Derty Den is one backwoods emcee that has earned his entry into Rap’s point of access. Also known frequently as Big Gates, he’s consistently released his music and been instrumental in closing the barrier within North Carolina music that use to be a rigid gap. The funny thing about his role is he’s much too modest to wear the pat on the back. Den is using his musical powers and influence to capture fans, and here’s the catch, his plan is working.
Den cares that the movement moves forward. He just released his third mixtape Tony Soprano, and the response was potent enough that it could have bore it’s own alcohol proof. As Gates promotes his latest efforts and plans his album, No Pain, No Gain he talks to DX about the how being Derty keeps him ultra clean.
“I’ve been doing my thing, and it feels good to be recognized right now I have seven awards. We just had a big night at the SMES (Southeast Music & Entertainment Summit) we took seven out of 10 [awards we were nominated for]. We were able to perform the single ‘Everybody Workin’,’ which gave people a chance to see the levels of a Derty Den performance,” said the rapper. “When I hit the stage, I’m able to bring something exclusive to the fans because I create a real personal experience that each person is going to be able to relate too. My stage show takes you through all of the emotional highs and lows. My show places you into a musical trance that ensures you become a fan, and that’s what it’s all about. I care about all of my supporters and I try to incorporate what I think the listener’s want and combine that with real Hip Hop. I’ve just been focused and paying attention to what the fans want. My fans definitely inspire my music. The secret ingredient is the people. And what they have to say is important to me. I’ve been able to build something interesting for them to enjoy, in addition I’ve been getting my team together and now everyone is moving in one direction on the same note.”
Den has released what has turned out to be a booming theme song in “Everybody Workin’.” This monster hit traveled fast through out North and South Carolina and is stretching fast. Den states, “It actually just came together from me sitting around with my partners and deciding that we needed an anthem to pull the state together. I started to reach out to other artist, to join me on the track and the record just took off like a jet which is what it was suppose to do cause Carolina is first in flight. That’s when the phone really started ringing from labels and distributors. ‘Everybody Workin” has since become a brand and a slogan that rings from city to city throughout North Carolina. I also just dropped my new mixtape, Tony Soprano, which is being well received by the public.”
Continuing, Derty Den said, “My favorite tracks are ‘Black Cak Intro,’ ‘I See Paper,’ and ‘Block Boys.’ A lot of people have been letting me know their choices for standout records on the project, and it’s just been rewarding to get that type of feedback. The concept for the mixtape definitely came from the actual show. It’s beyond the fact that [the character] Tony Soprano was a gangster but it lays heavier on the fact of how he ran his family and organization in order to receive, manage, and maintain his respect and successes. Tony Soprano was a leader overall and those are traits that are present with how I move with my team GDA Music Firm and BLACK CAK. “
A lot of people have been able to watch J. Cole spring out of the market and, some believe that maybe he possibly is the answer for representing the state on a major level. Others boast he’s far from being the only starlet that Carolina can produce. Den shares his views towards artist that may try to adapt to trends to get discovered. “I think it would be a false idea if an artist in this market believed that J. Cole has opened the door and now all you have to do is walk through the passage. You still have to have your own lane, and your own individuality to carry yourself as an artist. You can only piggyback another artist for some long before you find your self reduced into a certain category. I wouldn’t want to see another artist come out and mimic Derty Den. You can be motivated and borrow from my energy, or style but at the end of the day the best thing would be for an artist to tap into their own creativeness and go from there. That’s what makes people like you.”
Big Gates has a unique situation with a major endorsement in Stall & Dean. It’s major in the sense that we don’t typically get to see an unsigned act get this type of consideration from a major apparel company like this. “Yeah I have a few endorsements, but my relationship with Stall & Dean is highly beneficial. It was a great business move for me as an artist and for my brand. It just came together because they had initially dressed me for a few appearances and shoots so I started wearing them frequently. Their sales revenue began to skyrocket out here in this market. I mean literally they use to have Stall & Dean sitting in the back of the stores, but once I started wearing their clothes they immediately were able to place their merchandise up front. Being the strong company with all their years of business sense gave me an incredible opportunity and decided to endorse Derty Den.”