Artist Spotlight: HDBeenDope
Follow along as we get to know rapper and producer HDBeenDope while he hits the stage at VidCon 2019.
“HDBeenDope allowed us to do something at Epidemic that had never been done before,” David Slitzky from our team explains, “which was to create a true piece of culture, a true cultural artefact”.
With over 1 million views on his latest music video ‘Byrd’, HDBeenDope is far from done. Follow him backstage as he preps for his seven(!) performances during VidCon 2019, bringing the legendary phone booth from “Byrd” with him and learn more about his process and his identity as a recording artist.
“I would say I make hip hop music generally,” HDBeenDope explains when we catch up with him in his home studio afterwards, saying “but I grab from a lot of different places – jazz, alternative rock music, r’n’b - I just go with the flow, whatever I’m feeling… The process in creating a song for me, it usually starts with the beat so I’ll be working on random beats and if something is calling for me, and i’ll start mumbling some lyrics, some hooks, some verses. If it makes me do that, it’s probably something I’m going to use.”
The Brooklyn raised hip-hop phenomenon nailed his performances at VidCon 2019, and he explains that it was through director Erikson Corniel that the concept of bringing elements of the music video into real life for his performances came to being. The phone booth was the centre of the video for ‘Byrd’, so for VidCon 2019 they wanted to bring elements of the video into the performances. “Back in July and talking about VidCon, we decided you know, it’s YouTube, everybody’s gonna be on their cameras… we need something that’s gonna grab you in, an installation that people can actually be a part of… and Erikson was just like ‘we should rent a phone booth’ and from there it turned into a real thing,” he explains.
Performance takes the creation to another level and adds a different dimension, he explains, “to make something in your room, to me, just the work that’s put into making records, performing it is just like more fulfilment than anything; it’s just fun for me to perform”. What he's working on right now, when we sit down to catch up, is really exciting him –– tracks with “a lot of different sounds” and something really personal fuelling his work right now, in this moment.
Epidemic Sound’s David Slitzky also commends HDBeenDope’s work ethic and creativity, saying "he's one of the most creatively driven people I’ve ever met in my life. He's a great collaborator too, he knows when we're trying things out and is really willing to put himself on the line because he trusts us, and we're willing to put in an obscene amount of work because we believe in him and in his vision”.
Discover and download HDBeenDope’s music here.