DeLorean

After years of being locally recognized as one of Houston’s strongest talents, 2015 found DeLorean embarking on something totally new; a nationwide tour. Alongside Big K.R.I.T, B.J. The Chicago Kid and Scotty ATL, DeLorean has been traveling across the country as part of the Kritically Acclaimed Tour. Almost two months into the tour, we got a chance to talk to DeLo about this huge step in his career as well as his new project Perfect Black, his progression as an artist and the idea that it is necessary to get out of Houston, as an artist. All in all, it is inspiring to hear the excitement DeLorean has for his career and the passion he continues to carry with him, insisting that he needs to work even harder as he reaches new milestones.

 

2015 has been a busy year for you –

The last leg of it, definitely.

The Kritically Acclaimed tour is your first national tour, right?

It’s my first tour- period.

Really? Wow!

You know I ain’t never been on no tour.

How did you feel before the tour started?

Mmm. How did I feel? Lucky. I just prayed about it. And waited for the phone call.

A month and a half into the tour-how do you feel, now?

Since October 21st, yeah. It’s like, 45 days but it don’t even feel like it. I can’t even explain the feelings. It’s been surreal like, I don’t want it to stop but then I’m ready to go home and see my little girl. But I wish it wasn’t the last leg – I wish I was doing this for the rest of my life.

Favorite part of touring so far?

Finishing my set and talking to the people. Getting an understanding of the different demographics; how they feel about me, how they accept my music. That’s the most interesting part, it’s the best part. People who listened to me four projects ago, it’s my first time in their city and I’m having a one on one with them. Trappin it up about my music, they’re supporting me the old fashioned way, not just tweeting me the next day. It’s a whole different feeling.

What’s the worst part of the tour?

The worst part of the tour… It has to be finding a shitter. Because I’m eating crazy and there’s not a shitter on the bus. So, hotels. If you not by there, you gambling at Jack in the Box or whatever. It’s crazy.

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What’s been your favorite stop so far?

Ooohh. What you think?

I want to say Houston! But, I don’t know. I have never been on a nationwide tour- it might be doper in new cities.

I’m not even upset to say that you’re completely wrong! Completely wrong. We’ll get into that too, it’s a whole other discussion. I have no issues talking about that, either. We’ll talk about that later!

I have some more questions later that might cover that, anyway.

Ok. Good. Well- D.C., Chicago, Louisville, KY, Denver, L.A. Oh, New Orleans. Oohh man. I cannot tell you. New Orleans was a couple shows ago. Birmingham, Alabama! Man. I took the most pictures with fans in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s crazy. I took more pictures there than in Houston. I can’t really put it all on me, a lot of people are receptive to the verse on (K.R.I.T.’s) It’s Better This Way, “Got Me Thru”. Some people said they got Hood Politics 1! I’m in this hoe like, running around saying “this nigga got my first mixtape!!”

I’m so infatuated with this whole trip. I’m the only one on the bus that this is his first tour. So everybody jokes with me because I still get hyped like when we get done like “MAN I KILLED IT!”

That’s beautiful though.

Man. Who you tellin?

Have you gotten homesick yet?

Well, halfway through the tour we stopped in Houston. I got to spend thanksgiving with the fam, got to come home for a little bit. It suppressed me a little bit. My little girl knows how to FaceTime so, we FaceTime every day. I am missing it. But, I know that I need to get out of my comfort zone. I need to get out of the realm of what I’m doing every day. I gotta do something I haven’t done to get what I don’t have yet. I got that on my mind frame. I can’t focus on missing home too much. People in the army can’t think about their wives too much, you know? Or talk about it too much. You just gotta do what you gotta do on your way home.

You have a huge catalogue of music, which songs do you like performing the most?

“I Gotta Go”, that’s on Perfect Black. “Parallel Park” from Look Alive. They like “Breathe” from Grace. And “Lately” with Scotty ATL. We performed that a couple times, he brought me out.

How are you enjoying the artists you are on tour with?

Man, I don’t think I could be on a better lineup of artists that just naturally, really mesh with each other. We were talking about this the other day, me and B.J. (The Chicago Kid) are becoming close, me and Scotty (ATL) are coming up on two years of really just fuckin with each other, not just music. He comes into town and he hits me up, comes to the crib it ain’t really just about music. I don’t think I could be on a better tour. I wouldn’t even wanna be opening up for Jay-Z. It just wouldn’t mesh well. Niggas would be like “why this nigga here opening up for Jay-Z?”

I think the stars have aligned for me. I’m in a position where K.R.I.T. put me on that tape and it was like an alley oop. t’s hard to be the ice breaker all the time and now people are like “ok, that’s that nigga from the K.R.I.T. tape.” Whether it’s a cosign or just where people know you from. People are like, “he’s dope. I don’t know who he is or where he’s from but K.R.I.T. fucks with him, I fuck with him!”

I can’t say it’s because of my catalogue or whatever. I been doing this ten plus years and right now I am just in the right place at the right time.

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What advice do you have for artists who are where you were, not long ago? I.e., opening for tours in their city and doing, like you said, shows here and there in San Antonio, Austin, etc…?

It’s cool to do that if the show benefits your fan base. Don’t give your soul up for it. I tell people all the time, I have invested into my own shows probably more than I have been promoted to do shows opening up for other artists. It’s like, people want to come see Nipsey Hussle so they pay their $35 to come to the concert- if you ain’t really got nothing going for yourself and you’re just trying to do this; it’s not a good look, sometimes. It’s nine opening acts, you’re one of them. And they tired of lookin at you. They’re ready to see the headliner. Sometimes you just gotta go out here and do it yourself, do your own concerts.

And get out of the city too, though. I know it’s hard. Everybody always say, I know I’ve seen you say it, I’ve seen a lot of people say it; if the resources aren’t in your city so you can be productive, you can’t really do everything. You can’t be the promoter.  You can’t setup your own shows. You can’t do a meet and greet. You can’t do a listening party in your hood all the time because you keep getting this recycled love that everybody is doing to keep their name going. It’s not beneficial. Sometimes you gotta go out on a limb and go to L.A., go to New York. I bought a ticket to go open up at S.O.B. (in New York) before. No crazy headliner. Just basically a showcase and there was somebody there from Sway in the morning. It just so happened that it was All Star Weekend in Houston so Sway and them were coming here. That was the reason they came to SF2. A lot of people out of Houston benefitted from that. I want everybody to win.

One thing about me, I don’t sit here and talk about Houston artists. I don’t shoot shots at people. I been me. I been here, grinding since after the Chamillionaire and all that, that run. There wasn’t nobody doing shows at Warehouse Live or House of Blues, nothing. Not any underground hip-hop artists. There wasn’t a scene. MC Kane came through and all that, there was a bunch of hate behind that. I was on the front lines for all that. First Houston artist to do a mix at SF2. I’ve been doing this. I never tried to get an award for it. I just love doing it. That’s what I do. I’m not gonna change, I’m that humble nigga. When I get off stage I’m gonna be in the crowd, shaking hands. I love that shit.

I don’t even remember the question!

No, that’s cool I was actually going to get into the whole “leaving Houston” thing.

You got to. Houston is so big, you got to get outta here. If you aren’t part of an organization like Rap-A-Lot, Swishahouse, Boss Life, Screwed Up Click- it’s kinda hard to be bigger than that. You gotta go be bigger than that, by yourself. Or you can Kirko Bangz it. But, how many Kirko Bangz are there? It can’t happen often.

Let’s talk about your newest project, Perfect Black. You released it while on tour, right?

I dropped it October 21, when the DeLorean went to the future on Back to the Future. That’s when my DeLorean came to the present. I think that [Perfect Black] is going to be my most impactful project because I’m able to get it out nationwide, in a month and a half. I have got my product from New York to L.A.

I’ve just been riding this road, I’ve been paying attention to the signs. It has taken a lot of time. A lot of people just do a two year run and just expect stuff. They’re out here like “I should be on the top ten rappers list”, “I should be on this list or that list”, “People should be tweeting about me; I should have mentions when I wake up.” It’s crazy, I don’t understand.

How do you feel about the reception you have received for Perfect Black?

With me being on tour I haven’t been able to do a sit down listening party or anything like that. I think that people are appreciating me in the present. Then I want to sit here and tell them to go listen to my other projects, I’m like, go listen to Grace and Look Alive and the Hood Politics series. It’s like pulling a chick at the club when you’re in your best outfit- it is a good feeling that people love what you are doing right now. But I want them to catch up too! People seem to like “Time Heals Wounds” and “I Gotta Go”.

It’s only been out about a month and a half, you know my tapes gotta sit a couple months on you. Keep going back and listening to it because I put on a lot on it.

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“A lot of stuff that people think is support, is really just distractions.”

How have things changed for you as an artist since, let’s say, Grace was released?

Grace. Wow. What people don’t realize is I had two videos on MTVJams from that project. “Breathe” and “Sing on Key”. “Sing on Key” was also on 106 & Park- RIP to 106 & Park! All that with no gas. When I say no gas I mean, I’m not next to Rick Ross. I don’t have no features. No features! No. Features. Not shots either, it’s just facts. It made me feel like I am accomplishing something being myself. Doing myself. I ain’t out here dancing all in the videos. I’m being myself. “Sing on Key” is me. “Breathe” is DeLorean, all that is DeLo.

Grace is that project that people always come back to, they might say it’s my best project and I don’t have no problem with that. Because it was an eye opener, it was the one that was like “this is what DeLo is about, this is his sound; this is who he is.” And I am able to build off of that. You gotta keep going. You can’t just sit on your projects and accomplishments. I don’t sit on accomplishments like that. I’ve been on national television a couple times doing this music, Backroom Freestyles and all that. Can’t sit on your accomplishments, you have to keep wanting more.

What are your thoughts on Houston’s rap scene, currently?

I really haven’t been in the mix like I used to be where I can give you an honest opinion on that scene. I kind of fell back a little bit, been in Katy outta the way. Not really in the mix and in the wave like I used to be. I have been focusing on me. A lot of stuff that people think is support, is really just distractions. I hate Love and Hip Hop but, people love it. People love what’s not real. It’s like, if you show feelings now, you lose. People like what they like now and, it’s not what I like. But, hey.

I’ve had songs on the radio and all that. You don’t have to be in the club every night, oversaturating yourself. You don’t have to have a strip club song. You see the stuff that other people did to “make it”, you feel like that’s what you have to now and that’s just not how it is. Everybody is gonna have their own path and I have just been building my own path.

You have been on damn near every “top” list in Houston, received a Houston Press Award this year…

I still can’t even get my award! I don’t know what to do. I said, “Do y’all still have my award?” They’re gonna give it to somebody else! I didn’t even know about the award show, I would have been there. I got a tweet that was like “you won.”

How do you feel about being called “underrated” or “overlooked”?

I mean, if you’re underrated it depends on who is rating you. I don’t care about that. Those are all opinions. There are some people that like my music and some that just do not. It’s part of the opinions that we have to deal with. I don’t really care.

What’s really fucked my head up is going around the country and figure out it’s people that really fucking genuinely like me. I just probably haven’t put out enough projects. If I am underrated, it’s probably because I haven’t done enough work to impressive enough people. There are so many people out here to impress, you can’t do it from your house. You can’t win it on twitter. A lot of people try to win it on twitter.

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What’s next for you?

More projects. Hopefully another tour. Hopefully my own tour.

This is a beginning for me. People are really going to realize that you have to train your whole life for this, it’s not just a hobby. A lot of people look at it as a hobby. I have deprived myself of a whole lot. I missed out on a lot of events, a lot of sneakers- you know? You really gotta commit to it and go through all the trials and tribulations.

DeLo ended our interview with a pretty powerful statement.

As for me, I have always been myself. I am staying 100 with myself and I believe in myself. From the OG’s reaching out to me like Slim, Bun, Keke, Paul and everybody that just genuinely fucks with me- it lets me know to keep going. They really had careers where they can talk about what’s going on. A lot of these people haven’t sold over 500 mixtapes and they think that their words have weight. You haven’t done a show outside of your comfort zone. All I know is I have dedicated my life to this. My family knows that, they’re happy with what’s going on and I am happy with what’s going on right now. My neighborhood or a street that’s famous in Houston or a DJ that’s famous in Houston- I don’t really care. Because I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and I’m happy about it.