If you’re an avid music listener then you know that the industry is heavily dominated by the south, west, and the tristate area, mainly New York and New Jersey. With different artists emerging everyday from these particular regions, it leaves one to wonder when will an artist from an area that isn’t well known break into the industry and earn their stripes.
Connecticut has been and continues to be at the bottom as far as the tristate goes but in the last few years, it has began to show some signs of life. Mainstream artists have taken their shows and tours to certain areas of Connecticut but aside from that, the up and coming musicians and creative talents have been gaining a wide range of notoriety and most of this is due to the evolution of social media. A few people like rising rapper Anoyd and social media influencer/creative talent Brea Simone stand in the middle of Connecticut’s new age popularity but another person who aligns himself up with this emerging state is rapper, Dash Flash.
Dash Flash isn’t only an artist from Connecticut but he also serves his country proud in the U.S. Air Force. He is currently in his fifth year and as surprising as it sounds, he has managed to make time for the one thing he loves the most: his music. Although Dash has only been rapping for nearly two years, he has mustered up a great following of music heads who love to hear about the stories of a young kid who bounced around through all the boroughs of New York to finally making New London, Connecticut his home.
Using his family from the Bronx who once had a famous underground rap group as an influence and his lifestyle of maneuvering through Connecticut to build his brand, the young MC created his first solo project Blessed. The 12 track offering paints a vivid picture of someone who has been through many ups and downs as a child but through all of the hardships and trials and tribulations, they have found so much in life to be thankful for. Accompanied by some hard hitting production, Blessed also has some great features on it from Rich the Kid, Riff Raff, Jitta, who is a well known Connecticut rapper and the legend Lil Wayne.
Since the release of the project, Dash Flash’s stock has been going up. He has been covered by some of musics most well respected sites like Hot New Hip Hop, Hip Hop DX, The Source, and more. The Connecticut rapper also did a interview on Shade 45 with Statik Selektah on Thursday (June 1) where he dropped an incredible freestyle. Riding the wave of his newfound success, Dash is gearing up to drop a brand new project and a new summer record featuring Zoey Dollaz called “Make It Flip.”
Read more about Dash Flash below in our exclusive interview. Also, check out his debut project Blessed.
1. At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to start rapping?
- Rap is just something that I grew up with. I use to listen to it. I remember when I was a little kid I use to listen to like Tupac and my mom always tried to make me listen to Spanish music so that made me very rebellious. But then I realized I wanted to start making music and then I actually started rapping for fun. When I was in high school we use to do rap battles and I was undefeated and everyone was afraid to battle me. Then, when I joined the military I realized that I really wanted to make music a career but it was all about going about it the right way and doing it by myself. From that point on I just began to manage my time and I started to take it more seriously as I went on.
2. Did anyone have any major influence on you or pushed you to do music?
- My boys did. The people I grew up around. We all wanted to do this music thing and we all motivated each other. If one made a move then the next one made a move and we just kept getting inspired of each other and helping build each other up. And back when I was 12 years old my cousins in the South Bronx they use to have this rap group called Street Felons and every time I went on vacation from CT to the Bronx, they use to be like 30 deep in the basement just recording all day. I started seeing all the fun that they were having and they had a manager and they were doing shows all over the Bronx and Washington Heights. When I saw that I was like “Yo these dudes are having fun and I would like to do it.”
3. With you being in the Air Force, how did you find time to invest in your craft and in your music?
- I’m pretty good with time management. I’m usually on duty from 7AM to 3PM Monday through Friday. While i’m on duty I do what I have to do but I always find the slightest time to send out emails and hit up everybody. Everyday I’m building something new. About three weeks ago I got verified on Twitter. Before that, I was sending out emails and no one would respond. Now, people tend to respond more just because I’m verified. The perception changes as you go. The moment I get off duty, I’ll be in the crib all day just writing. I’m actually based in Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina so that place keeps me focused. I be there writing rhymes all day. There’s time for anything. There’s no excuses.
4. Is there any specific reason why you don’y have a manager? Do you choose not to?
- Well I haven’t really found anyone that takes me seriously right now but also takes themselves seriously. From the managers that I’ve met, I noticed it’s not just taking an artist serious, it’s that they don’t believe in themselves. Why would I work with someone who doesn’t believe in themselves? I’m trying to look for that guy or female that sees that vision. Not only in the artist but in themselves as well.
5. Your project Blessed came out about two months ago. How has the reception been for the project so far?
- It’s been crazy. I’ve been getting a lot of hit ups on Snapchat with people telling me how I improved and this is my first official project. I released an EP before this project with an artist I was working with but I wasn’t feeling the work they did so I deleted that. I knew my vision and I knew by myself I could create something greater and what I created was Blessed. It features Lil Wayne, Rich the Kid, Riff Raff, Jitta from CT. I just collaborated with people who are successful. I knew that I had to spend the money to do it. I spent a couple stacks to get the Rich the Kid verse and the next thing I know a get a call saying that Riff Raff wanted to hop on a feature for free. There are people out there right now that are paying $4000-$5000 for a Riff Raff feature. The more you work, the more doors that are going to open for you. This Blessed project is an 11 song project and on the intro I let out my frustrations. I speak about the military being a sacrifice and to get to where I’m at now I had to make certain sacrifices cause that’s what it’s all about. But at the same time you’ll hear records like “Money Growing” and it’s kind of like that club song you can just turn up to or driving in your car blasting. I talk about real like but at the same time we having fun with it. Every song has it’s own little description to it.
6. Explain the titled Blessed and what does that mean to you?
- When I was deployed, I knew that I wanted to take this serious. I was in Kuwait for six months and I realized I had all this energy to work so I knew what I wanted in life. I say I’m blessed because I know who I am and I know exactly what it is that I wanted to do with my life. I was out there and I seen how that shit fucked up a couple people out there. Some people got deployed to Afghanistan and them motherfuckers never came back. Some people were just wandering out there not knowing what it is that the wanted to do. How you can you wake up not knowing what you want to do in life? Next thing you know you’re like 48 years old, two kids, same house, same neighborhood, hanging out with the same people. I knew I didn’t want to be like that. I also got it from my own entertainment company that I am going to start called Blessed Forever. Now matter what happens and no matter what roads me and brothers go down, we blessed forever.
7. What was your creative process like for putting together your first solo project?
- I’m not gonna front, it took a little while. I was working on this joint for like a year and a half almost. But I’ve learned when you take a little bit more time to create things, you get more out of it. That’s how I got the features. Think about the rappers that are out there making dope music. Yeah, they’re making good shit but what are they doing to differentiate themselves from the other rappers? So I feel like with this project, I have a whole new set of eyes looking at me because of the names that I have on my project. This is a business at the end of the day and it’s either expand or go home. I’m just differentiating myself from the rest.
8. How were you able to get that Lil Wayne feature? What was the process like to make that happen?
- There’s an engineer that works for RCA Records in L.A. He has done work with Big Boi from OutKast and a few others and these artists have laid down records and verses but never released any of it of the music. Thanksgiving of 2015 he sent me a text message saying “Yo bro, I got these verses. Any verse you want, I got it. Check them out and tell me what you think. I’m selling them for $800. I have a contract and everything for them so once you release them, they’re yours. You have the rights to them.” I probably heard like four different verses. The one I was most interested in at the time was a verse from Yo Gotti but then my boy showed me the full list and I saw Lil Wayne’s name on there. I told him immediately that I didn’t even care how Wayne’s verse sounded, I wanted it on the record. So after that, I got the verse with the contract, I edited it to the song that I had and I had plans to release it on my birthday, June 13 of 2016. The craziest shit happened with the song though. I had $2000 ready to throw out for promo to help push the song. I was out chillen with my boys, we were all at the beach and we were all excited about the record that I was about to drop with Lil Wayne. All of sudden I get a text message asking me who leaked my song with Lil Wayne. I immediately went to twitter and saw Hip Hop DX posted it. This happened the day before my birthday. Sites from VIBE, 2DopeBoyz, Hot New Hip Hop and others began tweeting it that day. I wasn’t upset though. The record was out and I was able to pocket my 2 G’s. The song basically promo’d itself.
9. With so much arising talent in Connecticut from people like Anoyd on the music tip and Brea Simone on the creative scene, do you feel like the state is in a good space right now?
- I gonna keep it 100, we still have ways to go. We have our foot in the industry now but I’m sure we also know that we can’t stop. We have to keep moving. I think we’re gonna go places. I see the potential of what the state can actually be. It makes sense music wise but now the question is who’s gonna be the most consistent? It’s not a glory road the whole way. There’s gonna be some obstacles we have to overcome but I can definitely say CT is proud of the people you just named.
10. What’s next for Dash Flash? What do you have coming for the rest of this year and beyond?
- I’m actually working on a new project that I’m gonna drop soon. I’ve improved so much. I can’t wait for people to hear these songs. I got this new single that I’m going to drop with Zoey Dollaz and we’re actually shooting the video soon in Miami. I got another solo single that I’m going to drop before then. I don’t want to be looked at as that guy as the guy who has hot records because of his features. I want people to actually listen to my music and have fun. My solo joint is called “Miami.” When I went to Miami I recorded that record with DJ Khaled’s engineer. He helped me out a lot with this Blessed project. So I’m looking forward to dropping that real soon and everything else that I have waiting.