Drastiko Mr. Die Slow is a rapper, CEO of Gutterlife Records and video director, who hails from Houston, Texas. We caught up with him to talk about, his music, the meaning behind his name and working with Houston Legend K Rino.
Drastiko, first of all can you tell us where you are from and what it’s like there?
I’m from Houston, Texas. It’s a beautiful city with tons of aspiring artists. In Houston we love our culture, to understand our way of life you have to live here. Bad things happen here just as much as in any part of the world. That’s one thing we as human beings have to work on together. We need to fix things and make it a safe place for our seeds and the next generation. We need change.
So, your name is Drastiko Mr. Die Slow, what’s the meaning behind the name and how did you get it?
In middle school my first love was graffiti. The name, “Drastik” was the name that a childhood friend gave me, so I tagged it. Years later I added the letter “O” to translate it into Spanish. And “Die slow” I’ve never told anyone why die slow but here it is.
I want people to know why. Why my artwork was gruesome on my first album. Basically, the album artwork depicted me getting stabbed and dying. At one point of my life I wished death upon a family member as a kid. I was mad one day, and two days later what wished for happened.
These were the dark days of my life. I felt as I was dying from the inside I couldn’t shed a tear for my grandma. My mother told me it wasn’t my fault. She explained that I was a child just speaking, and that god had called my grandma to heaven. Die slow means passing away slowly and living your normal life, suffering and never dying physically. That’s the meaning of it there’s more to the story.
But my mind and ways as a person, I’ve grown since. I learned my lesson. So me sharing this with everyone so you can know “never to say words you don’t mean that involve others, you’ll forever hold that weight on your conscience”.
What where you listening to when you were coming up?
Well around 92 I remember I would wake up to get ready for elementary school. My older brother was blasting out Point Blank, Bone Thugs, Biggie,2pac, DJ Screw. Later I was jamming lots of 3 6 Mafia, Master P and many more.
At the age of 17 you dropped 6 mixtapes. Tell us about those?
It all started when is was around 16 years . My childhood friend called Lorenzo aka Witeout and I got together. I was in 9th grade, I went over to his house and did a freestyle called “Drastik Flow.” That sparked the flame to us working on numerous projects. From that day we dropped many mixtapes and sold them at school and the neighbourhood.
Tell us about your label, Gutterlife.
The record label, Gutterlife Records was created in 2006 by myself, Witeout and my older brother called, Topdawg.
We all put work in for this label. Things change, everyone has got their own life. I stuck with putting in work and dedicated my life to my love; music. I’m still here.
You appeared on legendary Houston Rapper K Rino’s American Heroes album on the track called, Better. How did you hook up with K Rino and how did the track come about?
The first time I worked with K Rino was in 2011. It was on my second album called, From the bottom up, it’s still available on all digital platforms. Since then we’ve became cool and kept working together.
The song, Better from his album, American Heroes happened simply by me asking him to send me something. I would work on any track that K Rino sent me. He sent me this deep track. That’s how it happened. I am very appreciative of that, becoming part of history with the legend himself. Thank you.
In January 2018 you dropped an EP/album with K Rino entitled, Throughout Time. Tell us about that release?
This EP/album was a compilation of tracks that we had already worked on together. We recorded three new tracks for the project. It was put together and I got the artwork done. He liked the idea and I executed the rest. It was another blessing. Throughout Time is out now by the way on all digital platforms.
What other music have you put out?
All my music catalogue is out on all digital platforms. There’s more music coming. I’m not done yet.
Besides K Rino, what other artists have you worked with?
I’ve worked with numerous artists from Houston and around the world. Mostly Houston’s own Unknown Arsenal is what I call it. Brothers who bring that heat you never heard who got skills.
What artists have influenced you and why?
I would say I am influenced by my father, because of him I had music in me. Naturally he’s part of the reason why I continue to live this.
As well as being a Hip Hop artist, you also film your own music videos. How did that come about?
Yes, I just started filming my own music videos. I’ve always had a vision for shots and angles with photos. I decided I need to shoot my own music videos.
What’s next for Drastiko?
I’ve got a lot more music projects in me. As long as I’m alive, I will keep dropping music for my children and people. I believe that music is how you are immortalised, and how you’re never forgotten in this physical world.
What are your social media handles?
You can find me on Facebook also. Like the Gutterlife Records page…
Interview by Jai boo