Inglewood Rapper KXNG D.O.P.E. Gives Insight On New Single ‘Big Dawg’

From frequent high school performances to selling his own merch, the West Coast indie artist is in a league of his own.

The digital streaming age has created do-it-yourself (or DIY) artists who usually fly below the mainstream radar despite being able to self-sustain themselves alongside their craft. Inglewood-based rapper KXNG D.O.P.E. understands that fairly well as he ascends further into notoriety. One of the ways the rapper and entrepreneur grew his fan base was by performing at high schools all around Los Angeles County.

“I was literally calling up schools by myself, getting in contact with principals and activities directors,” explained KXNG D.O.P.E. whose real name is Chaz Haymond. “That was just my way of trying to get myself out there. It got to the point where the City of Los Angeles gave me a certificate of recognition for my work in the community.”

KXNG D.O.P.E. also utilized his love for basketball as a way to get more eyes on his as well by participating in local celebrity basketball tournaments hosted by local radio stations like Power 106 and notable individuals like NBA player Baron Davis, it also doesn’t hurt that he played basketball in high school and his time in college.

“I would always do freestyles with my friends and teammates,” explained KXNG D.O.P.E. “It was always something I was good at. I always tell people that basketball was like my wife and music was like my side chick. Once I came home from school, everything just flipped immediately and it did a complete 180.”

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It also doesn’t hurt that KXNG D.O.P.E. had the music to back him up thanks to his Leauge of My Own mixtape series in addition to popular local singles such as “Poppin” and “Baddie.” By the time 2022 rolled around, he was called to create a theme song for the IPA beer collaboration between Second Chance Beer Company and Death Row Records to celebrate the storied label’s 30th anniversary.

The single “Death Row Brew,” also facilitated a relationship with the label that was recently acquired by Snoop Dogg, before his historic Super Bowl LVI performance alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar last year. A post on his Instagram showed him receiving a Death Row chain from his manager Kevin “K Dubb” Woods, who has worked with the iconic West Coast label as far back as when it was originally called Future Shock.

“Me and Dubb have built such a tight relationship over these last few years to the point to where it’s like me being Death Row,” KXNG D.O.P.E. explained. “Dubb was there from the jump so it feels like I’m a part of the family and getting a chain from somebody who’s been there from the beginning means a lot.”

Though he’s quick to shut down any rumors of him actually being signed to the label, KXNG D.O.P.E. has kicked off 2023 with a new single entitled “Big Dawg.” The single represents a total appreciation for his accomplishments with some heavy bragging.

“‘Big Dawg’ is more so just where I’m at now in life,” KXNG D.O.P.E. explained. “It’s about speaking on my own experiences and progress to where I am now. I sit back and understand how I paid my dues. I did my due diligence and just recognized my status has increased a whole lot. I’m sitting at the table with the rest of my peers that I used to look at on TV and social media.”

Beyond the music and local appearances, KXNG D.O.P.E. has been using merch to expand the reach of his brand as well. According to the rapper and actor (his comedy series won the Best Comedy award at the Cannes Short Fest), he usually delivers between 35 to 50 orders per week.

“Merch is huge because anything that I drop, people buy it,” KXNG D.O.P.E. explained. “People buy gifts for their kids for Christmas and birthdays. It’s been a huge part of building my brand. I can’t thank the people enough who support my drops.”

As KXNG D.O.P.E. works on climbing to higher heights, he maintains a daily regimen as a way to stay disciplined.

“I got to keep my mind, body and spirit right,” he described. “It usually starts with the gym because it’s a huge outlet for me. Then it’s writing music, being in the studio recording music, working on merch designs reading somebody’s script for an audition or reading. I’m always doing something that’s productive. I’m never just sitting on my ass not doing anything.”

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