​   The first line of 6 Dogs’ song “Flossing” opens up with, “Tell my mom that I'm sorry, I just popped an Oxy.” While recording his second song ever, “Flossing,” in September 2016, his mom has no idea he’s making music. She’s never going to hear the song or apology.  A half year, few million plays, and a music video shoot turned night in jail later, the lyric turned out to be prophetic and the apology was much needed.   6 Dogs is 17, blowing up on Soundcloud, and currently grounded by his mom. What initially started as a quick phone call so I could get some basic details about him turned into an hour-long conversation detailing not only his personal life but the rarely discussed inner-workings of what helps make a Soundcloud upload go viral.    He’s from Georgia, but he doesn’t want to specify exactly where.   “I live in the Atlanta suburbs now. Used to live in the sticks, but moved to the suburbs. Damn, let me close my door.”    I hear his mom yell something. There’s a baby crying in the background, and it’s hard to hear 6 Dogs amidst all the commotion. He closes his door and puts in headphones so we can hear each other more clearly. “Sorry, my mom is babysitting my family friend's kid I guess. It's freaking out.”    6 Dogs is 17, turning 18 in May, but he’s still a junior in high school. The answer to what I thought was a simple question of “Why are you a year behind in school” ends up being way more involved than I expected and indicative of how this conversation stretched to be over an hour.   - So what's the story of why you're a year behind in high school?    “I just started late. My parents started me late. My super Christian parents, and all their friends, are super religious and stuff, and I love my childhood but we had this homeschooling group or whatever. I loved them, it was so fun we would just do stuff in the woods, make forts, like legos and stuff like that. I love my childhood, I'm glad I wasn't just watching T.V. and stuff like that. I was reading books and doing stuff which contributed to my creativity.”    - Were you going to church every weekend?    “Yeah, yeah forsure. I mean, I'm glad I was raised like that I think that a lot of good comes from that. I don't agree with everything. I feel like I was kind of scared into it, like ‘oh my gosh if I don't believe this I'm going straight to hell.’"    - Okay, so you're homeschooled in that environment until the 3rd grade. What was after that?   “After that my sister and I went to this Christian private school, which was very cultish. So that happened. I went there until the 5th grade, then I went to this public school in this one county, and it's one of the most racist counties in Georgia. But I didn't really like notice that because I was just in 6th grade and we were kids. As I got older, in the 8th grade, I started noticing how people were. I kind of convinced my parents to move because I really did not want to go to that high school. So now I'm at the high school I'm at now.”    Religious parents. Homeschooling. Going to a private Christian school. How exactly does this lead to a burgeoning rap career? It turns out that just like a subset of emotional Soundcloud rappers, or really for a multitude of artists since way before Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, depression is the catalyst for self-expression.   “I was super depressed, you know, I still feel some type of way sometimes but for the most part I'm straight now, but I just needed an outlet. I've always wanted to rap. I remember just sitting in the lifeguard stand, the entire summer, 8 hours a day or longer and just sitting down and I was like ‘this sucks, I want to do something with my life.’”     “Flossing” is the first song you’ll find on his Soundcloud today, but it’s actually the second track 6 Dogs recorded and uploaded. He tells me (a song called) "Demons In The A" was the first one. “That was this summer, right before school. I deleted it. I can't even listen to it now it makes me cringe.”    It was his first taste of having people interact with his outlet for his depression.   “‘Demons In The A’ started getting kind of a buzz, I remember the first few comments. There were like six comments or something and I was like "this is so sick, this is awesome that people are actually commenting on my song I did not expect that all."   So how exactly did a song with six comments lead to his next upload getting hundreds of comments and millions of plays? He tells me “I dropped “Flossing" and I actually bought a few reposts from people that I listen to, which I highly recommend to anybody.”   Soundcloud reposts seem to be a sensitive subject with artists and rap fans alike. While most internet rappers seem to quickly build up a standoffish image to the media as part of their brand, 6 Dogs is completely open during our phone call now describing the inner workings of Soundcloud and the repost black market.   - Yeah, that's interesting you brought reposts up because when producer Nedarb Nagrom showed me your music he told me that he met you because you purchased a repost from him. So do you think it's a good practice for young artists?    “Oh my lord. Yeah. Well only if it's good. If it's trash there's no point in doing anything.”   - I feel like some fans may think selling reposts is weird, but I've always held the position that these Soundcloud artists need to eat and if they fuck with your song and you want to reach their fan base it's perfectly fine. Paid promotion already happens on every other social media platform. So why not Soundcloud too? Who else were you buying reposts from?    “I brought a repost from Lil Tracy and it's funny, I was pissed at the time, he like low-key kind of ripped me off. I forgot I paid like 20 bucks or something like that, I can't remember, for a week and he took it down after 4 days and it was funny because a few weeks ago Ned Facetime'd me and Lil Tracy was there and I was like ‘dude what the heck you ripped me off.’”   - What did Lil Tracy say to that?    “Oh, I was just kidding. He was like ‘I'm so sorry I'll put it back up’ and I was like ‘I don't care it doesn't matter.’ We were just laughing.”   - It’s cool that it was just a misunderstanding. I fuck with Lil Tracy. It’s more surreal how fast you can go from buying a repost from a rapper to being one of their peers.   “But that's not what really made it blow up. That definitely helped.”   - Yeah, I feel like if the song is wack and someone reposts it, it doesn't matter. But if the song is good then it's just going to help fuel the fire along with kids just finding it anyway.    “Exactly. Soundcloud really is a business though. You gotta market yourself the right way and you have to get exposure one way or another.”   So what exactly led to “Flossing” snowballing to 600,000 plays? In 6 Dogs’ view, it wasn’t the reposts but a placement from a well-known underground rap YouTube channel called “Astari.” The channel uploads Soundcloud rappers’ music videos and in the process has accumulated a fanbase of over 150,000 subscribers. The channel uploaded Lil Peep’s first few music videos, and a recent video from Brennan Savage. 6 Dogs tells me the owner of the channel messaged him on Soundcloud asking if he could upload “Flossing.”      “So this dude Astari messaged me on Soundcloud and was like ‘your shits tight, we should make a video or something and I'll put it on my YouTube channel,’ but I don't really mess with him anymore because he just stopped talking to me out of nowhere because I think he didn't want to share the check that he made off the "Flossing" video.”   If you’re lost in the inner-workings of the underground Soundcloud rap scene, don’t worry, because I’m even confused writing this. To recap: 6 Dogs purchased reposts on Nedarb and Lil Tracy’s Soundcloud pages, but the song of course was still hosted on his own Soundcloud page. 6 Dogs didn’t pay Astari to post the song to his YouTube channel, but he also didn’t get any of the ad-revenue from his channel.    YouTube ad-revenue math is tricky, with a lot of factors going into how much each view/ advertisement impression is actually paying out. But at the very least, a million plays on the lower end is over a thousand dollars.      - How many views does that video have right now?    “It's about to hit a million. It's at 900,000-something.”   - What's the calculation on how much ad-revenue that could be generating?    “It's a couple G's. It's like 4 or 5 maybe. I don't really care, because I got such a boost from it so I wasn't going to ask for a portion of it but I guess he just cut me off because he thought I was. But I don't know, it's whatever.”     The music video for “Flossing” is an embodiment of the underground rap scene we’ve been talking about for the last hour. 6 Dogs shot it on an iPhone with his cousin in his parent’s basement. He’s dancing shirtless in front of a projection that’s playing anime and a Kurt Cobain interview. In the only other shot he’s dancing with a gallon jug of Arizona reminiscent of early Yung Lean videos. But Yung Lean’s breakout is already a few years past at this point and for a 17 year old, he may have completely missed it. He actually hates the comparison when I initially make it. “I don’t like that comparison at all. I hate it. I see it. I definitely see it.”   - Right, so who were your influences? We’re already so far past Lean, and now there’s newer rappers like Lil Peep.   “Yeah, I was definitely listening to Peep. I mean, Peep is so sick. I remember Ned sent me a video of Peep like singing “Flossing” like dancing to it a few days ago. I was in Math. I was so pissed, just sitting in math class like I’m never going to use what I’m learning and he sent me that video and I was like “this is so fye.” But yeah, definitely him. Well, I have a favorite rapper and a favorite artist. My favorite rapper is Key! He’s like the father to all these rappers. His flows are, oh my gosh, they’re mathematical. There’s literally geometry behind the flows. Sound wise he’s my favorite rapper. My favorite artist though is Slug Christ. Just from an art perspective he is beyond everybody. It’s insane. The stuff he’s talking about is insane, he’s made me a more conscious person like what the heck life is just by listening to his music and watching videos on him and stuff like that. He’s so far ahead of everybody. Almost too much where people can’t even appreciate it.”   Lil Peep gained major notoriety on Soundcloud in the comfort of his own childhood home, with what he now cites as a mother who was very supporting of his music. Ugly God rose to prominence on the platform from his dorm room during his freshman year in college. The same with Lil Yachty. So what exactly happens when you’re not only living at home with two more years of high school, but your parents aren’t necessarily supportive of the content of your music?    The most relevant and recent example is Earl Sweatshirt, who at 16 gained recognition and critical praise for his debut mixtape Earl in 2010. His mother, unwilling to support her son’s rap career, one especially steeped in the vulgarities Odd Future is famous for, sent him to boarding school in Samoa until he turned 18, where he was unable to produce music for a year and a half. That comparison can only go so far, though, because while Earl was away his group, Odd Future, led by Tyler, the Creator was experiencing massive and widespread mainstream success which had Earl return to un-cashed checks and record deals on the table that helped ease his mother’s concern. This doesn’t mean that 6 Dogs mother doesn’t have a right to be concerned, it’s tight that she’s involved in his life and wants the best for him, but one must wonder if a middle ground can be reached.   So the question begs to be asked: what do 6 Dogs’ parents think about his rap music? The answer to the question, just like the previous, goes in a bunch of different directions.    - You’re still 17, you still live at your parents house, and they are religious. Do they know that you’re even doing any of this?    “It’s a really weird situation that I’m in right now. So I started rapping over the summer and they didn’t really think anything of it, they didn’t know that I was “semi-popping” or whatever. They would let me go record and stuff. I record at my friend’s house, he lives in my neighborhood, I record in his basement. Shoutout Shrimp. They found out because I was at my friend’s house and we were gonna shoot a music video for the song “Hearse,” and we were gonna go to a graveyard or something. We were gonna get [redacted] or whatever, I was trying to turn up for the video. I guess I got like, too [redacted]. Oh my god I looked so fye, I looked beautiful, I had a gucci bandana on, upside-down visor backwards on top of the Gucci bandana. These huge glasses, the biggest glasses I’ve ever seen, and these ugly disgusting filthy yellow pants and bro, I looked so sick. So we were walking to the graveyard and I was off the shits. I don’t even remember that much of it, it was nighttime by the way, and I dropped my phone and it turned off or something, but I was Periscoping, so my phone was off and we turned around to walk back to charge my phone. But I still thought I was on Periscope, so I’m talking to my phone but it’s off, and we get into my friend’s neighborhood and he just dips on me. He just took off running. I was like ‘what the heck.’ Apparently he said I was scaring him because I was talking to my phone when it was off. I couldn’t find his house. So it’s like 11PM at that point, walking around people’s backyards with a Gucci bandana on, huge glasses, upside down visor, filthy yellow pants, walking around. My friend’s room is in the basement and it goes directly outside and so I finally find his house after a long time and I’m rattling his basement door but it’s locked. I’m banging on it and stuff. Apparently it was the wrong house. So the guy who lived in the house came outside, I just remember him screaming at me. I was trying to explain it, like ‘I’m so sorry I don’t know what’s going on, I’m just trying to find my friend.’ But he called the cops on me. I got cuffed or whatever. The worst part too, it was one house away from my friends. It was his next door neighbor. So the cops called my mom, and my mom picked up the phone and thought it was a prank call and so she just hung up. So I went to jail and just spent the night in jail. But once I realized what was going on, “like I’m in jail right now what the heck,” immediately I just thought how can I make this situation positive.”   - If your mom would have picked up the call from the cops that night would you have even went to jail?    “No, I wouldn’t have. Just the experience though, I don’t know why, but I needed that.”   - Did your mom pick you up from jail the next morning?    “Yeah my parents and sister picked me up the next morning. My mom was crying. She was freaking out. It was really bad. That’s when they started talking to me about the music and it was a possibility that I wasn’t going to record anymore after that.”   - How did you convince them to let you keep recording?    “Well I was just honest with them. Literally if I didn’t start recording I was have killed myself by now, not even kidding. It’s insane what a difference it made. It’s just getting everything out there. I had a therapist at one point and that’s nice, being able to tell things to someone, but when you tell things to literally everyone on the internet it’s amazing. It’s like having a million therapists.”   - Were you grounded?    “I’m still grounded.”   - So you’re grounded. What’s that mean? What’re the terms on that?    “I can’t really go out. I can go to the gym and play basketball. That’s about it. I can’t go to anyone’s house.”   - Can you still record?    “I can still record.”   - So how much longer are you going to be grounded for?   “Uhm, I mean, I don’t really know. I have no idea. For a while I thought I was going to have to move out because of the whole music situation. I dropped things like once a month, it’s annoying, I’d like to drop more, but it’s such a hassle and big conversation that has to be had each time I want to go record.”   - Does your mom know that we’re recording an interview right now?    “No. No. I don’t think so. I hope not.”       It turns out his mom eventually did find out about the interview, leading to a back and forth with 6 Dogs and Masked Gorilla staff over the following days on whether or not we could publish the feature. Eventually, I spoke with his mother on the phone hours before the feature was intended to go live. As you could imagine, she was very warm and sweet, protecting of her son, only asking us to redact minor details about the story. We asked her to speak on the record for this story, but she declined in an effort to not draw focus away from the article. Understandably, it’s all still a sensitive subject.   So what’s next for 6 Dogs? He has one bubbling song on Soundcloud under his belt and the rest of his uploads are gaining momentum, passing over 100,000 plays on nearly all of them. How exactly does he capitalize on this buzz, continue the momentum, and turn it into a sustainable career outside of Soundcloud?    DJ Carnage, a Guatemalan-American DJ, emailed him a few days ago asking him to record a verse for a song featuring a mid-level underground rapper, that 6 Dogs asked us to leave unnamed. DJ Carnage originally gained notoriety in the EDM scene, but more recently has been recruiting younger rappers like iLoveMakonnen, Lil Yachty, and Young Thug to rap over his production. 6 Dogs boldly turned down the request, citing that the song he sent him didn’t fit his style.    He has “no interest at all” in going to college. He told me he’s not completely sure if he will finish high school at this point.   It’s all unpredictable right now. The hype might fizzle out. Or he might follow in the steps of Ugly God, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and others before him who turned Soundcloud streams into touring rap careers with record deals inked.    - Where do you see yourself exactly 1 year from this conversation?   Sniffling, audibly holding back tears, he answers.    “Uhm. Dang. Yo I don’t know why but I want to cry right now. This is crazy. I feel like whatever I say is actually going to happen. Oh man. That’s a hard ass question. I think I’m probably going to have a condo in Midtown, I’m gonna be chilling making music, but I also think I’m gonna be traveling doing crazy stuff.”    Hopefully his mom will un-ground him by then.    
News | March 2, 2017
6 Dogs is 17, Blowing Up On Soundcloud, and Grounded By His Mom

6 DOGS - MASKED GORILLA

 

The first line of 6 Dogs’ song “Flossing” opens up with, “Tell my mom that I'm sorry, I just popped an Oxy.” While recording his second song ever, “Flossing,” in September 2016, his mom has no idea he’s making music. She’s never going to hear the song or apology.  A half year, few million plays, and a music video shoot turned night in jail later, the lyric turned out to be prophetic and the apology was much needed.

 

6 Dogs is 17, blowing up on Soundcloud, and currently grounded by his mom. What initially started as a quick phone call so I could get some basic details about him turned into an hour-long conversation detailing not only his personal life but the rarely discussed inner-workings of what helps make a Soundcloud upload go viral. 

 

He’s from Georgia, but he doesn’t want to specify exactly where.

 

“I live in the Atlanta suburbs now. Used to live in the sticks, but moved to the suburbs. Damn, let me close my door.” 

 

I hear his mom yell something. There’s a baby crying in the background, and it’s hard to hear 6 Dogs amidst all the commotion. He closes his door and puts in headphones so we can hear each other more clearly. “Sorry, my mom is babysitting my family friend's kid I guess. It's freaking out.” 

 

6 Dogs is 17, turning 18 in May, but he’s still a junior in high school. The answer to what I thought was a simple question of “Why are you a year behind in school” ends up being way more involved than I expected and indicative of how this conversation stretched to be over an hour.

 

So what's the story of why you're a year behind in high school? 

 

“I just started late. My parents started me late. My super Christian parents, and all their friends, are super religious and stuff, and I love my childhood but we had this homeschooling group or whatever. I loved them, it was so fun we would just do stuff in the woods, make forts, like legos and stuff like that. I love my childhood, I'm glad I wasn't just watching T.V. and stuff like that. I was reading books and doing stuff which contributed to my creativity.” 

 

– Were you going to church every weekend? 

 

“Yeah, yeah forsure. I mean, I'm glad I was raised like that I think that a lot of good comes from that. I don't agree with everything. I feel like I was kind of scared into it, like ‘oh my gosh if I don't believe this I'm going straight to hell.’" 

 

Okay, so you're homeschooled in that environment until the 3rd grade. What was after that?

 

“After that my sister and I went to this Christian private school, which was very cultish. So that happened. I went there until the 5th grade, then I went to this public school in this one county, and it's one of the most racist counties in Georgia. But I didn't really like notice that because I was just in 6th grade and we were kids. As I got older, in the 8th grade, I started noticing how people were. I kind of convinced my parents to move because I really did not want to go to that high school. So now I'm at the high school I'm at now.” 

 

Religious parents. Homeschooling. Going to a private Christian school. How exactly does this lead to a burgeoning rap career? It turns out that just like a subset of emotional Soundcloud rappers, or really for a multitude of artists since way before Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, depression is the catalyst for self-expression.

 

I was super depressed, you know, I still feel some type of way sometimes but for the most part I'm straight now, but I just needed an outlet. I've always wanted to rap. I remember just sitting in the lifeguard stand, the entire summer, 8 hours a day or longer and just sitting down and I was like ‘this sucks, I want to do something with my life.’”

 

 

“Flossing” is the first song you’ll find on his Soundcloud today, but it’s actually the second track 6 Dogs recorded and uploaded. He tells me (a song called) "Demons In The A" was the first one. “That was this summer, right before school. I deleted it. I can't even listen to it now it makes me cringe.” 

 

It was his first taste of having people interact with his outlet for his depression.

 

“‘Demons In The A’ started getting kind of a buzz, I remember the first few comments. There were like six comments or something and I was like "this is so sick, this is awesome that people are actually commenting on my song I did not expect that all."

 

So how exactly did a song with six comments lead to his next upload getting hundreds of comments and millions of plays? He tells me “I dropped “Flossing" and I actually bought a few reposts from people that I listen to, which I highly recommend to anybody.”

 

Soundcloud reposts seem to be a sensitive subject with artists and rap fans alike. While most internet rappers seem to quickly build up a standoffish image to the media as part of their brand, 6 Dogs is completely open during our phone call now describing the inner workings of Soundcloud and the repost black market.

 

– Yeah, that's interesting you brought reposts up because when producer Nedarb Nagrom showed me your music he told me that he met you because you purchased a repost from him. So do you think it's a good practice for young artists? 

 

“Oh my lord. Yeah. Well only if it's good. If it's trash there's no point in doing anything.”

 

– I feel like some fans may think selling reposts is weird, but I've always held the position that these Soundcloud artists need to eat and if they fuck with your song and you want to reach their fan base it's perfectly fine. Paid promotion already happens on every other social media platform. So why not Soundcloud too? Who else were you buying reposts from? 

 

“I brought a repost from Lil Tracy and it's funny, I was pissed at the time, he like low-key kind of ripped me off. I forgot I paid like 20 bucks or something like that, I can't remember, for a week and he took it down after 4 days and it was funny because a few weeks ago Ned Facetime'd me and Lil Tracy was there and I was like ‘dude what the heck you ripped me off.’”

 

– What did Lil Tracy say to that? 

 

“Oh, I was just kidding. He was like ‘I'm so sorry I'll put it back up’ and I was like ‘I don't care it doesn't matter.’ We were just laughing.”

 

– It’s cool that it was just a misunderstanding. I fuck with Lil Tracy. It’s more surreal how fast you can go from buying a repost from a rapper to being one of their peers.

 

“But that's not what really made it blow up. That definitely helped.”

 

– Yeah, I feel like if the song is wack and someone reposts it, it doesn't matter. But if the song is good then it's just going to help fuel the fire along with kids just finding it anyway. 

 

“Exactly. Soundcloud really is a business though. You gotta market yourself the right way and you have to get exposure one way or another.”

 

So what exactly led to “Flossing” snowballing to 600,000 plays? In 6 Dogs’ view, it wasn’t the reposts but a placement from a well-known underground rap YouTube channel called “Astari.” The channel uploads Soundcloud rappers’ music videos and in the process has accumulated a fanbase of over 150,000 subscribers. The channel uploaded Lil Peep’s first few music videos, and a recent video from Brennan Savage. 6 Dogs tells me the owner of the channel messaged him on Soundcloud asking if he could upload “Flossing.” 

 

 

So this dude Astari messaged me on Soundcloud and was like ‘your shits tight, we should make a video or something and I'll put it on my YouTube channel,’ but I don't really mess with him anymore because he just stopped talking to me out of nowhere because I think he didn't want to share the check that he made off the "Flossing" video.”

 

If you’re lost in the inner-workings of the underground Soundcloud rap scene, don’t worry, because I’m even confused writing this. To recap: 6 Dogs purchased reposts on Nedarb and Lil Tracy’s Soundcloud pages, but the song of course was still hosted on his own Soundcloud page. 6 Dogs didn’t pay Astari to post the song to his YouTube channel, but he also didn’t get any of the ad-revenue from his channel. 

 

YouTube ad-revenue math is tricky, with a lot of factors going into how much each view/ advertisement impression is actually paying out. But at the very least, a million plays on the lower end is over a thousand dollars. 

 

 

– How many views does that video have right now? 

 

“It's about to hit a million. It's at 900,000-something.”

 

– What's the calculation on how much ad-revenue that could be generating? 

 

“It's a couple G's. It's like 4 or 5 maybe. I don't really care, because I got such a boost from it so I wasn't going to ask for a portion of it but I guess he just cut me off because he thought I was. But I don't know, it's whatever.”

 

 

The music video for “Flossing” is an embodiment of the underground rap scene we’ve been talking about for the last hour. 6 Dogs shot it on an iPhone with his cousin in his parent’s basement. He’s dancing shirtless in front of a projection that’s playing anime and a Kurt Cobain interview. In the only other shot he’s dancing with a gallon jug of Arizona reminiscent of early Yung Lean videos. But Yung Lean’s breakout is already a few years past at this point and for a 17 year old, he may have completely missed it. He actually hates the comparison when I initially make it. “I don’t like that comparison at all. I hate it. I see it. I definitely see it.”

 

– Right, so who were your influences? We’re already so far past Lean, and now there’s newer rappers like Lil Peep.

 

“Yeah, I was definitely listening to Peep. I mean, Peep is so sick. I remember Ned sent me a video of Peep like singing “Flossing” like dancing to it a few days ago. I was in Math. I was so pissed, just sitting in math class like I’m never going to use what I’m learning and he sent me that video and I was like “this is so fye.” But yeah, definitely him. Well, I have a favorite rapper and a favorite artist. My favorite rapper is Key! He’s like the father to all these rappers. His flows are, oh my gosh, they’re mathematical. There’s literally geometry behind the flows. Sound wise he’s my favorite rapper. My favorite artist though is Slug Christ. Just from an art perspective he is beyond everybody. It’s insane. The stuff he’s talking about is insane, he’s made me a more conscious person like what the heck life is just by listening to his music and watching videos on him and stuff like that. He’s so far ahead of everybody. Almost too much where people can’t even appreciate it.”

 

Lil Peep gained major notoriety on Soundcloud in the comfort of his own childhood home, with what he now cites as a mother who was very supporting of his music. Ugly God rose to prominence on the platform from his dorm room during his freshman year in college. The same with Lil Yachty. So what exactly happens when you’re not only living at home with two more years of high school, but your parents aren’t necessarily supportive of the content of your music? 

 

The most relevant and recent example is Earl Sweatshirt, who at 16 gained recognition and critical praise for his debut mixtape Earl in 2010. His mother, unwilling to support her son’s rap career, one especially steeped in the vulgarities Odd Future is famous for, sent him to boarding school in Samoa until he turned 18, where he was unable to produce music for a year and a half. That comparison can only go so far, though, because while Earl was away his group, Odd Future, led by Tyler, the Creator was experiencing massive and widespread mainstream success which had Earl return to un-cashed checks and record deals on the table that helped ease his mother’s concern. This doesn’t mean that 6 Dogs mother doesn’t have a right to be concerned, it’s tight that she’s involved in his life and wants the best for him, but one must wonder if a middle ground can be reached.

 

So the question begs to be asked: what do 6 Dogs’ parents think about his rap music? The answer to the question, just like the previous, goes in a bunch of different directions. 

 

– You’re still 17, you still live at your parents house, and they are religious. Do they know that you’re even doing any of this? 

 

“It’s a really weird situation that I’m in right now. So I started rapping over the summer and they didn’t really think anything of it, they didn’t know that I was “semi-popping” or whatever. They would let me go record and stuff. I record at my friend’s house, he lives in my neighborhood, I record in his basement. Shoutout Shrimp. They found out because I was at my friend’s house and we were gonna shoot a music video for the song “Hearse,” and we were gonna go to a graveyard or something. We were gonna get [redacted] or whatever, I was trying to turn up for the video. I guess I got like, too [redacted]. Oh my god I looked so fye, I looked beautiful, I had a gucci bandana on, upside-down visor backwards on top of the Gucci bandana. These huge glasses, the biggest glasses I’ve ever seen, and these ugly disgusting filthy yellow pants and bro, I looked so sick. So we were walking to the graveyard and I was off the shits. I don’t even remember that much of it, it was nighttime by the way, and I dropped my phone and it turned off or something, but I was Periscoping, so my phone was off and we turned around to walk back to charge my phone. But I still thought I was on Periscope, so I’m talking to my phone but it’s off, and we get into my friend’s neighborhood and he just dips on me. He just took off running. I was like ‘what the heck.’ Apparently he said I was scaring him because I was talking to my phone when it was off. I couldn’t find his house. So it’s like 11PM at that point, walking around people’s backyards with a Gucci bandana on, huge glasses, upside down visor, filthy yellow pants, walking around. My friend’s room is in the basement and it goes directly outside and so I finally find his house after a long time and I’m rattling his basement door but it’s locked. I’m banging on it and stuff. Apparently it was the wrong house. So the guy who lived in the house came outside, I just remember him screaming at me. I was trying to explain it, like ‘I’m so sorry I don’t know what’s going on, I’m just trying to find my friend.’ But he called the cops on me. I got cuffed or whatever. The worst part too, it was one house away from my friends. It was his next door neighbor. So the cops called my mom, and my mom picked up the phone and thought it was a prank call and so she just hung up. So I went to jail and just spent the night in jail. But once I realized what was going on, “like I’m in jail right now what the heck,” immediately I just thought how can I make this situation positive.”

 

– If your mom would have picked up the call from the cops that night would you have even went to jail?

 

 “No, I wouldn’t have. Just the experience though, I don’t know why, but I needed that.”

 

– Did your mom pick you up from jail the next morning? 

 

“Yeah my parents and sister picked me up the next morning. My mom was crying. She was freaking out. It was really bad. That’s when they started talking to me about the music and it was a possibility that I wasn’t going to record anymore after that.”

 

– How did you convince them to let you keep recording? 

 

“Well I was just honest with them. Literally if I didn’t start recording I was have killed myself by now, not even kidding. It’s insane what a difference it made. It’s just getting everything out there. I had a therapist at one point and that’s nice, being able to tell things to someone, but when you tell things to literally everyone on the internet it’s amazing. It’s like having a million therapists.”

 

– Were you grounded? 

 

“I’m still grounded.”

 

– So you’re grounded. What’s that mean? What’re the terms on that? 

 

“I can’t really go out. I can go to the gym and play basketball. That’s about it. I can’t go to anyone’s house.”

 

– Can you still record? 

 

“I can still record.”

 

– So how much longer are you going to be grounded for?

 

“Uhm, I mean, I don’t really know. I have no idea. For a while I thought I was going to have to move out because of the whole music situation. I dropped things like once a month, it’s annoying, I’d like to drop more, but it’s such a hassle and big conversation that has to be had each time I want to go record.”

 

– Does your mom know that we’re recording an interview right now? 

 

“No. No. I don’t think so. I hope not.”

 

 

6 DOGS - MASKED GORILLA (2)

 

It turns out his mom eventually did find out about the interview, leading to a back and forth with 6 Dogs and Masked Gorilla staff over the following days on whether or not we could publish the feature. Eventually, I spoke with his mother on the phone hours before the feature was intended to go live. As you could imagine, she was very warm and sweet, protecting of her son, only asking us to redact minor details about the story. We asked her to speak on the record for this story, but she declined in an effort to not draw focus away from the article. Understandably, it’s all still a sensitive subject.

 

So what’s next for 6 Dogs? He has one bubbling song on Soundcloud under his belt and the rest of his uploads are gaining momentum, passing over 100,000 plays on nearly all of them. How exactly does he capitalize on this buzz, continue the momentum, and turn it into a sustainable career outside of Soundcloud? 

 

DJ Carnage, a Guatemalan-American DJ, emailed him a few days ago asking him to record a verse for a song featuring a mid-level underground rapper, that 6 Dogs asked us to leave unnamed. DJ Carnage originally gained notoriety in the EDM scene, but more recently has been recruiting younger rappers like iLoveMakonnen, Lil Yachty, and Young Thug to rap over his production. 6 Dogs boldly turned down the request, citing that the song he sent him didn’t fit his style. 

 

He has “no interest at all” in going to college. He told me he’s not completely sure if he will finish high school at this point.

 

It’s all unpredictable right now. The hype might fizzle out. Or he might follow in the steps of Ugly God, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and others before him who turned Soundcloud streams into touring rap careers with record deals inked. 

 

– Where do you see yourself exactly 1 year from this conversation?

 

Sniffling, audibly holding back tears, he answers. 

 

“Uhm. Dang. Yo I don’t know why but I want to cry right now. This is crazy. I feel like whatever I say is actually going to happen. Oh man. That’s a hard ass question. I think I’m probably going to have a condo in Midtown, I’m gonna be chilling making music, but I also think I’m gonna be traveling doing crazy stuff.” 

 

Hopefully his mom will un-ground him by then.

 

 


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