The D.O.C. Is Performing Again For The First Time In 33 Years
Earlier this year, one of Hip-Hop’s legendary songwriters, The D.O.C., gave fans his most comprehensive display of bars in 20 years. The MC closely associated with Dr. Dre, N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, and others, appeared on video single “Fast Ones” by The Codefendants. The track, later belonging to the This Is Crime Wave album, found The D.O.C. rapping bars such as, “I’ve been living so off balance that even drowning a f__ing challenge / Violence every day, this ain’t Fantasy Island / N__as wilin’,” before, “I was when it used to be attitudes, now it’s just a minstrel — Black fists, Black fools, clowns in blackface.”
The Texas-born MC/songwriter spoke about the song on the latest episode of the What’s The Headline podcast. In a video clip from the full interview (also embedded below), he tells Ambrosia For Heads that with the collaboration has come performances—The D.O.C.’s first in almost 33 years, by his count. “I did it, but I didn’t think people was gonna be feelin’ it like they’re feelin’ it,” admits the artist behind the 1989 platinum solo debut, No One Can Do It Better. “Now, these boys [The Codefendants] got me flying all over the place, rapping that song on stage. It’s actually kinda cool, if I’m being honest.”
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This collaboration followed some brief appearances on other songs, by Above The Law’s Big Hutch, Compton’s Most Wanted member Tha Chill, and Bishop Lamont. “I think the guys are good guys, and [Fat Mike is] a good producer. He’s got a great ear, and he loves his work like [Dr.] Dre.—like my guy,” said Doc. “And I create well with those kind of people.”
“Fast Ones” is part of a special season in The D.O.C.’s life and career. “I’ve come to an understanding here in the past three years. It’s sort of a spiritual-kind-of-awakening—is probably the best way I can put it. I understand now, really, it’s kind of a G-O-D thing. I had no idea that folks was gonna love that verse; [when Fat Mike] asked me to do it, I did it in about 10 minutes on the way to the studio, and that’s what ended up [being the song].” During the last decade, The D.O.C. revealed that he was able to not only channel his original voice, but that he could even sing. This transpired decades after a 1989 car accident where the famed MC lost his voice due to a tragic injury. In the AFH clip, The D.O.C. admits that making his voice melodic in the present day still comes with a challenge. “That’s not something I can do for a prolonged period of time,” he says, when speaking about joining his friend and co-parent Erykah Badu for an Earth Wind & Fire cover back in 2018.
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“Fast Ones” is a sign of more to come too. “If [the fans] want it, they can have it,” The D.O.C. said. “Trust me, I am not opposed to getting down. For me, it’s always been a question of people not liking the voice—at least that’s what it felt like to me. It made me not want to disappoint folks, or push that line.”
Along with the latest interview with The D.O.C., AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also features interviews with Royce 5’9, Guy Wood, Sr. and Sharene Wood, Rapper Big Pooh, Cormega, Meyhem Lauren & Daringer, Diamond D, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Joell Ortiz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse.