Brooklyn, New York rapper/producer Immo DTS recently released his new single “Follow The Leader”. Immo is derived from his real name Imhotep, while DTS refers to Du2ceTr3y6, the crew he started with his nephews and cousin at age 9, which in turns was the street number (236) of the home where his grandmother lived after moving to Flatbush from her native Venezuela. Immo also claims Trinidadian, Dominican and St. Croix ancestry. Immo’s brother owns Brooklyn-based apparel company UP NORF. “The song is a bit of an oxymoron,” Immo says about the new single. “I am telling you about what separates me from everyone else and what makes me original and worth following. At a time in which everyone is sounding alike, I am telling you to copy me instead. Not to sound alike, but to do like I’m doing and be original. I wanted to say out loud what everyone is thinking behind closed doors or saying on burner accounts.”
Who do you think is the most influential artist of the last year?
Well actually I couldn’t really name just one. There has been a lot of influence from a lot of different artists over the past year. Artistic influence isn’t just always music, you know. It wouldn’t be fair to just pick one, honestly. I Know technically it’s over a year ago at this point but I am still impressed with Jay-Z getting into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Not to mention he is doing another Tour with his wife. You can’t ignore Kendrick Lamar winning a Pulitzer prize. Those are barriers broken for Hip-Hop. Those to me at least were big landmarks. That’s what influences me personally. Cardi B’s “nothing to something” story has everyone encouraged to make the most of what they have. Strippers turned rappers are all over my timeline now (lol). I’m not mad though, I think it’s cool.
How do you feel your Caribbean background makes its way into your music and sound?
I love music that makes you want to move or has a lot of energy. Caribbean music is known to play at parties for people to dance. Whether its Soca, Reggae, Dancehall, Bachata, etc. people are dancing. The funny thing is I don’t really make party music. My music is more lyrical. But the energy of the song and the beats usually have a lot of energy. Even in my ‘Follow The Leader’ song, although the song has a direct message, the beat has a lot of energy. I don’t expect anyone to wine to my music or anything but it makes you nod your head and you have to feel it. When I perform the song people always have unique reactions because the song has more than just a good message, it has a feeling to it. I also love percussion way too much. Which is definitely a part of Caribbean music.
What’s your beat selection process? Do you have producers you prefer to work with?
I don’t have one process actually. I listen for what I think are ‘good’ beats or beats I want to make songs to. Plenty of times I select a beat from a producer and I hold onto it for a long period of time without every actually making or completing a song. This is because I know what potential the beat has. Then when the moment is right, I use it. Sometimes I make songs right away, but, plenty of times the beats are in my computer for a while. One of my favorite producers is Digital Beatz. This man is a BEAST! I have worked on a good couple of songs too. He is the one who made the beat for ‘Follow The Leader’. I will make him famous soon too. I am speaking it into existence.
Brooklyn is a historic borough for hiphop and you’re a native. What’s the musical vibe out there right now? Where do you think you fit into it?
The music vibe here is just like the borough itself, ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE! (chuckles) Nah, but, it’s weird to describe I swear. I feel like the music represents a lot of what happening. We have re-gentrification all over the borough and there is a lot of changes. Some you may like, some you may not. And to me the music is reflecting that. I have gone to some shows and open mics and it’s like two totally different places. You can be at a place with a bunch of Lil Uzi Vert crazy type rappers performing, then you can go to another place and it’s like Wu-Tang/Biggie all over again. I am not joking! All right in Brooklyn. I think what is happening is everyone is trying to find a spot for themselves. I think I stand out, or at least I try my best to. I think I don’t really fit in any direct place and I kind of like it. It means I am being as different as I can be. I also have the ability of being at both places, which is cool. I can perform “Follow The Leader” with the more historic lyrical MCs because it has dope flows and a message. Yet, I can perform it in front of the Lil Uzi Vert crowd and they love the energy and sound. The funny thing is they both like totally different parts of what it brings. But if I had to choose one crowd it would of course be the lyrical MC aspect.
If there’s one famous beat this year you would have swiped from the artist who ended up putting it out, which one would it be and why?
There’s been so many. But I actually really liked Eminem’s ‘Untouchable’. I liked the way the beat switched half way through. Shit was tough. I would have definitely like to have that one.