I‘ve never heard him come wack on a track. For me, that’s major. There are few emcee’s that I can put into this category. He is one of them. Los Debes or “Debo” is an artist. He is an indie artist whose lyrical genius can rival most of the commercial bullshit that is clogging most of black radio’s airwaves. He is a part of Atlanta’s “Nawfside” movement. He’s reppin’ his family, S.T.P “The Brand”, and like the fam, he’s reaching out and doing it all. He is the face of Hustle Nation. Los Debes is a realist with a huge vision and a healthy appetite for “grind” that is even bigger. In terms of his grind, he is one of the hungriest brothers that I know. Doing this exclusive is an honor. The world is quickly catching on. So before Los Debes gets to be too FUEGO, he blessed KHARMASWORLD with this exclusive. He and I sat down at a local coffeehouse in the city. With my recorder in hand, I was ready to have that conversation. No pre-written questions, just straight talk.
LD: Man, I come from an awesome family. Great background. I have three brothers and we are very family oriented. Everyone had to struggle and we struggled a lot but, everyone in my family is good. I had both my mom and dad there and they have been there. I didn’t grow up in a single parent household. I had a two parent household. They worked all the time.
BK: I hear that before you started to pursue your rap career, you were quite a football star. How and why did your football career end?
LD: That was my dream. That was my passion. I love it. I like to hit people, lol. Football took a turn for the worst for me because; I’ve never been the “school” type of person. I was rappin’ when I was playing ball in college. I’m not a stupid person; I’m just not interested at all in school. I think it’s a gimmick… I can’t keep paying all of that money. Granted, I had scholarships to play ball at three colleges: Fort Valley, Georgia State, and Morehouse. I was good when it came to the athletics, but when grades and academics came up, it was a problem. I just wasn’t interested in going to class.
BK: When did you know that you wanted to be a rapper?
LD: I always rapped. I just loved it. Around ’07 I said, “Ok, this is what I really REALLY want to do”. Football didn’t work out for me how I wanted it to. I went back to what I knew. I’ve been doing this since I was in middle school.
BK: How did S.T.P formulate and what was your part in that?
LD: S.T.P really came together before “Debo” was introduced. It really started out with: Deezy, K, and Shizzo. With me being affiliated with Shizzo really tough, and a lot of the people that they rolled with, I came into the picture. When I came in, so did a lot of loyalty.
BK: What do you have going on outside of S.T.P and music?
LD: Outside of S.T.P, I have my debt collection business. I’m really getting that off the ground. There are about 7 or 8 of us that make up S.T.P as a whole but we all have outside hustles. We all just try to do our own thing. My number one focus outside of that is Debt Collection.
BK: How many projects do you have out total?
LD: No solo projects before now. All of them have been grouped. My first project: Los es Fuego is dropping this year. It was supposed to come out this Spring but I decided to push it back. I’m a perfectionist.
BK: I’ve been a fan for a couple of years now. I can honestly say that I have yet to hear you spit a wack verse. If you ask me, you’ve found the formula for making hits. What is your creative process like?
LD: First off, I never write anything. I can’t write anything down because if I write it down, it’s like I’m reading it. I wouldn’t even say that I cracked the “hit makers” formula. I’m just me. Honestly, when I create a song, I want people to be able to sing along with it. I’ll formulate my songs based on that. I speak for the people. Whenever I say something, I want the crowd to rock with me so bad, I want people to want to learn the lyrics.
LD: I am just the face. I met a guy by the name of John Bullock and it’s really his clothing line. It’s his nation, his vibe, his project. I met with him and we just kicked it off. We both have that Hustle mindset. He’s a white boy. Everyone is trying to get money. It’s not even about skin color. The only color is green. We kicked it off in a good way. He told me that he felt that I was the face and that I got a good grind about me. We just took off with it.
BK: How big is the Hustle Nation line?
LD: Right now it’s in Colombia, South America. Everyone is on our wristbands right now. Hustle Nation is fresh and still building but everyone is beginning to catch on. It’s starting to spread like a wildfire.
BK: What’s next for you?
LD: Fuego is coming out soon. Temperboi (S.T.P) and I are supposed to be dropping a mixtape in the near future if I can ever get him to sit down. More S.T.P definitely. “We want it all”: the album is under production now and that’s MAJOR MAJOR for us.
BK: I’ve been rockin with S.T.P for a while now. You guys are consistent with your material but guys do take breaks. What is life like for the unit outside of the music?
LD: When you have 8 people in a group, everyone has their own lives and their own hustles. It takes time. Everybody is going to have to break off and do their own thing. We don’t sit down and say, “You have to do this.” It’s like this: When we get in the studio; if we make a track we make a track, if we record a mixtape, then we record a mixtape. Families come way before all of this. That’s one thing that we are big on. People don’t understand S.T.P is way bigger than just a “rap group” that came together to make music. We’ve been family for a LONG time. We’ve been helping each other out, paying each other’s bills, making sure each others kids are straight. Before music and anything that we do, we’re going to make sure that our families are good. We are a brotherhood.
BK: What has the growth been like since the beginning of S.T.P to now?
LD: One thing you have to understand is when we first started; we literally had thousands of tracks that we never put out. In the beginning we didn’t even really attempt to put anything out. Now its more of… People KNOW S.T.P. Before, we were just a group of dudes. You may have known one dude but, you didn’t know all of us. Now, people know faces and they can put our names to our faces. S.T.P means something. Like DJ Greg Street will shout us out or we can hit a different side of town and they’ll be like “Oh, S.T.P. in the building”. Before that, we were just hood niggas lol. REAL TALK.
BK: About how long did it take for you guys to get to that point?
LD: Whew… We dropped our first mixtape in like 2006 that no one probably got. It was called “Strip mix vol 1”. We didn’t really jump back out there forreal until about ’09. We didn’t really push it. We did it just so we could be able to say, “Oh, we dropped a tape”. We didn’t put any promotional scheme behind it or anything. Now, we promote, we push, and we plan. Before, we didn’t plan. We just dropped music for us to listen to. That’s something that we had to get out of. We drop new music because we like it, but we’re dropping it for the people to hear.
BK: When I first met S.T.P, I have seen the groupies. Almost all of you guys got a wannabe “side-piece shawty” trying so hard to be down with the squad. You were the only member who had a girlfriend and you embraced that. You guys would party together in the V.I.P amongst all of the thirstiness. I have personally never even heard of or seen you with anyone else outside or your her. When S.T.P Started to blow, was this something that was problematic for you?
LD: I’ve never been that type of person to “put on”. If I’m going to be with a female, I’m going to be with a female. That really compliments her though because she’s a really cool chick. So, there is NO REASON for me to deny that’s my lady I’m Debo, I ain’t never gonna catch any flack lol. It’s not about being violent or anything. I’ma keep it real and tell it how it is.
BK: Do you think you will ever stop rappin’?
LD: NO, I actually had this conversation with a friend of mines the other day. We were just talking about the fact that we are getting older and we have kids. How hard are you going to go? I really was kinda like, “I’m not going to stop because I’m getting older”. I’ll tell my story and people will still want to hear what I have to say
BK: At the end of the day, how do you want to be remembered? What kind of mark do you want to leave?
LD: A positive mark. I also want people to now that I did what I needed to do and I kept it real to the end. When I leave, I want people to be able to truthfully say, “ One thing I can say about Debo is that he never lied.”
CLOSING REMARKS FROM LOS:
: I want people to know that you don’t have to have a felony to be hard and you don’t have to sell dope to be a real nigga. You don’t have to be in the streets to be a real nigga neither. That’s what I respect about my lawyer. He’s not a “street nigga” but a “real nigga” He just so happens to be a lawyer. You don’t have to take certain route to “fit in” it’s not cool to fit in, it’s cool to stand out… GET READY…