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Traffic Rap DJ and Producer Duse Beatz sits with us for a genuine interview, talking about his seventh studio album Westside Connected Vol. 1. The Reno native lets us sneak peek into his creative process and reveals new details of his friendship with the late Drakeo The Ruler.

Congrats on the release of your seventh studio album Westside Connected Vol. 1! How long have you been working on it and how did you decide on the tracklist? 

Thank you!! I appreciate it. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years. Sometimes it’s hard to get the artist to send the verses back, But I got it done.

Can you share details about the creative process of Westside Connected Vol. 1 and why you chose to call it Volume 1? Is there a Volume 2 coming soon?

The creative process was me creating the new west coast sound and linking up with artists from LA that have a buzz or upcoming that’s making a name, and I chose to name it Vol.1 to see how it does and who knows it might lead to a Vol.2.

You have collaborated with many artists on this new record, including the late Drakeo The Ruler. We’re deeply sorry for your loss! Would you like to share some moments you’ve spent with him while making this album? Did you consider him a mentor or a friend? Or both? How would you describe your partnership and/or friendship?

Yea Drakeo was my boy!!!! RIP, we basically started together around 2015 when I hit him up on Twitter and asked him if I could send him beats and ever since then we have been rockin, when we were in the studio just seeing him record and his recording process inspired me . If you look I was on every album he put out, he made sure to look out for me, I think it was only one album I wasn’t on. I considered him more than a friend but my brother, that looked out for me!

You have been influenced by the Hip Hop of the 90s and 2000s. What other era has had a great impact on your music? How would you produce beats that incorporate old school R&B and new Traffic Rap? What about Reggaeton? You’ve mentioned before that you would like to experiment with that genre.

The 2000s and the 2010’s, I was influenced by the crunk sound that was founded by Lil Jon with the hard hitting kicks and the 808s going crazy with the clap and also I definitely was inspired by DJ mustard with the YG sound he was creating with Yg and also the producer “mouse on the track” with Lil Webbie and Lil boosie, if you go listen to there early music you can definitely hear the influence.

Who is your dream collab? Who would you like to work with in the future? Give three names that you would like to team up with!

My dream collab would be to collab on a beat with Battlecat!!! I think that would go crazy and who I would like to work with artist wise is, 

  • Snoop dogg 
  • Too short 
  • Future

Who was your favorite Hip Hop artist while growing up? What albums did you listen to? 

My favorite artist growing up to listen to was E-40 (he is still one of my favorite rappers). I actually ended up getting to work with E-40 on a few tracks and if you go listen to “the cub commentator vol 2” I produced the first song on that Ep called “The funk is still pending.”

Do you feel like your music has evolved over the years? Do you have a specific formula you apply to writing your songs? Or are you a more instinctive creator?

I feel music has evolved but one thing that the game is lacking now is the soul, everyone sounds the same or is just copying what’s hot instead of being different. Now we just listen to music when in the 90s and some in the 2000s the records we listened to can be felt in your soul! What the artists were saying spoke to you!

What message do you want to send to your listeners with your songs? Do you think about the audience while creating your music? Or do you write more from your personal experiences? 

Just go listen to the album and feel the slappin beats, great artist and run it up on Apple Music and Spotify.

Listen to Westside Connected Vol. 1 here:

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