Clique’s CD release party at the Vaudeville
Mews on Saturday, Aug 25, at 9:30 p.m. Nu
Depths, Anonymous and Jimmy Hooligan also
Richie Daggers isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
For 20 minutes, the D.O.P.E. Clique DJ sits
in Wellman’s Pub and expounds upon everything
from up and coming local talent, to the joys
of working with two lyrical heavyweights, to
the state of hip-hop in Des Moines.
“(Hip-hop) is very segregated,” he said. “But
there (have) been movements lately (to) try
and get everyone involved, rather than just
keep it in sections.”
In Daggers’ mind, some of that division would
be an easy fix.
“Some of the segregation comes from the promoters.
There are some promoters out there who will
try to get you to pay to play and some people
unfortunately will (do that), and that creates
a line. (D.O.P.E. Clique) won’t do that. There’s
no reason. If this is what you like to do —
if this is your craft — you should be getting
paid for what you make.”
To that end — the craft — D.O.P.E. Clique has
composed its new album with a singular mindset:
the aggressive assertion of their talent.
“I am so proud of this album,” said Daggers.
“(D.O.P.E. Clique members) Gadema and Tripp
are known for their intelligent lyrics. They
usually have a lot of social content and are
very articulate. This album is not about that.
This album is all about barreling people over.
Either you want to come and mosh with us, or
“Blunt Force Trauma,” the album in question,
is aggressive, angry stuff. It’s an old-school
sound, designed specifically to announce the
group’s presence with authority. But don’t try
and dismiss the trio as noisemakers for the
sake of making noise.
“Gadema and Tripp are two guys who’ve proven
themselves over and over again with their solo
work,” Daggers reminds us. “These guys are not
just out here spouting garbage.”
What’s clear from talking to Daggers for any
length of time is the respect within D.O.P.E.
Clique — respect that the group as a whole has
for its component members and respect for the
music and its roots.
“Those two guys are animals,” said Daggers,
referring to his MCs. “Gadema already has three
albums written that he hasn’t released yet.
We want to take (hip-hop) back to the days where
everything matters. You can’t just pick up a
mic and it’s like ‘oh, you’re a rapper now.’
You can’t just have that respect. We want to
take it back to a point where you have to earn
that respect just by actually doing things.”
The things D.O.P.E. Clique is doing may not
appeal to everyone. But the quality of the work,
and the passion that’s evident behind it, should
absolutely be enough to earn the respect of
everyone who’s got an ear tuned to the hip-hop
scene in the capital city. In turn, D.O.P.E.
Clique passes its respect on to the crop of
new talent rising up in the scene — a scene
that Daggers says is in very good hands.
“There’s definitely new talent coming up. We’ve
got a guy on our record, Ne Depths. He’s amazing.
And there are other guys, too. Chemist is a
new guy coming up, Horizon, who’s been around
for a little while, is coming up as well. And
it’s not just us, there’s the guys who do the
club stuff as well. If we played a dance club,
we’d look like idiots. But there are guys coming
up who are awesome at it.” CV