One of NY’s promising new Hip Hop talents, Don Modus, discusses the creative process of his collaboration with producer Dapp Fetti. The latest single “Big Time,” recorded in his home studio, incorporates a Memphis sample into the beat and comes with an accompanying video that complements the raw and authentic vibe of the track.
The “East 2 West” rapper also talks about the balance of light and dark in his music and personal life, and how he overcomes self-doubt when faced with challenges in his career. Besides that, Modus opens up about growing up with divorced parents and how his multicultural upbringing has shaped his artistic expression.
Read the full interview below.
Can you tell us more about the creative process behind “Big Time” and how you worked with Dapp Fetti to produce the track?
“Big time” is a collaboration between myself and producer Dapp Fetti. That’s my guy right there. We’re basically a two-man team. He does the beats and I do all the audio engineering. It was his idea to incorporate the Memphis sample and I loved it. We definitely had to chop it up a little using a gross beat to make it unique. The track was recorded in my home studio and then we flew down to Atlanta to shoot the music video.
You’ve mentioned being both a devil and an angel in the song. How do you balance these two identities in your music and personal life?
The balance of light and dark is an important theme in my life and music. It’s just like yin and yang. We all do what we have to do to get ahead, but at the same time I don’t wanna lose who I am. It’s important to have ethics when you’re in the streets otherwise you lose your balance and the dark side will take over. The “dark side” is represented when I wear my custom ski mask.
The lyrics in “Big Time” are very confident and unapologetic. How do you overcome self-doubt when faced with challenges or setbacks in your career?
Self doubt is definitely a challenge we’ve all had to face in life. It’s also hard to differentiate between real confidence and false confidence. I’ve found that by outworking other people it makes me more prepared to handle any situation. You also need to have realistic expectations so you don’t get too disappointed. There’s gonna be a lot of ups and downs in life but as long as you’re prepared and expect setbacks, you deserve to be confident throughout.
The music video for “Big Time” complements the raw and authentic style of the song. Can you talk about the concept behind the video and how it came to be?
I love that you used the words raw and authentic, because that’s what I’m going for. I’m trying to let people into my world and life. As for the video, I scouted a few locations that resonated with me and then made sure to keep the colors consistent throughout. We highlighted the “angel and demon” theme by having all the scenes with the ski mask be in red.
You’re not just a rapper, but also an entrepreneur and fashion designer. How do these other aspects of your life influence your music and creativity?
They all ping pong off of one another. I wouldn’t be able to do one without the other. The rap game was invented by hustlers for hustlers. If you’re not out in the streets trying to make it to the top then the people aren’t going to be feeling your lyrics/stories as much.
How has your multicultural upbringing shaped your artistic expression, and do you incorporate any specific cultural elements or references into your work?
Growing up with two culturally-different divorced parents will expose you to different sides of life. My Italian and Japanese heritage are both represented in the clothes that I wear and ideas that I come up with. You’ll see it more and more as the releases come out.
In what ways do you feel your background sets you apart from other Hip Hop artists, and do you believe it gives you a unique perspective or voice within the industry?
My background and my life stories are the only reasons I’m rapping. I never grew up wanting to be a rapper. It wasn’t until I was seeing the parallels between my life and popular rap music that I became interested. Then once I began to pursue this career it just led to more and more stories. I honestly feel like I’ve got one of the most unique backgrounds out there and can’t wait to release more music that builds on it.
Watch the official music video for “Big Time” here:
Listen to “Big Time” on Spotify: