On Thursday, DNA Picasso dropped the video for his song, “High Roller (prod. by MaxPrayn)”, shot by Nate Barnes (@NuckFate), available now to stream on all platforms from the 4-song EP I-70.
In the video, DNA Picasso pays a visit to Mile High Jewelers alongside LastOnesLeft CEO, Jordan King to pick up new ice. It’s a super flex in the jewelry store. “Saying ‘Bet on me’… I feel like I’m at my highest level of confidence which is big for me being that it’s something I’ve always struggled with,” DNA said. “The song talks about the rapper ‘Lit lifestyle’ but it’s my story, my drama, my flex, my glow up.”
“I always felt like I’d be picked last in sports then would end up surprising everyone with how athletic I was,” DNA said. “People wouldn’t take my opinion seriously or into consideration until they realized I actually knew what I was talking about. Even when it comes to music and my career, a lot of management or A&R’s will be interested in the other guy who lies in their music plus has no work ethic. I’ve seen dispensaries & investors give artists money who had no way of making a return & now they’re in a place where they don’t trust any artists with money. So ‘PUT YOUR BET ON ME’ is definitely the quote of the song. Bet on me & you won’t be wrong. Especially now. “
Born in New York along with his twin brother, DNA Picasso’s journey expanded to LA when the twins appeared on a special adoption episode of Maury Povich‘s popular talk show. The man and woman who would become his adopted parents plucked the boys out of the hardships they endured living in New York and moved them across the country to begin a new life. The family stayed in Los Angeles until the twin’s freshman year of high school and then relocated to Denver.
R&B greats like Jamie Foxx and Brian McKnight heavily influenced his understanding of music early on but he didn’t fully uncover his deep passion for hip-hop until he discovered Lil Wayne, T.I., Young Jeezy, and Kanye West. As a drummer in middle school, DNA found his love for music and he continued to expand his skill set in high school which led him to writing music and freestyling.
He attributes his discovery of the passion he has to the support he received from the adults in his life as a teen. “It’s hard to be driven if no one is pushing you like that,” he told Denver Westword (Village Voice). “You think the norm is the most you’re going to get. And I want kids to know there is more out there than what they tell you.”
After high school, he went to Hastings College in Nebraska on a track scholarship and started making music. In the two years he spent studying sports broadcasting, photography, journalism and media arts, he realized he didn’t love tedious sports statistics. He left college to pursue his love for music and struggled to reconcile that choice with his parents.
DNA Picasso eventually found his way into the music industry as a club promoter where he learned to connect with and engage people. He uses those small connections to affect his listeners in a more personal way. “Because of my past, I want to seek change in those types of areas like adoption, foster care, foster homes, and help kids get adopted,” he said. “I care about the homeless, I care about the youth. Having creativity being implemented in more programs and schools. The youth is our future. They need to be financially literate and know things [to] be at a level we weren’t at, that our parents weren’t at.”
The Denver-based rapper is known in the city for his work ethic. From 2018 to 2019, he released 17 videos, 3 EPs, a docuseries, and took home the 2019 Westword Music Showcase Award for Best Solo Rap Artist. In spite of a few wrong turns he made on his path that he details on I-70, he aims to continue learning and growing. “I just want people to be confident,” he revealed. “That’s big right now. The fact that I’ve gotten to this point proves that betting on yourself is the only way.”
On the EP, DNA alludes to some of the negative situations he found himself in over the last year, including a situation that had the potential to prematurely end his career. “A lot of the things I’ve been facing recently were the inspiration for the records,” DNA said. In “WWK?” he mentions how people want to know the truth about who the real person is behind the flashy jewelry and party persona. In “O.T.D.A.” he talks about showing his doubters that he’s a winner regardless of what they say. In “Surf” he acknowledges some of the hard lessons he learned throughout the year and reasserts his effort to keep moving forward.
“A lightbulb moment for me was realizing everything I say or do can be used against me in the public eye,” DNA told us. “I’m being more careful about what [I do] and how I portray things…I’ve noticed that a lot of artists portray the great things and the hype or lit moments in their lives and don’t expose the other truths…I teased some of those truths on ‘High Roller’ and on I-70 in general.. but there’s so much more to come.”
There originally was no plan to shoot the video for “High Roller” the day DNA Picasso, NuckFate, and Jordan King stopped by the jewelry store. “We actually just happened to walk into Mile High Jewelers expecting to pick up our grillz,” DNA shared. The rapper shot the impromptu music video on the spot in 20 minutes in the middle of the day at the Mile High Jewelers Aurora, CO location. “We had a crowd of people watching,” he continued. “It felt like a real Hollywood set with a ton of people watching, even though it was fairly simple. Ended up getting random fans in the mall to tune into my music & ask me to take photos with them just from seeing me shoot that video. It felt great.”
Click above to watch the video for “High Roller”! Click below to listen to I-70, available now on all major music platforms.