When I listened to “Famous,” the opening track off DDG’s latest EP release, Maybe It’s Me, for the first time, it felt like reading the artist’s diary. The first lines left me feeling like I shouldn’t know any of this — but I couldn’t put it down.
In “Famous,” the Pontiac, Michigan rapper describes being insecure about his relationship with his girlfriend Halle Bailey. He raps, “The hardest thing I ever did was fall in love with a famous b*tch,” exposing the feelings of jealousy that he felt while she was promoting her film The Little Mermaid, and shares some of his fleeting thoughts of sabotage. While some folks would take those secrets to the grave (the backlash he’s receiving showing exactly why), he’s taking the toxic vulnerability path of Drake and Future. The overall arching theme of Maybe It’s Me is DDG embracing being the villain.
“I feel like my last project is basically, me going from playing the victim to me being the villain,” DDG told Uproxx the day of the EP’s release. “Accepting the role as a villain.” In an interview with DDG as he shopped for jewelry on Rodeo Drive, the controversial rapper detailed his TikTok-favorite single “I’m Geekin” and the controversy surrounding “Famous.”
Why do you think that people have started to not like you?
I honestly don’t know, to be honest.
Is it surprising for you?
To be real. It used to be, but now it’s kind of whatever, it is what it is. It’s just the internet. I see a lot of artists get hated on.
When I first heard “Famous,” the first thing I wanted to know was if Halle heard it before you put it out.
Yeah, she heard it.
She was okay with you putting it on the project?
Yeah. It’s just music. Sometimes I exaggerate situations purposely for the sake of the song. I think I’m going to just stop trolling. They can’t handle my humor, so I’m gonna just chill, drop music, and let it ride out.
You recently mentioned in a vlog how you wanted to start taking music more seriously and stop making the kind of videos you’re known for and on “Hard On Myself” you say: “Doin’ videos on the ‘net, but I’d rather just rap / One day, I’ma take that leap of faith and just focus on that.”
What’s holding you back from taking that leap of faith, outside the YouTube money?
It is just like – that’s how a lot of people might fall off in a way. They try to abandon what they are, where they got solid, for something that could work out or couldn’t. But, I just really want to do music. I’m just passionate about it. I ain’t tripping on no money or no shit. I just want to see how far I can do the music stuff.
I also want to also talk about the sound of the project because some of the songs like “Rizz” and “Rambo” sound like the early SoundCloud rap era. Is that what you were going for?
Nah, I wouldn’t say that vibe. I’d say I just got a few songs that are more specifically for performance. Then I got some songs that are more experimental, like the “Famous” song. It’s like a UK garage/hip-hop beat — a new sound that I was trying out. You got the slow joints, but the ones that were hyped are for performance.
“Hard on Myself” is nice. What made you record a song like that? Do you have more songs like that?
I don’t. That’s the only song I made like that. That’s where I feel like I am seeing what people like. They like that intellectual, lyrical, slow melody vibe. I feel like since the wintertime coming up I need to get something out for that time. I’m just locking in on that sound.
Since the internet jokes that they can’t name five DDG songs, what are five songs people should add to their playlist to get to know who you are musically?
I would say “I’m Geekin,” “Treat Me Right,” “Stay in My Circle,” “Impatient” and “Elon Musk.”
Tell me what it was like when you linked up with Luh Tyler for the first “I’m Geekin” remix.
That was lit. He’s a cool dude. It was dope. Good vibes. We got in the studio before. He hit me up to hop on the remix and sent me his verse back ASAP. It was like two days.
How did the “I’m Geekin” remix with Bia and NLE Choppa happen?
Choppa told me he wanted to get on it and then my A&R sent it to Bia. But, we are all cool though.
When Lady Gaga posted a TikTok to “I’m Geekin,” was that expected?
No, that was definitely the most unexpected thing.
You have a tweet that says female rappers are winning. Which five are you checking for right now?
I’d say Bia, Cardi B, Latto, Coi Leray, and Nicki Minaj.
Considering the song “Pioneer” and your journey so far, would you say you are creating your own kind of blueprint?
Yeah, I would say so. I feel like what I’m doing is extremely difficult. That’s why it hasn’t been done at my magnitude yet.
In a past interview with Uproxx, you said you wanted to know what it felt like to be Drake, Lil Baby, 50 Cent, and Diddy. You said, “I want to know what it feels like and I’m chasing that experience.” How close to that do you feel like you are?
I don’t know. I feel like I’m pretty far. I don’t look at any of my accomplishments and be like, “Oh, I’m getting closer.” I feel like my success has no limit. It’s hard for me to gauge how close I am to anything. I feel like when you get older it’s like, in the music industry especially, you don’t want to rap your whole life. You want to be able to have a catalog where you can also do other sh*t.
Is there an album next or will there be a third installment to this It’s Not Me It’s You, Maybe It’s Me, toxic series?
No, I’m working on the album. I’m going to put out a real album with a good amount of songs. One solid consistent sound. I have been talking to OG Parker about a Die 4 Respect 2 project. That might come about at some point.
Maybe It’s Me is out now via Epic Records.