#OnTheVerge: Taleban Dooda Is Turning A Rough Tampa Past Into Success And Beyond

The Florida rapper is only 20, but he’s primed to be the next big thing out of the Sunshine State.

Taleban Dooda has definitely been counted out in his life, making him primed to be a hard knock story-turned success.

The 20-year-old Tampa native has been working on music for the last five years, resulting in the artistry he presents today – a melodic rapping style presented in a unique and catchy voice similar to his Florida contemporary Kodak Black, but not so much that he’s biting in any way.

Dooda first showcased his distinctive ability in 2021, releasing his debut solo release “Tru Colors,” which also provides listeners and viewers (of the song’s video) a glimpse into the stark manner in which East Tampa raised him. And that’s after much childhood and legal drama.

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Getting kicked out of high school in 11th grade and catching numerous gun cases that resulted in prison time and probation, Dooda has been dealt a rough hand he hopes to turn into a royal flush one day. And he’s certainly on his way.

“I was just like I could be doing way more than this. So it was just the perfect time. I ain't got to worry about school right now and I can always do school later,” Dooda told during a recent interview, noting he’d also tried adult schooling after being kicked out of regular high school. “I might as well keep turning up on this music because I was already lit on Instagram, I kept doing music, got in the studio and dropped [music and videos] and that's what I did.”

Just a few years ago during high school Dooda says he was either going to define himself by sports or music, eventually realizing that the latter was what he was best at.

“Tampa is rough,” he describes. “But as a kid, I was doing normal things, playing football, but football don't always work for everybody. I didn’t know it wasn’t going to work but it was only gonna be two things: I was gonna need to make music or play football. So there's music, and that's what it was.”

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And musically, Dooda’s influences follow the dichotomy of his own talents – citing singers like Bruno Mars and Charlie Puth when it comes to singing, and rappers like NBA Youngboy, Lil Boosie and Polo G when it relates to bars.

Now, as this year progresses – and coming off of strong 2022 projects from last year like Step Wit A Passion and White Chalk & Yellow Tape – Taleban Dooda is on the cusp of releasing another tape this summer. But that’s not before a few singles to prepare his fans. In January, he released the video for the hard-hitting “Glock Starz” (from Step), and tomorrow (March 17), he’s releasing “Come After Me” – the first single off of his currently untitled upcoming project.

He says the effort is just an opportunity to have more fun, something he’s been doing amidst the chaos of a life that was very rough just a few years ago.

“Sometimes it just be the beat for me to give me that vibe,” he says. “I take time with all my songs, so just be trying to make them into perfection. So I knew that song was him. They gon’ love it. I know they gonna love it.”

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