24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are?
Hi Dolla Honey: Hi everyone, My name is Hi Dolla Honey aka Hi Dolla, aka Honey, and The Sweet Beast. Born and raised in Port Arthur and the Golden Triangle Area in Texas and currently hailing from Houston, TX. I am a music artist and songwriter, an artist in other mediums, a young business person, an aspiring entrepreneur, an innovative and creative thinker. I am the CEO of my label Hi Dolla Muzik, LLC.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into and what inspired you?
Hi Dolla Honey: Well, I have always been creative and been an artist in many forms. I can write and draw, paint, and sculpt. I always wanted to be in music, but 1st my parents were not supportive and in fact my dad especially did not approve of me even listening to Rap or Hip Hop and definitely tried to keep me from becoming a Hip Hop artist. But I still wrote my raps anyway and secretly waited for the day I could do it. I didn’t have the best home life or parents but I left home right when I turned 16 and struggled to make a way on my own. I graduated school but it was very tought for me growing up. When I left I vowed to myself that i would live the life that was inside me to live and I would make my way somehow with God’s help. What inspired me to go for it was because I wanted a life that I love, a life lived on my own terms and the life I felt I was destined to live and I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where your from?
Hi Dolla Honey: Ha, Ha, Ha, there was no Hip-Hop scene where I was growing up!! There are some small underground or “Ghetto” type clubs in Beaumont and Port Arthur but I remember mostly dance clubs and I don’t remember any open mics or stuff like that in the area when I was growing up. That’s why I eventually moved to Houston to try to make something happen.
24: What makes you Unique as a artist and different from other rappers out now?
Hi Dolla Honey: What makes me unique as an artist (besides the obvious my skin color), I think I am coming from a different place than a lot of artists, even a lot of independent artists. I’ve seen it all, and been through it all. I’ve been broke, grew up poor, my mom was always on welfare, struggled, left to make my own way, struggled more, fought my way to the top, now I have money. I’ve experienced all kinds of things, good and bad. I see the world from a different perspective than a lot of people and I make music from that enriched viewpoint. I feel like I can relate and make music that a lot of different people can relate to. Also I want to make a difference with my music, and my resources. Also, most artists do not have the money to push themselves. I didn’t come into this industry broke and looking for crumbs from a major label. I came with the desire and ability to make myself successful and retain all or most of the ownership and creative control. Although I have faced my own set of trials and tribulations and fake greedy scam-artist type people in the music industry I am proud to say I am still here fighting and I will fight til I get the success and recognition I deserve!!
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
Hi Dolla Honey: Right now, I am working on a song that has a Flo Rida feature on it and I am also working on my 3rd album which includes the song i just mentioned and also a track with Lil Keke (a big Houston, TX artist) I also have bought some tracks from ProDuece productions and Key Ingredient Music. I have also as you probably know been doing remixes and mixtape tracks over songs that are topping the BillBoard charts that I like. I am also working on some songs with the other artist on my label and my hype man THE PROTEJA. He has a lot of mixtapes in the streets and an album so look out for him. I am working on some more viral videos as well. You know I have the Bobbleheads of me too, lol. Also, My current single is Bout My Money and I have started the BOUT MY MONEY MOVEMENT, so If you want to be down with the movement go to www.BoutMyMoney.com
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Hi Dolla Honey: I have worked with C-Mo aka Cory Mo from MADD Studios in Houston TX, The Narrators, Pro-Duece Production, and Big Keyz from Key Ingredient Music among others. Some people who I would love to work with in the future :: Definitely TimbaLand, Missy Elliot, Scott Storch (If he’s still making tracks) and Pharrell.
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
Hi Dolla Honey: Honestly, No, and there are three main reasons. 1st, a lot of people hate on me just cause my skin color and gender, I expect that so mostly ignore them, but I do wish they could see past my color because probably more than half of them would love the music if they heard it before they realized the person behind the voice is white. ( I have seen this with my own eyes in tests we have done where people thought a black woman rapped one song and me on another but it was actually me on both songs) Second, for the viral videos and other things I honestly feel that I am at somewhat of a disadvantage in this area and they are not seeing the real me. The reason is that I had a very crooked and greedy manager running my project in 2008-09. I had all the money to market and promote my project on a National and International level. I felt like I was going to take over the world with my music but this manager he was crooked and he embezzled most of the money by lies and creating fake paperwork and invoices and secretly used the money to push artists that he signed to his company without my knowledge. (He embezzled over $150,000 from the project and the other money invested in my project, about another $200,000.00 OR more was wasted because without the major promotions and marketing and distribution the money he stole was supposed to pay for all the travel and ground promotions and free shows did not really have the impact they should have) So my project didn’t come out like it should have and then I was devastated and nearly broke and had to use the money I had left to sue him (which Im still going thru the lawsuit) I feel so betrayed and devastated and the man is still lying and victimizing me, won’t give me the things my money paid for, won’t give me my money, He is lying to everyone in the music scene is Houston and trying to blackball me, even stole all the financial records for my LLC to try to cover his tracks!!! I got depressed, gained weight and etc. While this is going on, I’m trying to find a new manager or consultant and I’m getting one crooked person after another who is lying to me and not doing what I am paying them to do, or just trying to figure out a way to swoop in for THE KILL LIKE VULTURES. I tried to still get some money together and put out some type of video and try to keep the music moving forward BY MYSELF, but once I was able to, all everyone criticizing seemed to talk about was that my video was low budget and I was fat. It hurt because they didn’t even know me or what had happened or what I was fighting through and dealing with. I feel like they don’t know the real me and I wasn’t getting the chance and recognition I deserve. My biggest wish is that I can find people in this industry WHO ACTUALLY DO THE JOB THEY PROMISE AND ARE HIRED FOR instead of the people who I have found in the past whose main concern seems to be to say and do anything to figure out how to get my money in their pocket while doing as little as possible to actually help my cause, and that I will be able to manifest the Quality of work that I hear and envision inside me when I am writing and creating. (If you want to see the facts about what happened with the Con Artist ex-manager who embezzled over $150,000.00 from me go to www.marcusgoree.com and watch the video or google “Hi Dolla Honey Free Speech) I wish that he would have never stolen my money and tried to destroy my career. I wish that people would have gotten to see and hear my project and my music the way me and my lawyer had planned it out, and with the money actually spent on my project like it was meant to be before that low life tried to destroy me with his greed and racism. But since I can’t change the past I hope in the future people see me for the FIGHTER and SURVIVOR I am and respect me for fighting for what I believe in and investing in myself to make my own dreams come true and NEVER giving up even when its and and the odds are against me. I hope people will see and understand that I have paid my dues and deserve to be here and that I am talented and valuable no matter what color I am or what I am carrying between my legs. Another thing I HATE is people trying to say I am trying to copy Nicki Minaj because I always wear Pink and Blue. For the record, you can go to my myspace page (cuz its old lol) or my other social media and see that I have had pink and blue as my colors since before Nicki Minaj even came out!! My colors have always been pink and blue: in my hair, on my clothes, nails, shoes, even the rims on my truck and the spinners and the colors in the wrap. Nicki Minaj is multi colored (NOT JUST PINK AND BLUE LIKE ME) but for the first couple years she was out on Young Money and before she was signed to them she was always hardcore and wore mostly black or plain clothes so please get your story straight haters!!! I was doing this first and am in no way copying her. Pink and Blue together are my colors and that has not and will never change. That Pink that Blue, been Tru to Dat!! I’m the original, no copycat!! Thank You.
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make your self a household name?
Hi Dolla Honey: 1st, I think you need individuality and your own style. I also think you need the right team of people around you and enough money to market and promote yourself. Obviously the industry is not about the art form anymore. It is sad but I hear a lot of rappers that can’t rap that good but they are on the radio or TV because the major label is using their resources to shove it down the public’s throat. I think the internet actually leveled the field a little and helped the independent artist have a platform.
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
Hi Dolla Honey: Something bad I have experienced about the rap industry, it is run by mostly black men who feel entitled and are used to dealing with a lot of immoral women, strippers, and prostitutes who are money hungry and will do anything for a price. These men are used to dealing with that type of woman and treating women a certain way (not with respect). These men seem to act as if they believe that women are objects to be used and manipulated, and do not care about our rights or our humanity at all. These men do not like a strong willed woman like me who has her own resources and some power and respect about herself. I experienced a lot of sexism and racism: in other words there were and still are a lot of men in the industry who DO NOT WANT a female to make it on her own or at all, especially a white female. In fact, who do not want a woman to make it at all unless they are getting paid off of it in some way and would rather try to make you fail on purpose so they can protect their ego and interests in the game. THESE type of people also promise young females in the industry the world I am sure but use them up and spit them out. This is something that I would definitely like to see changed in the music industry. PROTECT OUR DAUGHTERS!!!
Also, as I said I think that the Major Labels sometimes shove mediocre music down the public throat. I also hate the fact that its hard for an independent artist to get radio play because the Major Labels participate in “payola” even if they don’t call it that or acknowledge it publicly cuz its illegal and radio programmers call it “promotional budget”. I also hate that there are a lot of people trying to make a living off the back of the artist without giving the artist an opportunity to get paid at all. I feel that the industry has really been in a bad place like that for too many years. I think the internet has helped the independent artist tremendously by making it harder for people like that to put themself in a “gatekeeper” position and my hope for the future of the industry is that it will somehow be cleaned up and the riffraff, conartists, and basically greedy and crooked individuals will be removed from the positions of power they hold so that more truly gifted artists will get the recognition they deserve.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
Hi Dolla Honey: As I said, I am currently working on a line of handbags, Im writing a book about my life, and working on other forms of merchandising. I have some shoes I have designed I am working on getting manufactured and I am working on establishing a legacy with Hi Dolla Muzik at the center.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2012 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
Hi Dolla Honey: I see myself constantly improving in 2012 in all areas. I see myself improving my craft in every way, improving my health and fitness, and I see myself traveling more and doing more shows. I see myself moving forward having set the record straight, picked up the pieces, overcoming the obstacles and people who have tried to stop me, connecting with my fans in a greater way, inspiring and uplifting my generation through music, and achieving all the success and recognition I have dreamed of, desire, and have worked so hard for!
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
Hi Dolla Honey: Fans can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (832)797-0501. Also by Facebook just leave a comment on the Hi Dolla Honey page, or get at me on twitter @HiDollaMuzik
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
Hi Dolla Honey: Expect Nothing but Greatness from Hi Dolla Muzik, LLC and it’s artists Hi Dolla Honey and The Proteja in 2012 and BEYOND!! Also, ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING for what you believe in and the Dreams you have in your heart, no matter who or what tries to stop you!! God is Real and He makes miracles every day!!
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