By: George Alberts
Now that 2011 is in full swing, itâ€™s time to unveil a San Diego artist looking to make a big splash this year. Since the release of his first mixtape in early 2010, D-Shells has been busy stickinâ€™ to his grind with a second mixtape, live performances, and the recent release of his first album Secret Weapon. With his third mixtape Burn Me Alive already in the works, D-Shells is an artist with a lot on his mind and the lyrical talent to hit the scene hard. And though he might incorporate different styles of music in his format, he delivers a refreshing step back into a realm where the message overshadows the image. At a time when Hip Hop has been reduced to a new age style of music polluted with swag and dance trends, D-Shells characterizes the audacity of hope that once fueled the originality of the scene. NUG caught up with the young, versatile rapper to discuss his music, aspirations, and what heâ€™s bringing to the table.
What are a few things youâ€™ve grown to love about San Diego?
I love the weather and the beautiful women, and I feel like we got the best weed!
I agree; when it comes to cannabis, do you have any preferences in regards to strain or smoking device?
I donâ€™t really have a preference when it comes to weed, but I do when it comes to how I smoke it; I like to stick to joints or bubblers, or an occasional blunt.
What are your thoughts on the current politics surrounding the cannabis community and medical marijuana patients?
Itâ€™s incredible! Itâ€™s hard to ignore the negative stuff like the arrests and crackdowns, but itâ€™s amazing at how strong the community has become.Â I think the co-ops and collectives are a great blessing for patients, making it easy and convenient for them to get what they need.
How or when did you find yourself getting into music?
I started getting into music mainly from rappinâ€™ and battlinâ€™ at parties, and just messing around with friends. For a good part of my life, Iâ€™ve been a crazy hip hopÂ fiend. I started practicing a little bit and before I knew it, I was trying to make a career out of it.
How would you describe your style of music?
I donâ€™t really have a style because I switch up my flow so much thatÂ everything sounds a littleÂ different, but if I had to describe it in one word, Iâ€™d say my style is â€œInsaneâ€.
Who or what influences have you had when it comes to your music or sound?
My influences come from everywhere. I canâ€™t just name one or two artists because I listen to music from the North, South, East and West, but a few of my favorites would be Lil Wayne, T.I., The Game, Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, Drake, Big Sean, Kanye West, Eminem, B.O.B, and the list goes on and on.
What are your thoughts on the current state of hip hop?
A lot of people say that hip hop has taken a turn for the worse because itâ€™s so commercial; but thatâ€™s what you have to be if youâ€™re going to be successful. Honestly though,Â I like the way it is because Iâ€™m the type of artist that doesnâ€™t stick to one genre. I can adapt and do gangstaâ€™, pop, hip hop, club,Â rock, andÂ alternative music, and in the end, Iâ€™m happy because I feel like I can deliver you the best of both worlds and have fun while doing it.
What makes you unique and separates you from other artists?
What makes me unique from other artists is the fact that I donâ€™t sound like any artist youâ€™ve ever heard. I have my own thing going, so when you hear one of my tracks you instantly know itâ€™s me because thereâ€™s only one person in the world that has this voice and thatâ€™s the truth.
What can you tell me about your latest album?
My newest album is called Secret Weapon. It sounds fresh, original, and genuine. The title just came to me because Iâ€™m tryinâ€™ to be the next superstar to take over the game. My delivery and lyrics are out of this world, and I call myself the secret weapon because the artists are going to want to use me for total destruction, basically saying Iâ€™ve come to take over the industry.
Are there any projects youâ€™re currently working on? Any goals youâ€™re working towards in terms of your career?
Iâ€™m putting another mixtape out this month. My goal for 2011 is to go on tour and distribute CDs as I travel from city to city. I want to do shows every weekend and make more money.
Are there any specific artists you hope to work with in the future?
Future artists that I would love to do work with are Wiz Khalifa, Drizzy Drake, Busta Rhymes, Rihanna, Kevin Cossum, Snoop Dogg, Lil Tunechi, and Beyonce. Theyâ€™re styles of music are so versatile; I think I would mesh well with any of these artists.
Would you like to give a shout-out?
I want to give a shout-out to my manager Kent and to all my fans, Iâ€™m going to become the best just for yâ€™all. I would also like to give a shout-out to my mom, R.I.P; I love you with all my heart.
I wish you nothing but the best of luck, and thank you so much for your time.Â Give everybody a website or something, so they can find out more about you and what you got goinâ€™ on.
Iâ€™ve got a website in the works, but everyone can check me out at: