Where are you from? How did you come up with your stage name?
I am from Southside Mpls, west bank-cedar riverside area. I was born and raised there. We lived in some low-income places and the Mississippi runs thru some of the area in the bottom. We are at the pits of the Southside, right at the end. So there are different animals that live there due to the water. We had groundhogs there in the morning eating grass, so I figured he is up early on the grind. My name is Derek Pearson and people in the area called me DP. So, I ran with that. It was different. I would never imagine any artist naming himself after that creature. I also mention the name aka Worm Jr, #earlybirds4worms is my slogan as you must wake up early to get your financial worms. A sad bird is a hungry bird.
Who are you influences in the Hip Hop game? Also/ What motivated you in becoming a Hip Hop artist.
My biggest influences in Kool G Rap and Pimp C,. I started listening to them after having a lot of jazz music and blues played in the house hold (Miles Davis, SOS Band, parliament). I had a friend that is not with us now that was really good at rap and he would take us to the studio. I used to watch them pop in the ADATs and record and it was amazing to me to see how things worked. I met his cousin Mic Titan and we started making beats in North Mpls. Then I went to IPR for studio engineering and recorded one of his mixtapes and he told me I should make a CD., and then I started writing. I kept writing until I felt I had something.
Congrats on success of your latest project, “Welcome 2 the Woodz Vol 1” (Album) . Feel free to breakdown the creative process of the project. (features, production, etc). Where can people find the project?
Thank you, I appreciate it. I don’t have any features because I just wanted to keep it me and keep a certain vibe. I wanted a feel good vibe to the entire process. I wanted it to be funky and ambient, as you can see I got some hazy (“Let it Go”) sounding funk on there, real melodic. Mic Titan made 3 tracks, and the rest was done by a guy I found on YouTube called Gabriel Qurino from Long Beach California. E beats also made a beat. Black Tone; my homie Mic Titan introduced me to, made “Like Magic”, that song was made to shout out to the legendary Chicago group Psycho Drama. My goal was to make something that you can ride to. We need more rider music. Most of the music you listen to in your car. It sounds better in the car, especially with a decent system. You can find the project on ITunes, Bandcamp, Sound cloud, Spotify, Google play; and any major streaming outlets as well. If you want a hard copy, you can get it on Amazon prime for 10 bucks.
Will you be launching any new Music Videos in 2016? And If so off of what project(s).
Definitely. I think the G funk intro should be my first video. I will do that in the next month or so. It’s the funkiest beat on the cd. The next video may be “Ain’t Enuff”.
What advice would you give a 12 yr old kid who wants to be a quality musician like yourself?
Study music. Respect the game, respect your elders. You get that down you will meet good people. Listen to everything; rap, punk, trance, metal, funk, even elevator music. And nail down a niche where people can say that; “Hey this guy did his homework, but he did his own homework”. I’m still learning, so all I have is my balls and my word. I also recommend buying movie scores. Another thing I want to say, and won’t get too far cause I am long-winded. Make sure they study business, at least understand something about royalties and things. If your business is bad it will be a pain to make music. Young artists are often exploited.
How does social media playing a role in promoting your music? How are fans / supporters helping the movement?
Social media is the double helix of marketing I see now. Fans and music lovers keep us relevant. I started off with one stream, now I’m at 150 for one song. That’s not much but I appreciate it, and if you go about the proper avenues you get paid for it. The is a digital gold rush for people who may not of had access before; a musician from the congo in the rainforest can get you his music. That’s dope for me. The supporters that listen make this possible. I am a fan myself; I still go to electric fetus and buy hard copies. If it’s good I buy it. I plan to start making my own merchandise, people like buying that too.
Our most important question: what’s your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Underground hip hop is the groin of music to me, you should feel it. It’s the start and it’s the sewer. It’s raw, it’s gutter, and it’s unapologetic. It’s the place that you want to submerge in and deal with the core. It’s 36 minutes of funk!
Where can people find you online? Any links?
You can find me on soundcloud.com as dpthegroundhogg, on twitter and instagram at @dpthegroundhogg
Also if you want to support you can go to : https://dpthegroundhogg.bandcamp.com/releases and amazon prime
Lastly, and shout out?
Yes, I would like shout out to underground hip hop blog, Melody Waters and the EGM radio family in Minneapollis. I would like to shouout P La Cangri as well for her support; and El Bloke Radio. Mic Titan, Black Tone, Tony Willamette of the Minnehaha Recording Company (who recorded my album), and my cover designer Scott Atkinson.