversary. If he is, alongside his crew of Headwreckas, or if he’s steadily paving his solo path, Dough respects the grind.
Success in motion is demonstrated in his calculated steps, after consecutively winning the “Best Rappers in Texas” contest, Beezy was forced into an early retirement. Though the nation is beginning to applaud his efforts, Doughbeezy vows to stay connected to his foundation. Doughbeezy is Houston. Tireless eyelids momentarily slip shut as Doughbeezy rubs a hand across his signature bald fade, “Once this industry is done with me and spits me back out; I’m going to have to come back to my roots.” Within a year’s time, Dough has been transformed from a willing contestant in SF2’s “Kickback Sundays” to its honored host.
In his debut feature with BallerStatus.com, Doughbeezy chronicles his past, his present, and his future.
Ty Gibson, studio/production manager at Launch Pad studios in Austin, TX was the first person to tell me about you. I then reached out to Kelly and Marcus; they too believe in your talent. Why does Texas support Doughbeezy?
I don’t know the true answer to that. My belief is that everybody has seen the seed planted. Plus, they’ve seen the seed grow. Usually, some people get on, because they have a buzz …. because they’re signed to such-and-such. A lot of people in Houston actually saw me come literally from nothing. From me doing competitions out here, to me opening up for different [headlining] acts, to me headlining my own show. The city has actually seen all of this happen. They witnessed me dropping my first demo, to my fist first promo CD, to my first mixtape, to my first big mixtape — they’ve actually seen all this. Out here in the city, I think that’s what made people catch on quicker than everyone else. I think that’s what happened.
You told Shea Serrano, of the HoustonPress.com, “I’ve probably used a pen three times in the last five years. And I have the worst memory. I forget everything, but for some reason I can remember all my rhymes.” What first convinced you that you were blessed with the skill to rhyme? When’d you start to spit without a pen?
Back in high school was when I first decided I was good at rapping. When I was 15, at school, we used to do little freestyles at the lunch tables. Then I actually just started doing freestyles at my friend’s house. Back at school, they always used to tell me, “You go hard. There always used to be a bunch of people rapping, but I had always stood out to everybody. So, that’s what made me interested in wanting to do it in the first place. When I was 17 or 18 [years old], that’s when I really started to pursue it or whatever. I just started mashing in.
As far as the not writing thing — about five years ago, I was thinking about stopping rapping because I was losing interest. It’s a crazy story. One night I was watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” It was about 2 o’clock in the morning. It was the episode where Uncle Phil has a flashback when they were back in school. While they were at the prom, that song “You’re All I Need to Get By” came on. I just started freestyling to it. The next day I ended up remembering my whole verse, so I went and recorded it. I was like, “That’s kinda live; I did that with no pen.” That’s what sparked my interest to say in rapping. From there I kept going in with no pen and no pad. That’s how that came about.
I’ve read that in the past you were employed by Wal-Mart as a cake decorator. On “Breaking Boys Off,” did you intentionally use the metaphor “cake” as a way to assert your humility, but still assert your lyrical prowess? You say, “I wake up with my cake up, ready to murder whoever tries to take a slice…”
Actually, the whole cake decorating thing, that has nothing to do with my music. It has nothing to do with my name, Doughbeezy. Any time I say anything about cake, it has nothing to do with that.
Me landing that cake-decorating job was kinda weird. I used to work at Wal-Mart as a stocker. I actually worked for a company called ICS; we did the stocking. I always used to like drawing. One day, I came to work and they were trying to change my schedule. I had to work my set schedule, because everything else was inconvenient for me. The only other position they had open was for the cake decorator. I was like, “Sh**, that’s cool with me. I’ll take that.” I didn’t have to bake a cake or anything. All I had to do was decorate it, put the icing on it, and draw on it how I wanted to. So, I was like, “Cool, bet.” That’s how that came about. So, the cake decorating thing has nothing to do with me saying, “I wake up with my cake up.”
(laughing) I had to think, “Am I over-analyzing, or is he really this good?”
(chuckles) Yeah, that has nothing to do with that. It was just a crazy coincidence.
Your beat selection is impeccable. The first time I tried to listen to Blue Magic, I got stuck on “Do It.” Your lyrics match the level of production. When did you first meet Cam Wallace?
I first met Cam Wallace at the event, Kickback Sundays at SF2. Shout out to Teresa and Ms. Suzie [for hosting the event] at their store, SF2. It was an event that they had going on out here in Houston. That was one place that I really got my buzz from. He actually was there, too. Up there, my first time he had came up to me and was like, “I think you’re real dope. My name is, Cam. I produced ‘Upgrade You’ by Beyoncé. Man, I want to work with you. I just think you’re dope.” I said cool and I gave him my little promo CD. It was a little five-track promo CD. I got a call from him like two days later. He was saying that there was another guy up there named Doughboy — and I was Doughbeezy — and he ended up calling the Doughboy. He was telling Doughboy, “Man, you’re dope. I listened to it two times. Man, I want to work with you.” This and that, and come to find out he was talking to the wrong person. He was talking to the wrong Doughboy.
(laughs) He ended up seeing me the next week at “Kickback Sundays.” He was like, “Man, I really want to work with you.” That’s how that came about right there.
When you’re going through a bed of beats, what guides your selection process?
It’s easy to me. I’m very, very picky. Literally, I’ll listen to a 100 beats and not pick one. How I know if it’s the right beat is if my head starts nodding, without me making it do it. That’s how I know that’s the one.
Midwest MC’s like Tech N9ne are associated with that staccato, intricate wordplay. Southern MC’s like Z-Ro are known for a methodical delivery that resonates with the public. With you originally being from Cleveland, OH and relocating to Houston, TX, how long has it taken you to craft your delivery?
To be honest, I really don’t know. It’s hard to answer that question. When I first started rapping, people would always commend me on my delivery. But, I never really just knew what they were talking about. With the delivery, and all that, I guess it came naturally. That’s just the way I rap. I would never be like, “Oh, let me try to rap a certain way. Or, try to deliver this way.” Whenever people would give me compliments on rapping, one thing that they’d always say is, “Man, your delivery stands out.” So, I really don’t know where it comes from. It might come from where I’m originally from. But, I’ve been in Houston since I was 13. At 15 is when I started rapping and freestyling.
Your track “Grind” is insightful and motivational; the lyrics are packed with meaning. You say: “Late nights with the great whites, I’m in the studio and ain’t leaving ’til I see daylight / I’m hungry for success and for me to see what it tastes like/ I spit that straight white and turn that mic into a base pipe …” You’re able to arouse a feeling while visually telling a story. How are you able to do this?
(hesitates) Honestly, I don’t know. When I talk to other rappers, they’ll sit there and try to think of another metaphor — and actually try to think of the story. I don’t do that; I just rap. Before I started writing that, I wasn’t thinking about dope or trying to overdose. My first bar was “Late nights with the great whites…” and I just went off of that.
Killa Kyleon, a respected Houston MC, took an early interest in your gift. You were featured on his “Salute Me” track from CPTP2. Later y’all teamed up on “F*** You.” To date, have you worked with ‘Face or K-Rhino?
I have not worked with Scarface or K-Rhino. A representative that works with Scarface has actually got with me, saying that they are going to be doing his greatest hits, or some type of project that they’re working on and want me to be a part of it. That’s nothing that’s set in stone, but it’s definitely something that’s been talked about. That’s an honor; he’s a legend. I’m really hoping and praying that that does go through. K-Rhino and I haven’t worked together. Actually, we have come across each other, and we’ve definitely saluted each other with what we’re doing. I mean, that’s definitely not something that’s not impossible to happen. I’m definitely interested in working with both. They’re both legends and my respect level for both of them are super high. I’m definitely willing and ready to do it. I want to work with them.
Given that your organic talent and your ingrained work ethic have rewarded you with Houston’s support, what’s your next goal and next project?
Right now, I don’t have any particular projects coming up. At this moment, I’m just trying to stay working. Last year, one thing I f***ed up on was when I dropped Reggie Bush And Kool Aid, I grinded my ass off. I made sure I was everywhere I needed to be –everywhere I needed to be, except the studio. When it came to Blue Magic, I put more pressure on myself to get it done at a certain time. I had more pressure than I normally would if I had stayed working. So, after dropping Blue Magic, I want to stay in the studio and keep that work ethic of working in the studio. That way, when I do decide to drop a [project], I won’t have to be ripping and running. I think my next project is going to be called Godspeed. That’s not a for sure, but right now I’m leaning towards that.
Do you have an anticipated release date; will it be out this year?
Yeah, you can definitely expect something this year. That’s not set in stone, but I’m really leaning towards that being the next project. If not that, I have a guy called Kab Tha Don, he was on both my tapes, Reggie Bush and Kool Aid and Blue Magic, he was on a track with Bun, the “Holla Back” track — he did the hook. We’re working on something for the summertime. It’s called Bully And The Beast. You can definitely be expecting that.
Until the next time, what would you like to share with BallerStatus.com and your supporters?
I appreciate BallerStatus for reaching out and showing so much love. I want to say thank you to them. I gotta say thank you to my city and my state for showing so much love and support. I’m hoping that I’m making them proud. We’re just gonna keep mashing. Just let everybody know that Doughbeezy and the Headwreckas are on the way.
You can reach me at Doughbeezy.com. On Twitter, it’s @Doughbeezy. And on Instagram it’s Doughbeezy_. Everywhere it’s Doughbeezy, put it in your search engines. And I definitely want to tell them that my first time on MTV was with the “My Car” video. It is in rotation. Be on the lookout for that. Right now, it’s on MTV Jams and MTV2.