The Break Presents: DBangz
On Dec. 17, 2017, a song about foot fetishism and porn streaming sites topped Spotify’s Viral 50 Global chart—an analytics-based ranking of the songs worldwide that are most rapidly shared and streamed on the platform at any given moment. Edging out smash hits like G-Eazy and Halsey’s “Him & I” and Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé’s “Perfect Duet” was “Thick Niggas and Anime Tiddies,” a meme rap cut by a Phoenix teen named DBangz. The song—which features outrageous lyrics like, “I love me some hentai, I go on XVideos/Bitch, I'm DBangz, stick my dick in your Cheerios”—remained in the top 10 for three weeks, touching the No. 1 spot again on Christmas Eve. Across platforms, it’s been streamed more than 14 million times to date.
“It didn't happen overnight,” the 16-year-old artist tells XXL of “Thick Niggas and Anime Tiddies.” The track has in fact had a, um, slow grind to viral success. DBangz first released the song to SoundCloud back in July 2017—just raw unmastered vocals over a CashMoneyAP beat. And while it maintained modest-but-steady momentum throughout the second half of the year, the track began to skyrocket once it hit the front page of Reddit in November. At the end of 2017, it dominated Spotify’s Viral charts in several countries (including the U.S.) thanks to DBangz’s faithful following, growing audience and ridiculous song title. “All of these meme pages were posting my stuff and just blowing the song up even more,” he says. “Who don't like anime titties?”
DBangz began rapping about three years ago with a friend named Jonathan (who he refers to as Snot). Using his dad’s audio equipment, they’d record music in DBangz’s garage and release the songs on SoundCloud. Early on, before he started making what he describes as “ignorant music,” DBangz would emulate the sound and lyrical style of MF Doom and Earl Sweatshirt, rhyming over throwback Golden Era beats. In December 2016, he released a lewd cut called “Fuck it Up,” which became his first track to crack 10,000 streams. One month later, “Booty Toe Sucker” broke 100,000 plays.
“Things that I think of are not what a usual person would think of, just because I’m weird,” says DBangz, whose mixtape Summer Booty Sweat dropped last June. “And to put that into record format, that's what births super-ignorant, crazy, grimy vocals. Stuff that I talk about makes people shake their head.”
“Thick Niggas and Anime Tiddies” has contributed to some controversial SMH moments outside of the streaming world, too. Last month, Italian makeup company Wycon Cosmetics faced criticism for naming a line of nail polish, “Thick as a Nigga.” After the backlash, the company released an apologetic statement, citing DBangz's unlikely hit as an inspiration for the moniker.
DBangz is making the most of the traction that “Thick Niggas and Anime Tiddies” has sparked. He’s putting the finishing touches on his Winter Booty Icicles project, which he plans to drop on Feb. 10. “It’s way more lyrical. There’s nothing at all like ‘Thick Niggas’ on that tape,” he says of the project. “I rapped on XXXTentacion's ‘Riot’ beat—he killed that song, but I think I did a better job than him.”
Still, DBangz recognizes the importance of his idiosyncrasies: "Being different in this industry is huge."
Get to know more about this rising artist in XXL's The Break.
I grew up listening to: “Through the early stages of making music, MF Doom became one of my biggest influences. And Earl Sweatshirt. I've been listening to Earl for a few years, he's super crazy with the lyrics. This was like 2015 or 2016. That's why sometimes I sound like him; I emulate him a lot.
"Mac Demarco was a pretty solid influence in late 2016, when he had 'Chamber of Reflection' and that Salad Days album. It's such a change from what I make and usually listen to. You can really feel what he's saying. He plays his own instruments, and I play violin myself. I really respect artists that can create their own music like that. He's probably someone who's shaped my life and changed it in a way.”
My style's been compared to: “I don't even want to say it, but Ugly God. Earl sometimes, on a few records. Before I was making ignorant music I kept getting compared to MF Doom. Sometimes I get Lil Yachty, which I don't see. But it's mainly Ugly God.
"The toes thing—I'm not even gonna lie—I took some of that from Ugly God. Ugly God was saying some hilarious stuff about feet and toes, even though he really don't be about it. I incorporated that in a song called 'Straight to the Toes.'
"People on Instagram and Snapchat be sending me pictures of their feet—dudes sending me pictures of their crusty-ass toes. It's just so grimy. As soon as you think of feet, you think of sweat, socks and somebody sucking on toes. It's like, "Oh my god, who is he?" That's so gross, right? So it stands out.
"That's why I have a few videos on my Instagram of me swallowing girls' toes in class—I wanted to prove that I actually do it, because I see Ugly God in some interviews talking about [he] don't really suck toes. One of my songs is like, 'DBangz don't suck toes, yes I really do / I posted a vid and that bitch getting views.'"
Most people don't know: “I used to dance hula when I was younger. My whole mom's side [of the family] is Hawaiian, so she got me into that. In the fourth grade, I performed at the Aloha Festival in front of like 100,000 people, a huge crowd.”
My standout moment to date has been: “Getting on the Spotify Global chart—that was insane. That was crazy. Because if you look at those lists, there's no SoundCloud rappers on there. There's no people like me on there. Names like Cardi B, Eminem, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna—those are all of the names that belong on this list, not me. What's funny about that is Cardi B posted me on her Instagram story because she was flexing that she was on the Spotify chart. But she was like No. 7 and I was like No. 3 at the time. And I [reached] No. 1. To see all of those people below me was mind-blowing."
My goal in hip-hop is: “I want to introduce more natural personalty, more artists interacting with fans in a different way. It feels like how [artists] interact with their fans, their attitudes and personalities don't seem natural. More positivity—not even on records themselves but just presenting yourself as such. Acting yourself.”
I'm going to be the next: "I don't want to name a name because I'm my own person. I want to be the one that those artists coming up look to me for. I want to make a whole new category and a whole new section.”
Standouts: "Thick Niggas and Anime Tiddies"
"I Love You"
Summer Booty Sweat
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