Dope-I-Mean is an MC from Nairobi who started doing poetry at age 9. He ended up falling in love with Hip Hop after he heard the 90s group ‘Lost Boys’ and by the age of 12,Dope-I-Mean began teaching himself how to sing as well as practice his spoken word under the alias ‘Wayne Tha Floet’.
With no capital to record songs, a typical Dope-I-Mean afternoon during school breaks would find him in his room where he’d play instrumentals on a hand-me-down boombox, set his phone recorder on and rap into it as he read from his rhyme book.
After clearing high school in 2012, Dope-I-Mean went into battle rap and he claims that his witty punchlines are some of the things that gave him street cred as he earned the respect of the likes of Abbas Kubaff, Sharama, VoodooSeller & Kayvo KForce on multiple occasions from these battles. He is currently signed to ADF, a crew whose two artists, K Green and Boutross were part of the 2015 Jumpoff Freshmen.
About In My Shoes…
Dope-I-Mean states that it is an emotional song in which he reveals some of the deep personal issues that he doesn’t open up to anybody. From growing up without a father to many thinking that music (esp Hip Hop) is an absolute fail. The song features 2 vocalists named Grace & Michelle. The good thing about art is you don’t even have to have a history with the person you’re creating it with as long as both of you have agendas/goals that are in line. Dope-I-Mean hadn’t met these two before they made they song. “I was wrapping up my studio session that day at HotBox Music. The last song I had done was In My Shoes and I was so frustrated about it lacking that special feel that I ate into the girls’ studio time. AsumGarvey was recording me at the time and only managed to get me to leave by reassuring me that it’ll sound better when he’s done with it. 2 hours later he calls me all amped up and I bet we all know why by now. The girls heard it and loved it and that’s how ‘In My Shoes’ came to completion.”
You can find this track amongst others like S**t Talk (which I happen to like, BTW) on ADF’s 4th and latest studio mixtape, BUDS III. The BUDS Series revolves around ADF’s ‘BUDS Philosophy’ that says, all one needs is their day ones. You know what we call ’em? Say it with me, BUDS!
I like how Dope-I-Mean switches from soft flow to being a mean ass thug (for lack of a better word lol), from English to Swahili so effortlessly and also how he talks about his struggles; the reality in which he lived or lives in. The way he has structured his verses and how they ease into the chorus. I’m digging the production as well. Judging by this, it looks like the ADF camp has stepped up their production/ mixing and mastering game. He kinda sounds like Bruno Ruzage to some extent, though.
I rate it a 7.5/10. This is a record I definitely see myself listening to over and over again. Forget me tho, what do you think?
Jam to the track and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Is this a yay or nay?