“I Lived Everywhere So That’s Why I Don’t Gangbang:” An Interview with DB Boutabag

Jayson Buford talks to the Sacramento rapper about the biggest misconception about his hometown's music scene, getting 100,000 views on his first music video, and how he deals with the pressure of...
By    April 16, 2020

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South Sacramento rapper DB Boutabag makes rap music meant to hit you in the chest, and then make you start a fight with the resident clout chaser in your neighborhood. There’s a reason why he deadpans, ‘’Disrespect, I gotta beat him like he stole somethin’’ on ‘’Fetuccine,’’ the first song from his second studio album, 2 Klocks. He’s constantly disgusted by the people around him who aren’t getting money, girls, or being regular stand up people.

These are not songs to be played at golf courses. They are intended to be anthems for those getting money and ‘’staying dangerous.’’ If they don’t tear a hole in the streets of Sacramento, then he didn’t do his job. You get the attitude of someone who neels like they’ve been wrongly overlooked. And maybe being from Sacramento has something to do with this:

“I don’t politic then, I don’t politic today/I’m from Sac not the Bay, let’s just get this shit straight’’, he raps on ‘’False Statements’.’ Get it right.

This is elite shit talking. On ‘’Non Stoppin,’’ he brags about having sex on camera. He compared raking leaves to his friends being on the streets. He is somewhat annoyed that nobody is asking him to stay safe, they are only asking him to stay dangerous. He says that as if he’s mad that they would even ask because he already knew to stay dangerous. His first album, Bag Klan Misfit, started his style of talking shit until your ears rang with his insults. On ‘’Full Press D’’ he threatened to make his enemies into paraplegics like the guy who played Superman. DB isn’t only a pure shit talker though: On ‘’Slidin’ All Together,’’ he is able to combine his brashness with some words for his family. He’s aware life isn’t all roses. He wants to get out and pass on some wealth to his family. In between the boasts, he’ll talk about sharing clothes with his brother. Nonetheless, as long as there is a system in place to keep people poor, stories of humble beginnings and bag chasing will always remain relevant.

2 Klocks is even better than his debut. He seems to be improving not just as a rapper but also as an artist. For the next project, the plan is to go in an entirely different direction. In conversation, DB sounds confident but still humble. The idea is to stay mentally upbeat and focused on what’s coming next. In a reflective mood, he and I discussed Sacramento, his career up to this point, plans for the future, mental health, and hoops (RIP). — Jayson Buford

What was it like growing up in south Sacramento?

DB Boutabag: Shit, it wasn’t the worst. I moved around with moms a lot. So I lived everywhere from 47th to Parkway, to Metaview. I lived everywhere so that’s the reason why I don’t gang bang. I don’t really politic and rep one part of the south because I really grew up around the whole south. I got love everywhere around Sac for real. I really done lived everywhere in Sac, so it’s like I don’t know, I feel like that’s why I kind of … I didn’t just grow up in one place my whole childhood. I had a cool childhood, growing up with my big brother, it was cool, it wasn’t too bad. Moms did what she could, we did our shit.

You take places that you’ve been at and it kind of shapes you in general.

DB Boutabag: Yeah, yeah exactly. That’s definitely what I tried to say, it did like being around different motherfuckers and seeing how other people work, that definitely groomed me into how I act and how I move with who I deal with on a daily basis all the time.

Yeah, you mentioned that you don’t really rep a set because you were in a different place, but were you on the streets as a kid?

DB Boutabag: I was on the streets for certain things. My mom was really on my ass. I played sports as a younger nigga. So I was in the streets when I had to be. I’m not just out there, I wasn’t just outside every day in the streets. I actually wanted to play basketball or football, or something. I wasn’t really concerned about that shit until I started growing up a little bit and started figuring out I was broke. When you start going to school and everybody has good clothes, good backpacks, school supplies, all types of shit like that you start to think like that. That voice comes in your head like, “Nigga you better go get that shit.” So niggas always got to do what they got to do no matter what the circumstances. So yeah, I was in the streets but to a certain extent.

What sport did you play growing up?

DB Boutabag: Like Pop Warner, I played football. I played for the south Sacramento Vikings for like six or seven years or something like that. When I hit middle school, I went to Rosa Parks Middle School. That’s when I first started playing basketball, 7th grade. And then I was hooping until I graduated high school.

Word, do you still hoop a little bit?

DB Boutabag: Yeah, I hoop every now and then with the guys and shit. We go to the gym, you know just fuck around a bit. Bet $100 on a game or something.

I used to play hoops in high school but nowadays–

DB Boutabag: I smoke too much nowadays–

Yeah! I’m out of shape now but …

DB Boutabag: Yeah, I’m hella out of shape. I probably can’t even play three games back to back no more. I be winded.

Yeah, yeah. Now that you’re rapping and you’re getting money, was there ever a point where you thought that you weren’t going to make it back in the day, like before you started?

DB Boutabag: Nah, I’m not going to lie, I never had that mindset to where I’m not going to be shit because I was always into something. I was always doing something. I was either working, I was trying to go clean niggas houses, clean niggas garages, do whatever I had to do to have some chicken and I was really interested in that barber shit. That barber and mechanic shit, so I was looking into that. I was going to go to school to be a barber and hella shit. And then I went to just start dropping music and I can say I was really genuinely good at this shit consistently at a consistent pace to where I can consistently drop videos, come out with good content, interact with fans. I don’t know, I never knew I would be doing this rapping shit. If you was to ask me a couple of years ago what I wanted to be, I’ll probably say some shit like nigga, realistically I want to own a barber shop in a couple of years.

You might never know what you want to do until you give it a shot.

DB Boutabag: Yeah, exactly. You don’t even know until you really try. And you start getting results for real.

Exactly. Are you proud of your region? Because Sacramento rap, if it’s not already here, it’s coming up still with you and a few other guys. So, what are your feelings about that?

DB Boutabag: Am I proud of the Sacramento music region?

The scene, yeah.

DB Boutabag: Bruh, I’m a big fan of the Sac scene. I’m a big fan bruh, like I can damn near say I done listened to every Sac rapper that’s really doing shit. That’s really putting on for Sac. It don’t matter where niggas from, I salute anybody that’s putting on for Sac because Sac is so slept on and Sac been slept on forever. It’s always been about the Bay, about the Bay, Bay, Bay, Bay the Bay. And then niggas think about Sac and … niggas think about Sac and … I heard this from some OGs. I remember niggas used to always try to say that Sac niggas used to always try to be like the Bay. That’s why I specified that in one of my songs because I remember on a Thizzler interview, a couple of niggas was in the comments talking about, “Ain’t DB from the Bay? He looks like a Bay nigga” you feel me? Just trying to compare me to the Bay niggas, so I had to let niggas know, I’m from Sac, not the Bay. Let’s get this shit straight. I’m definitely proud of the music scene, we’re definitely growing and we definitely got a lot more growing, too.

So you’ve mentioned that you wanted to be a barber. Where did your hair come from? Did you just think, “Oh I’m going to be wavy or whatever and get this shit” or were you thinking–

DB Boutabag: Oh, my dreads? Actually I twisted up my hair like 10th grade. My mom had locks, my big brother had locks, hella long, they was stupid long and I used to walk around with this little ugly ass, nappy fro with the taper and I thought I was hella clean. But my big brother cut his dreads off and I was like, “Nigga, I bet you probably twist up right now, you won’t be able to catch up to me.” You feel me? And it started like that, I just twisted my shit up and I started growing them from there. I’m damn near too attached to these motherfuckers now, a bitch try to cut my dreads off, we’re going to be going at it.

Yeah, you got a track on 2 Klocks, it’s the opener, it’s called “Fettuccine.” Where does the title come from and what was your mindset on that song?

DB Boutabag: Really, I was just on some money shit. Thinking about money. I was thinking to myself like, damn I’ll really do a nigga cold if he tries to take this. You ever just had something and it made you think, I’ll really hurt somebody over this shit. I don’t know, I just can’t explain it. And I just started going from there. Like nigga, for my fettuccine, I’ll cook a nigga like a taco.


DB Boutabag: Simple. I was probably on some high shit, thinking for my fettuccine, I cook a nigga like a taco. Probably kind of catchy, you hear something and I just went with it.

One of the things that you’re really good at I think is, you’re able to make a song with depth without losing the fact that it’s supposed to jump. Music is supposed to bump, that’s it. It’s supposed to blast, so is that something that you’re actively thinking about or are you just going in there and you’re just doing it off rip? Because you said you didn’t even know that you was going to be this nasty at rap, so it kind of ties into that right?

DB Boutabag: Yeah, really I don’t even work in the studio if you get what I’m saying. When I’m writing, I don’t write when I get to the studio, I write from home and I write from where I’m comfortable at. I don’t write going to the studio and trying to squeeze out a whole song, and go lay it, and hopefully got 30 minutes left to get my shit mixed, you feel me? I feel like that’s a waste of time. So me, I get my shit ready from home. Structure my shit all up at home. I’ll have a concert in my room and write two to three songs, and go and lay them motherfuckers. I really structure my songs up and I really try to focus on what I talk about. I try hard to stay on one topic on each song. Sometimes I might branch off and start to fuck a couple of niggas’ bitches in the middle of the verse, but for the most part I try to make sure my songs definitely have symmetry.

So Sacramento, you spoke about before how people thought that Sacramento people was trying to be like the Bay, but Sacramento is the capital of California. Why do you think that people don’t talk about it? You think it’s because you have southern California, and then you have Northern California. It’s kind of in the middle, do you think is that why?

DB Boutabag: It could be a variance of reasons why Sac is slept on, or niggas don’t, you feel me? But me personally just feel like it’s because the Bay blew up and the Bay has been so turned, and the Bay has been doing their thing for so long, it’s like niggas will always really pass Sac off to the Bay. Like yeah, we’re the capital and all, but niggas is not worried about all of that shit. They’re worried about the music and unfortunately, they’re worried about the street shit and they’re worried about the extra stuff that’s going on. Oh, Sacramento is the capital of California. They don’t give a fuck about that shit. They’re worried about who’s making the best songs, who’s got the baddest bitches, who’s got the most money, nigga. Who’s got the most gangsters, that’s all niggas are worried about.

Yeah, growing up what type of things were you into besides sports? Were you always just into rap?

DB Boutabag: I used to always try and rap. My big brother used to rap. He used to come home with raps and shit. He wrote me my first rap and … well, he wrote my first four bars, I’ll never forget and I tried to keep going on from there but then I must’ve … I don’t know what happened where I just stopped fucking with it for hella long. And then one day, I want to say it was like 10th grade year, around the time I twisted my hair up nigga, I was on Facebook that’s when nigga, Southside all them niggas, they was going crazy with the challenges like in the car and shit. So I’m like shit, let me try one. I must’ve did one nigga, and my shit damn near went up on Facebook.

And then I shot a video, I shot the video to ‘’Hot Shit’’ and I won that motherfucker. I won Fuck With Me Friday. Thizzler on the Roof, they do this little competition every Friday, Fuck with me Fridays. So you can submit your video and if the people on the Facebook story fuck with your shit, whoever gets the most votes, they get to drop a free video. So I won that. My first video I ever dropped hit 100k on Fuck With Me Friday and I just started going from there. I ended up liking it. I liked the Stu vibe, I liked being in the Stu. I liked hearing myself on the mic, I liked hearing my shit. I’m really my biggest fan, and I’m my biggest critic. I feel like that’s why.

How long does it take for you to finish a song sometimes? I know other artists sometimes, they’re in the lab for hours. Are you one of those people or are you in and you’re out?

DB Boutabag: If I was to ask, I would say I’m in and I’m out because like I said, I structure my songs from home, so my shit will be already done and ready. I just got to go in, lay it and it don’t take me that long to lay my shit. Probably just the length of the song, let me just lay my verse, punch in, ad-libs, doubles and then just listen to that shit and we’re on to the next song.

Big Clan Misfit was hard, 2 Klocks was heat. What do you have planned for us in the future? Imagine if times was regular right now, you know what I mean? Do you have any projects coming up, or you have work that you want to do coming up?

DB Boutabag: Yeah, I definitely got a project dropping with my uncle. Me and my uncle got a project coming. I’m not about to give out the name or the date it is coming out yet, but we’ve got it coming, and I’ve got my own project coming so I’ve got two projects coming. One with me and my uncle and I’ve got my own coming. But for my tape, I’m coming on some totally different shit. I’m not tripping, you know the vibe of “Bag Klan Trippin” and “Fettuccine” and shit, how I’m just gassing, going in. Trying to come with punchlines, I’m not trying to be on none of that. I’m trying to switch it up. I’m not going to lie, I’m trying to see what I can do for real. I feel like that shit is starting to get too easy, I’m trying to do some shit to where I’m trying to perfect something else.

Yeah, I’m interested to see where you go with that, yeah.

DB Boutabag: Yeah, I’m definitely working on that right now. Right now I’m working on it.

Is family something really important to you? Because you talked about you’re about to do something with your uncle and you talked about how your brother actually was the first one to rap in your family so is that something–

DB Boutabag: Family is everything to me, big dog. Family is like … without my family, I don’t know what I would be. My family is my biggest supporters. My mom, it’s crazy, I come in the house and she only listens to me, she don’t listen to nobody but her son. That shit is crazy. My whole family is behind me, I’m not going to lie. They support me so much, I don’t know what I would be without family. Family is everything to me.

Yeah, is it one of those things where when you have a support system, it makes you feel that you can really do anything?

DB Boutabag: Mm-hmm, and for me, it’s kind of a little bit more of a … I don’t want to say it’s more weight on my shoulders but I put the weight on my shoulders because I’m the youngest on my mom’s side and it’s like nigga, I’m my mama’s last kid, so if I can’t get her out this shit, ain’t nobody going to get her out. So I’ve got to do something. This shit has got to work. I have to do this shit and I have to do it the right way. I have to get my mom out of this motherfucker. That’s all I’m worried about is my mom. I don’t care about none of that other shit. I can have one follower on the Gram and my mama in a fat house, you feel me? So that’s really the ultimate goal with this shit.

Is that something that you think about constantly?

DB Boutabag: Constantly. Every day, it’s throbbing on my brain every day I wake up. It’s throbbing on my brain, and I’ve got younger siblings on my dad’s side. I’m the youngest on my mom’s side, but I’ve got younger siblings on my dad’s side. So it’s like I’m the oldest over here, so I’ve got to provide over here, and I’m the youngest over here, so I’ve got to provide over here, you feel what I’m saying? So it kind of eats at me both ways.

So with that being said, do you do things that help you decamp from that type of shit? Do you do things that help you calm down from that type of mindset and that type of onus on your shoulders and shit?

DB Boutabag: Yeah, definitely. I just probably take a break from music for a minute. It’s not really nothing too major. Anything could get overwhelming. You got to think, anything that you starting from nothing and you’re trying to build your empire, build your brand, it’s going to feel overwhelming. What I really try to do is I try to wake up every day and do at least one or two things that’s working towards my brand. If I’m getting up and writing a song today, or promoting a post, or selling a verse, or selling a hook. Doing something. I usually don’t … I’m always trying to work. I’m always trying to work, always trying to work. So I get discouraged sometimes but if I feel discouraged, I just stop. I’ll just give it a break for a day or two and I’ll fuck around and see somebody else drop some hot shit and it’ll just give me motivation like, fuck bro, what the fuck I been doing for these past two days? I’ve been what? I need to.

Yeah, mental health is important. Is that something that you’re thinking about?

DB Boutabag: Oh yeah. A lot of people always tell me take breaks. It’s not healthy to be up, all in your head, always up. Get your sleep in nigga, do what you got to do. Don’t be lazy with it, but at the same time, just know how to balance your schedule out. I can’t explain it but mental health is definitely important. Definitely, 100% important. These niggas will be out here getting all of this money and they’re off of all of these drugs, but they can’t even get through their day without popping a Perc. So it’s like you can’t even write a song unless you’re off of a Perc. So I feel like, I don’t know, mental health is definitely important for sure

And it’s important for your fans. I definitely done seen some niggas on the internet that I done stopped following for doing weird shit. I feel like your image is important. It’s all about your image. That’s what this music shit is about, it’s about your image, it’s about how the people look at you. How the people see me from the outside so if they see a nigga on some crazy shit all day, getting high all day, they’re like, “This nigga weird, I wouldn’t even want to kick it with this nigga.” I’m more genuine to where, nigga, I’m so regular, I can just kick it with the fans on some regular shit. You got to think, I just turned 20, I’m still kind of a young nigga, and I’ve got more of a younger crowd so like … I don’t know, I feel like it’s the image, it’s all about the image so yeah for sure.

I followed you the other day, you’ve been doing those IG lives. Is that something you usually do or is that just because of the quarantine?

DB Boutabag: No, I always be on live. I be fucking bored, even before the quarantine, I’ll be outside on Live fucking around. In high school I used to always roast, flame niggas all the time for being ugly and shit. I was ugly too but I was flaming niggas more than they was flaming me. So that kind of came with me with the music, with the Instagram shit, I get on Instagram and niggas be trying to come on and flame me or whatever, I’ll add new fans, and I be having sometimes full roast nights. We be roasting back, it be cool though. I like that shit. I like interacting with the fans, I ain’t going to lie.

Switching gears a little bit, who was your favorite basketball player growing up?

DB Boutabag: Basketball player growing up? I would have to say JR Smith.

That’s a good one, bro. No cap, my nigga, that’s good one. I’m a Knicks fan so good looking on that. I’m impressed by that.

DB Boutabag: JR was my nigga bro, I swear to God.

JR is a legend, bro.

DB Boutabag: Yeah, he’s definitely a legend. They’re forgetting about my nigga JR because of that shit that happened a couple of years ago, but we ain’t going to talk about that.

We don’t talk about that one, no lie. But yo, he won the title though. Forget that game, he won the title. You can’t take that away from him.

DB Boutabag: You can’t bro. They’ve got to give JR his respect.


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