Recently we got the opportunity to sit down with Maryland MC Dirty Shafi to pick his brain on who he is, his come up, and his goals for the future!
TD: We usually like to get everyone on the same page before diving into things, would you mind introducing yourself for the unfamiliar readers on the other side?
DS : Its Dirty Shafi, 19 years old, born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I’ve been putting out music for about a year and finally getting some recognition. I started making music and got inspired listening to my favorite rappers and relating to them to the point that it felt like they were talking to me. Coming from a negative environment and being surrounded by drugs and violence in my neighborhood, I put what I saw and went through into my music.
TD: What made you want to start expressing yourself through the art of hip hop?
DS: Its therapy to me. It helps me get through my day. I’m passionate about this shit and if I only had one fan I would still continue to make music for that person. Thats how its supposed to be. I don’t do this for the fame and money, but for the ones who going through the same thing. I never thought it would get further than the street made it on. It’s bigger than me now. I started a movement and I won’t let my people down.
TD: How long have you been at the art of producing your own hip hop?
DS: I’ve been at it since I was 16, but I didn’t start putting music out until a year after that. I spent a lot of time perfecting my craft, and most of the music I’ve put out I held on to for about a year. Coming from Gaithersburg, Maryland we never had any rappers to look up to or anyone as an example that it’s possible to make it outta here. There are a lot of talented people, but they don’t get recognized or supported. I’m gonna be that Myth or that hope to show these kids that its real.
TD: Being from Maryland, how would you rate the scene, and the support you receive from home?
DS: In Maryland there’s really no music scene. There’s no unity. It’s like crabs in a bucket. It’s a lot of rappers, and the only ones who really broke out were Logic and Wale. Everybody has their group of people they work with and they don’t support people outside of that. Even if you’re the nicest out here you won’t get any recognition, because everyone’s on the same mission as you. They don’t want anyone to do better than them. As for support, I don’t get much support around here. Most of my fans are international recently. I’ve been getting more love from the kids and I can see they’re really listening and that shows me it’s growing.
TD: International eh? What countries seem to show you the most love?
DS: I couldn’t even name them its spread all around but i get alotta love from London
TD: We caught you just a few months after you released “J-Ride,” do you have anything new in the works that listeners can get excited for?
DS: I’ve been working my ass off. I recently just quit my job to fully dive into this music and take it to the next level. I’ll be announcing some big things soon.
TD: When it comes to the production of your beats, is it all you, or do you have a few beat-makers you work with as well?
DS: It’s really all me. I went the mixtape route like some Lil Wayne type shit, just covering other people’s songs I fuck with, and displaying my style over them.
TD: Are there any producers who you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
DS: Definitely looking forward to working with my big bro Dirty Chocolate his music’s fire!
TD: You have an awesome old school flow that really sets you apart from others on the come up right now. Who would you credit as being major influences to your style?
DS: Growing up I listened to a variety of rappers from Bone thugs to Nas and Jay-Z. I’d have to say the 90s is really all I listened to, but there are some new artists that are really taking it back to the essence, like myself.
TD: What are your views on the state of popular hip hop/rap these days?
DS: I think now its all about copying. Everyone is worried about what’s hot at the moment, and changes themselves to be something they’re not sothe world will accept them. That’s why a lot of these rappers are coming out and being one hit wonders. Real music is timeless, and will live on forever. All this other shit is just for the moment and will die out eventually.
TD: Aside from hip hop, what else can someone find Dirty Shafi rocking on the regular?
DS: I listen to a lot of different shit. From John Legend and Justin Timberlake to Bob Marley ahaha. It’s always different.
TD: Do you have any plans for a tour, or any upcoming shows that any of our followers could come see you preform at?
DS: In the near future definitely a lot of shows. As of right now though I’m focused on this new project.
TD: When you aren’t making music, what can do you like to indulge yourself in?
DS: Skating and traveling. I’m from Gaithersburg not much here. That’s why I’m always out trying to get it.
TD: That’s about it on our end. Anything you feel like adding, or anyone you want to shout out?
DS: Shout out to all the fans supporting since day one. I wanna give a shout out to my big brother Dirty Chocolate for believing in the kid. He got some big shit coming soon, so be on the look out for that. The homie Biscuit out in Queens New York, and his brand “Authentic.” Popping off right now, check that shit out it’s fire.