For years, Crenshaw has been the home of established rappers Ice Cube, Nipsey Hussle, and more. Fast forward, rising emcees like Fresco DBFLYG are gaining thousands of plays while building a following along the way. Today, the Los Angeles rapper and entrepreneur gives us a further look into his homeland, talks musical influences, and more.
Fresco emerged onto the scene with his 2012 project Studio Bum. The 15-track offering includes features from Rimpau, Correy C The G, LouisThaXIII, and more. Three years later, Fresco ended his hiatus with the release of Back Where I Left Off. This time around, he’s playing for keeps.
In March, Fresco dropped off his 2019 debut My World. It boasts features from G2, Petty Petty, Correy C, and more, while production is handled by the likes of Low the Great, Only Vance, Distorted Nature, Ron Ron the Producer, and others. The 8-track project includes standout tracks such as “Double Load” and “The Drop.”
Malc: Who is Fresco DBFLYG? Define yourself as an artist.
Fresco DBFLYG: Fresco is like art. I paint pictures and it’s distinctive. Fresco is its own certain type of art. I paint pictures in my own way, where I come from. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Fesco is Slauson, Crenshaw District. I come from a land where niggas kill each so it’s like your own homie. The only way is up, that’s Fresco. A nigga that love his homes and believe we can achieve the impossible.
Malc: What is it like growing up in Crenshaw?
Fresco DBFLYG: Growing up in Crenshaw is the best thing ever, but it has its ups and downs. One thing I can say about growing up Crenshaw, you learn to be militant. You can see the haters, you see real niggas. One thing I can say, all of us as a group, we all try to embrace each other. Crenshaw is where you want to make it or you want to take that route. Culver City is right up the street, the Beach is right down the street. If you wanna take that route, you can.
Growing up in the Crenshaw District, I’ve seen so much shit. But one thing I can say is that it taught me how to become a leader. You know, learn from other people’s mistakes. Put me in a position where it’s like “hey, it’s time to make it.” You know, Nipsey. [Nipsey Hussle] gave us a blueprint, either ya’ll want to take this or take this route. Crenshaw is authentic.
Malc: When did you start taking music seriously and why?
Fresco DBFLYG: I been taking music seriously since I was nine. I was writing music, just trying to figure it out. I used to be in school battling in the bathroom. Music was always something that stood out to me. My older cousin used to rap and I would look at them like “hold on, ya’ll can do this, I can do this too.”
I seen Rimpau, he grew up across the street from me. He was the first person to bring me in the studio. I was about eleven at the time. What I can say about Rimpau, he let me know I can get it done. When I went to Crenshaw, I started a little group. When I started that group, I noticed that I had a since of leadership. And that’s when District Boyz came, in high school. I realized I needed to embrace my section more.
Malc: You dropped your EP, Back Where I Left Off, in 2015. Where were you at in life when you recorded the project?
Fresco DBFLYG: I was at a point where I was doing music and people were messing with me, but at the same time it was in limbo. I had up and coming producers Ron Ron, Low [the Great], Mike Almighty, just certain people. I felt stagnant so it was basically, I felt like I was back where I left off. What I learned from that project, just growing from it. The people you work with, you’ll never know where they’ll get. That tape really defined me as an artist.
Fresco DBFLYG: It’s so lovely bro. When you grow up with people, it’s a difference. We all went to high school, in the same group. Seeing them blow up, seeing them on the rise, and all of us coming from the same section; I’m just happy. And it’s no hate, and I see a lot of that in the industry.
We live in a land of Hollywood, we define that. We a bunch of real niggas tryna get into this industry and change it, we tryna do it like Nip did it. Like hold on, real niggas coming. None of that fake shit and I love to see the growth.
I noticed [Kyle Banks] doing this music along time ago. One thing about KB, if you ever met him, he a real cool dude. I really want to give him a shoutout. It’s all about keeping your ears to the streets. You never know who you might come across, in the long run, and then you work with them. I’m proud of all the people I worked with, especially the ones I grew up with.
Malc: Tell me more about the collective District Boyz.
Fresco DBFLYG: District Boyz is a family, a mafia. Everything that has the world loyal in it, that’s what is. We’ve been brothers for ten plus years. Yeah, we fight and argue, but that the end of the day we’re family. It’s more than merch and music. It’s a brotherhood.
Malc: Did your city always support you how they do now? People tend to see Crenshaw as a land full of hatred and violence.
Fresco DBFLYG: As far as my section: yes, my city: no. And that’s Los Angeles. Unless you are on a certain wave or you riding a certain cotel, you really have to earn it. It takes time for people to realize. You gotta go through things and let a person see how hard you working. You have to let them see your tunnel vision. I didn’t want anyone to help even though the hands was out there. I started this with my homies, this is what I want to do with my homies. You see how G2 with 808 Mafia. Correy C is with Dreamville.
This District Boyz shit is in us, in all of us. That’s why they embrace it and show it in 808, Dreamville, and Committee. We all coming from this DBFLY shit. This where it started and we branching off. You see what Six Sev doing. He showing the people how we coming in a business way. We tryna show everybody the different aspects of the District.
Malc: If you had the chance to collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Fresco DBFLYG: Busta Rhymes. He’s one of my favorite artists. If you ever hear my music, energy, that’s all I’m about. When I was growing up, the first album I ever bought was Leaders Of The New School.
He had this song with Tribe Called Quest called “Scenario” and one of the things that stood out to me was the energy. We met and I told him that. One of the things he told me was “man, my kids don’t even know about that album.” That stood out and let me know that the stuff I go through in my area, I can release it through my music. That’s the person I would want to work with, Busta Rhymes and 50 Cent.
Malc: And lastly, what can the world expect from Fresco DBFLYG this year?
Fresco DBFLYG: You can expect District Boyz merch going crazy. I got a whole new set of artists coming. I have a new project on the way. You can expect Low the Great, Ron Ron, AceTheFace. They the hottest producers coming out of Los Angeles. It’s about to be an eye-opening year.
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