Everybody Needs D’Rok: An Interview with D’Rok the Menace


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What is Psychedelic Hip Hop?

Psychedelic Hip Hop is D Rok the Menace. You take some mushrooms, you take some LSD, a whole lot of meditation, some melanin and you get a naga like me. I don’t like to say that I’m a conscious rapper because when I think of conscious, I think of socially, where they talk about political problems and I’m not doing that. It’s pure esoteric. Its life music, I like to call it Ankh music. It’s my life, it’s what I live and what I do. I’m not going to force it on anyone but it’s a lot more to life than what you think you know, for majority of folk. My music is just exposing you to life, love, knowledge.

What’s the difference in the message between mainstream hip hop and psychedelic hip hop?

I guess hip hop, you’re still rapping about life but a lot of meditation and knowledge of self is in my music. I’m not just talking about drinking 40’s and smoking weed. I mean I am talking about smoking weed and eating mushrooms but I mix it all in there because I’m still a regular person. It just the way I mix my shit, people can listen to my s^*# and still identify with me. Someone who’s never thought about meditation, just might because they’re like oh, that n$%%^ got a tattoo on his face. I don’t want to say in hip hop they just talk about regular shit because what is regular shit, it’s just my content is based on knowledge of self and ascension and conscious living.

What’s your vision for your music? Where do you want to take it?

To the world. I quit working last year just to pursue music. I was getting hella confirmations to quit working. I did lighting on sets, but I’m a sound engineer, that’s what I do for a living. But the signs were like, you just need to do music and not anyone else’s, your music and rely on yourself only and stop being scared. My music, I want to spread light, love and knowledge and healing to the world through my music, everyday. If I could rap and only one person out of the whole place is like man, I want to change my life, then I did my job.

Is there anyone you would like to work with from mainstream hip hop?

Yes. Mick Jenkins [talks about “fanning” it out over him at SXSW], Ab-soul, Styles P, T-Pain and Big Boi. Andre too but I really want to work with Big Boi. Mick Jenkins…if he reads this. I hope he reads it.

Talk about your website and your purpose for creating it.

I was tired of Bandcamp taking my money. To be honest. But, I need a place where you can go and get everything D Rok. I can always send you there. I want you to be able to find my stuff all in one place.

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Over 500 African Americans have been killed by cops, so far in 2016, thoughts?

Damn, that’s depressing. It’s a lot more to it though. It’s sad, yea, but, I don’t say this to a lot of people but in a way, it’s somewhat necessary. A lot of these N#&&%s gotta go. This new paradigm we’re shifting in to, everyone’s not going to be in that mind frame, everyone’s not going. Everyone’s not ascending. At the same time, their souls and those spirits still need to be here. They’re going to get to come back. A lot of older people of African descent that have been gone, are coming back, they’re regenerating. That’s just the earth, that’s just the cosmos. My son, my daughter, all the “advanced” kids, that’s them coming back. It’s sad, yea because those are people’s loved ones and the way they’re going out is f#*$ed up but things have to happen in order for things to progress and for us to get to the state that we know we are supposed to be at. I’m not out there marching and that’s cool if you want to do that but yea.

How does it make you feel to know that you can and are raising your son and soon your daughter in an aware environment?

It feels great. I know, everyday I’m like man, my kids got super powers. [He jokes around about his kid being on the news one day due to super powers.] It’s amazing because a lot of things I feel like I missed out on coming up and wasn’t exposed to, and everybody wasn’t exposed to, that was essential, it’s going to be a part of their [my kids] life.

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Do you think how you are raising them will help them to make “good” choices as far as group of friends or choices in general?

Yea definitely. The way you make choices is based on your upbringing and the things you were exposed to. The way a gang member reacts to a situation may be different than someone else who isn’t one—they have no choice but to react in a smarter way, a better way.

When did you start your journey to becoming aware?

End of 2011. I had a studio in downtown LA and I was doing a lot of gang banging and selling dope…and that’s how I woke up.

How small did your circle get once you started the life change?

Me and her [pointing to his queen Destiny and laughing]. Like I said, I was gang banging so it shrunk down to 3 people and then 2 of those people stopped associating with me and then I found her and then it was just us. Then I found these people [the owners of Bodhi Smoke Shop] about a year ago at a California Consciousness event and since then I’ve met a lot of other people. But yea, it dwindled down to nobody pretty much.

How important was it for you to have a significant other with the same way of thinking?

It wasn’t, it just happened. I was being what you might call “thirsty”, and I was on the hunt. It wasn’t for anything long term. Things were meant to be how they were. I wouldn’t say we met and everything was fairy tales; it’s been a growing process. It’s a growing process to get to where we are. Everyone always says they want to be like us—they say we’re like the perfect family. But we just live, I’m me and she’s her. It’s just an understanding.

If the relationship gets rocky, how do you work together to bring it back into a place of peace?

Our lifestyle. I used to tell people all the time, meditation saved my life. Meditation saved our life; it saves a lot of things. We are trying our best to live in accordance with divine order. By doing that, all day you have no choice but to be constantly checking yourself. I’m constantly putting myself in check; she’s constantly putting herself in check. I have anger problems and I still deal with that all the time. But just the fact that we’re living how we are, we are able to recognize things that much sooner and are able to address them. We can see the problem and asses that mother$%&*#. We’re still human and sometimes we’re like ahh but we realize the bigger picture and we both want that, we both want the best. 

How does spirituality and sexuality go hand in hand?

Well, to tame one’s sexuality is to tame one’s spirituality. It’s a form of expression, one of the highest forms of expression. Essentially, you can’t have one without the other. I’m an extremely sexual being as well as most other people. You need sex to keep the human race going. Sex is essential to life just as art is essential to life. It’s all a release.

Psychedelics? Thoughts? Have you ever tried them?

Mushrooms are magic. Psychedelics overall are medicine. They’re healers, they’re teachers. I have tried them. I’m a huge advocate of psychedelics; we have a long history, a long relationship. I wouldn’t say love-hate because there is no such thing as a bad trip, only difficult experiences.

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Some people say to make sure you are in the “right state of mind” before trying psychedelics to make sure you don’t get “lost”. Thoughts?

Yes, you should be ready for the experience and open for the experience. One of my good friends calls it the karma tester. If you give a baby or someone with a baby’s mentality or even the Dali Lama, you give him mushrooms or acid, he’s going to be like okay cool. You give a mass murderer some mushrooms; it might drive him insane because he has so much to deal with. He has so much on his karma and his spirit on his soul, so much everything that he’s not aware of or in-tune with—it s all going to hit him and he’s not going to know how to deal with that, as far as he’s concerned, he would feel like he’s going crazy. So yes, you do need to ready in a sense.

How do you know when you’re ready?

There’s no way for me to tell you that. You can’t go looking for it. You might say damn I want some mushrooms or some acid and go looking for it and you might find it but majority of the time when you go looking for it you’re not going to get it. If the healer wants you, it’s going to find you. BUT, I feel like everyone should at least have one psychedelic experience in their lifetime.

Shoutouts?

I want to give a shout out to the Gods and the Goddesses, the ancestors, Destiny, my son Cosmo, my parents [talks about why his parents], all the master teachers that have had an influence on me, [I hate shout outs because I feel like you always leave someone out..] really, all is Eye, we are Eye, we are me so shoutout to me and everyone, all is love. Thank you, I love you, Hotep.

**Bonus Q

What are your criteria for working with another artist?

You gotta have bars, you gotta be on what I’m on and you have to be serious. No offense to people who are hobbyist but this is what I do. I put a lot into what I’m doing. Yea…just those criteria.

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Keep up with D’Rok:

d_rokthemenace (I)

drokthemenace (T)

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