While tracks by Migos top the charts and the Lox have become respected veterans, Miami’s Doolie Gang is stepping up to the mike to become rap's next influential group. It’s been only two years since the Perrine natives began to take their skills in the booth seriously. But after they were signed to Aviator Club Entertainment last year, Deez Bands, 25; Johnny Pickles, 26; and Yung Stew, 23, hit the ground running to release their debut mixtape, Not the Life We Chose.
“The group really just kind of happened, like, without us saying, ‘Let’s start a rap group,’” Yung Stew says. “We were freestyling, but we never took rap seriously. I would say that Deez Bands and Johnny P started to try and take rap seriously a little bit before I did. They did a couple of songs, and I liked how they sounded. It sounded good, like real good, so I said, ‘I wanna rap too.’ So every time they went to the studio, I went with them."
Deez Bands and Johnny Pickles have been rocking together as the Doolie Gang since they were kids. Both rappers of Jamaican descent were childhood friends growing up in Perrine before they met Stew in middle school. As seniors in high school, DB and Pickles received scholarships to play college football out of state. When things didn’t work out at school, both returned to Miami and linked up with Stew to work on building their brand in the music industry.
“We want everyone to know that everything we touch turns to gold,” Deez Bands says. “We’re a confident bunch — not cocky, just confident. There’s a difference. We’re more humble at the same time, and we take constructive criticism, but we just feel like we’re better than a lot of people that are already on.”
When they dropped their most recent single, “Gold,” a few weeks ago, fans were impressed, and new followers began to anticipate the release of the Gang's debut mixtape, Not The Life We Chose. The ten-track project features production from Miami native DJ Illusion, Nixon on the Track, Will Notes, and Skip of WeLoose. Before they release the mixtape at the end of the month, the Doolie boys decided to leak another single off it, “Deep End.”
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“I just want people to listen,” Johnny P says. “My expectation for the tape is for people to just listen and understand. The music speaks for itself, and I think I a lot of questions will be answered.”
Doolie Gang’s chemistry is strong on "Deep End." Because they have such a diverse and unique sound, comparing them to other rap trios almost doesn't seem fair. They aren’t at Migos’ level yet, but they’re working their way from the bottom of the map to get to the top without begging for comparisons.
Doolie Gang’s mixtape Not the Life We Chose is slated to drop April 28.