When you find your purpose in music, creation becomes infinitely easier. This is true for all creatives, but lately, especially true of the legendary Memphis-born Drumma Boy, the trap music icon who’s spent the better part of two decades defining the sound of Southern hip-hop and producing hits and classics for names like Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Jeezy, Young Dolph and more.
“Things I believe in—artists, producers, projects, investments—I can move on my own,” Drumma Boy told me in February of this year. We were discussing independence and ownership, but Drumma’s mentality applies just as well to making sure your personal mission and your music match up.
Fresh off the release of “Burn,” an activism-bent song co-produced by Zaytoven and DJ Toomp and featuring Noochie, Torae, David Banner, Cyhi The Prynce, Ras Kass, and Pastor Troy, Drumma Boy has ensured his praxis matches his musical output.
Beyond being a rattling and timely song, “Burn” is a necessary call to action for Drumma Boy, who will be donating all the proceeds from the track to various organizations set up to bail out protestors during America’s ongoing uprisings.
“I came up with a lot of powerful leaders,” Drumma Boy said of the release of “Burn.” “My grandfather helped to desegregate Maryland. He was a school principal. He saw things differently. My father and other guys who were around helped me. I’ve always seen us as kings and queens.”
The key takeaways from my conversation with Drumma Boy about using his platform for tangible change, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.