Introducing D-Cal Rising Hip-Hop Star and Future Game Changer [via-Hypefresh Magazine]

One thing I love about being a writer is all of the cool people I get to meet. One such person is a young rapper from Baltimore named Edem Kwame but his fans may know him better as D-Cal. The dude is seriously dope. He opened up a show for Wale and Big Sean just a few months ago and is releasing an album this summer (WHAT?!) I had the opportunity to interview him for Hypefresh Magazine about his fast growing success and his future goals. Check out the original article here.


Introducing D-Cal Rising Hip-Hop Star and Future Game Changer by Jolie A. Doggett

From local aspiring artist, to opening act for two of the biggest names in hip hop (I’m talking big like Big Sean and Wale BIG!). Edem Kwame, known by his stage D-Cal, is quickly rising to super stardom. The Baltimore native by way of Ghana is making his mark on the Hip Hop music scene and putting the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) on the map. D-Cal is new and next on the scene.


I sat down with my good friend and dopest rapper I know to hear more about his latest endeavors. I wanted to share this exclusive with HYPEFRESH®. Get hip, everyone! And get ready for D-Cal’s hip hop takeover.

So tell the people who you are. Who is D-Cal? Where did you come from?

I was born in Ghana and that probably plays the biggest role in my sound. I grew up listening to music in other languages. Started rapping on a green box in Baltimore when I was about 10 and kept it from there.I actually don’t know why I never let it go.

What makes you stand out from the other local rap stars? 

Started rapping on a green box in Baltimore when I was about 10 and kept it from there.I actually don’t know why I never let it go…I don’t think people should listen to me as opposed to, but in addition to. There’s no need to X anyone out of the equation… just understand that I do me better than anyone else. 

And what does doing you sound like?

Don’t really have a go-to sound to my knowledge. My delivery is more aggressive than most new age rappers because I developed my early skills in the battling circuit. I’m rapping to people that aren’t necessarily in the best position in life, but are looking to do well. My content is very aggressive in tone, but if you actually listen to what I’m saying, you’ll realize the message is more reflective than anything.

Sounds like something people can get into.

My music is all about the “come up” and working hard to get what you want regardless of outside influences. Nothing is more exciting than the come up- you work so hard never knowing when your moment will come. That’s all I know how to do as a person so that is what I convey in my music. 

So what are you up to these days?

I just finished opening for Wale and Big Sean at Byrd Stadium. I have been doing somewhat of a College tour, hitting as many schools in the area as my schedule permits. Currently prepping for the release of “Hunger Pains” which should be out by late spring.

Wait, you just skated across that like opening up for Wale and Big Sean is no big deal at all. How did this happen?!

To open up (at Art Attack), I had to compete in a competition called “Battle of the Bands”. Nobody thought I was going to win because I was the only solo performer in a “band” competition. It was actually difficult as hell but the people voted me through. 

Were you nervous as hell?

I ALWAYS get nervous right before I go on stage whether I’m performing for 10 people or 10,000. Once I actually get on the stage, my nerves dissipate as soon as I open my mouth. There’s no way to describe the feeling of knowing everyone in a room is looking to you for entertainment. Then call and response actually gives me confidence. It means they’re attentive and engaged.

You sound like a legit superstar. A lot of artists describe getting in “the zone” the same way. How do you stay grounded?

Art Attack was definitely the largest concert yet. The funny thing is, it’s much easier to do a show like this, than a small one. If you understand crowd control, a large audience is your friend because mob mentality reigns supreme at concerts.If you understand crowd control, a large audience is your friend because mob mentality reigns supreme at concerts. It was cool to be honest. It’s a bigger deal to my peers than it is to me because I understand there’s way more work to be done. It was definitely a cool moment, but it’s a very small piece to a very large large puzzle.

I’ve listened to the first single released from the album. And the track GOES! What’s “Water Whippin” all about?

Water Whippin- It’s a concept that I’ve been using for a while that aligns with the idea of the #DoubleUp movement. Essentially,with whatever you’re doing in life, if you’re actively working to achieve something, you’re “Water Whippin”. The actual verses are telling two different sides of the same story. The first verse is explaining the difference between my life and the lives of many of the people that look down at how I & my community operate. The second verse discusses what happens when we get fed up. 

While the world waits for “Hunger Pains”, how are you staying relevant in this ever changing music industry?

My newest venture has been the release of these #DoubleUp shirts. These motherfuckers are live. We’re selling them to invest money in my next project, “Hunger pains” and of course since they have my movement’s hashtag written on them, it’s simultaneous promotion. Aside from that, I’ve been doing shows everywhere I can. Just getting the name out and networking wherever I go.

And how can potential fans jump on the D-Cal, #DoubleUp train?

Best place for now is youtube until we get this website up and running. Right now, you can just type “D-Cal” into youtube and everything I dropped within the past 5 or so months comes up. It’s kinda cool. To keep in touch with me, I’d suggest staying up with me on Twitter and Instagram @DeuceCaliber.


Edem Kwame aka D-Cal

“Who is Camille Michelle Gray?” Exclusive Interview

Camille Michelle Gray. “Street Cinema”, the EP

This is the age of the independent artist. In a world that rejects the individualism and the aspirations of young minds, rising up out of the dryness of the mainstream are some of the dopest, groundbreaking talents the world has yet to really see. Among the boldest and the bravest are the musicians. I’ve come to know one in particular named Camille Michelle Gray whose fearless and relentless pursuit of her goal to become a renown artist with integrity and pure talent has led me and her listeners on a journey of getting to know her and her world better through song. Here are a few things I’ve learned about the Camille Michelle Gray:


Camille Michelle Gray is a singer/songwriter.

On Thursday March 13, 2014, Camille released her premier EP, “Street Cinema”. I had the opportunity to sit down with her for an exclusive interview about the meaning and process behind each of the songs as well as her goals for her latest project and her future as an artist. Camille writes each song to in her own words based on some of her own experiences. But by boldly exposing herself, she releases listeners from their inhibitions and allows us to be honest about some the chapters in our own lives (I mean, just listen to “Become” or “Please Please”). Not only that, but her lyrics are a myriad of emotions from angst, to desire, to anger, to hopefulness all in under an hour. Brace yourself.

Camille Michelle Gray is a friend.

In the short time I’ve known Camille, I’ve learned that not everything is as it seems. We meet people and we immediately want to describe them, categorize them, figure out what their “deal” is. But Camille’s deal is to be an honest contradiction. In all of her shyness, boldness, patience, and stubbornness, Camille presents an honest portrait of who she is, what she values, and how people are layered and can never be too many things at once. I’m blessed to be in a position to know that some of the songs on the album are representations of just that kind of multifaceted personality. I have a feeling that listeners will get an inkling of her life through the emotions she exposes in every lyric and note she sings.

Camille Michelle Gray is an inspiration.

Some of the best motivation comes from surrounding myself with people on the move. Men and women young and old are trying get recognized and realize mainstream success. Meanwhile, we see people like Camille Michelle Gray creating her own buzz on her own terms and putting herself out there to be judged by the masses. To see her succeed is to see me and other young dreamers on our way. Not only that, but to see her triumphs, struggles, frustrations, flaws, and raw talent is to see a truly bright and honest star being born not too far over the horizon.

Full transcript of her interview here.

Travis Porter [via]

Hey guys! In case you didn’t know, I also freelance for a number of online publications, one of them being, Online Teen Entertainment. I recently had the opportunity to interview a very popular hip hop group Travis Porter about their music, production company, and their latest indie film: “Red Rock“.

Known for their popular hip hop club bangers like “Ayy Ladies” and their collaborations with artists such as Drake and Tyga, Travis Porter have made a name for themselves in the music industry. However as of late, the rapping trio have tried their first had at acting in their feature length indie film, “Red Rock”, a film they describe as an action, thriller, mystery that is sure to keep Team Travvy and any new fans entertained.

Check out my complete interview here: Travis Porter talks “Red Rock” Red Rock is now available on Netflix, iTunes, and DVD.

Deuce Caliber [via]

Recently got added on as a contributor at, a music art and culture blog based in Los Angeles, California. My first feature was an unsigned independent artist from Baltimore, Deuce Caliber.

Edem Kwame aka “Deuce Caliber”

Born Edem Kwame, Deuce Caliber (“D-Cal” for short) entered the rap game a very young age and never looked back. Citing artists like 50 Cent, DMX and even Elton John as inspiration, D-Cal pens his own rhymes and tries to make a name for himself in the rap game as well as a name for his label: Black Star Militia.

Check out my full interview here: presents DMV rapper Deuce Caliber

In your ear… August 22, 2012


Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy

Let’s start with Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy (not sure why the “AP” is capitalized. But the journalist in me approves) I had the pleasure of attending his album release concert at First Baptist Church of Glenarden earlier this week. Some of Gopsel Music’s biggest names were there including Richard Smallwood, Maurette Brown Clark, After the energetic and emotional performances of some of the most talented individuals, I was compelled to buy the album. It’s actually the first CD I’ve purchased in a long time and I do not regret it. I’ve been listening to it in my car and on my laptop. Even if religious music isn’t your scene, you’ll appreciate the eclectic mix of voices and harmonies and the inspirational messages about success and perseverance attached to each song.

My rating: A


“Safe and Sound” single cover

Okay, maybe I’m late to this song’s bandwagon but I’ve recently watched The Hunger Games. Great movie and great series of novels. However, I was most interested in the closing credits where I heard this haunting collaboration from Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars: “Safe and Sound” Now, I’m not a Taylor Swift fan but there’s no denying the beauty of her voice on this record. A sorrowful song  that deviates from her goody-two-shoes-girl image but she bears it well.

My rating: A-

So, my Twitter feed has been exploding with Tweets about this new Miguel song “Adorn”. Most people think it’s a soon to be played out hit. Others are in absolute love with the record while still others find it overrated. What do I think? I feel like I’ve heard it before. The melody sounds done before. Still, I did listen to it more than one time in a row-not a bad sign. But I’m not too pressed over it.


My rating: B-

Favorite Artists

Greetings everyone! So, in keeping up with my month-long list of my Favorite Things, I decided to show you guys which recording artist I’m currently feeling rather heavily. Introducing (but not really) miss Elle Varner.

You might recognize her from my Favorite Ladies post last week but I have been almost obsessed with this up and coming singer since I first saw the music video for her first single: “Only Wanna Give It To You” featuring another rising star, J. Cole. She has such a creative style that I honestly envy and I just LOVEEE (3 “E’s”) her hair!

This video of her interview on BET’s 106 and Park solidified my admiration of her. She’s just so bubbly and humble plus her outfit is adorable. Her modesty is something I feel others in the music business truly lack. I strive to be as together as she is in my professional future. Youtube is full of short videos of this girl singing live and she truly has some powerful lungs! She wrote the songs on her first album, “Perfectly Imperfect” and she sings about so much more than money. cars, clothes and sex. My new themesong is “So Fly”, a sweet, silly song with a serious message for everyone about true beauty. So, watch out for Elle (did I mention that’s a beautiful name?). This talented beauty is about to do big things!