HDBeenDope Gained a Firmer Footing in the Industry After Signing to Roc Nation (EXCLUSIVE)

HDBeenDope signed with Jay-Z's label, Roc Nation, in September 2022. 'BleuMag' spoke exclusively with HD about collaborations and future projects.


Jul. 12 2023, Updated 11:23 a.m. ET

They say hard work pays off, and Brooklyn native HDBeenDope's story is a testament to that. At just 28 years old, HDBeenDope has a dropped number of bangers, including "Bryd," which have all enabled him to garner over 22 million views on YouTube and acquire 885,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

In September 2022, HD's life shifted dramatically after Jay Z's label, Roc Nation, took him under its wing.

Prior to signing with Roc Nation, BlueMag had the opportunity to catch up with HDBeenDope shortly after he had wrapped up on his set at RollerWave NYC. If you've ever wanted to know more about the artist who consistently captivates his audience, stick around as we're divulging exclusive details from our interview with him.

But first, a little backstory on who HDBeenDope is.

Meet HDBeenDope, one of the hottest rappers out of Brooklyn.

HDBeenDope, whose real name is Darius, began rapping at the age of nine, according to Fandom. By 12, he and some friends formed a rap group, and would record their music on cassette tapes (remember those?).

Two years later, the Brooklyn rapper became known for producing his own beats, which only justified him taking on the nickname Hitmaker D, later shortened to HD.

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At 16, HDBeenDope released his very first mixtape titled Backpack Rap. After dropping a few more, Darius went on to release multiple studio albums, including The Greay(t) Area and Broken Dreams, and later dropped his debut extended play, What Can They Say, after signing to Jay-Z's label.

Now that you know some of HDBeenDope's history, let's get into the exclusive deets he shared with BlueMag regarding his collaboration with Dizzy Banko and his music label, LABB.

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Fresh off your set at RollerWave NYC, tell us how you're feeling after performing in front of your home crowd [2022].

HDBeenDope: I'm in Brooklyn; it's my hometown, baby! The energy in Brooklyn is always good. It feels amazing! I couldn't ask for anything better. The city is love. I'm just grateful to be able to do this.

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You opened up the studio so the general public could listen to your project with Dizzy Banko. What made you do this?

HDBeenDope: We wanted to see what the music sounded, like around people. We weren't in the space where we were trying to figure out if it was good or not. We already knew what we were sitting on, we [just] wanted to bring people in on that process. The first session was a success.

The second session had more of a demand. People were trying to figure out how to get invited. Seeing people enter the session and walk away with something beyond the music was dope.

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How did you and Dizzy Banko end up connecting on this project?

HDBeenDope: We found out about each other around the same time. Dizzy found out about the "Earl" tape the same time I found out about his COVID freestyle, and that's the first time I heard about him, but I knew the violation tag just from hearing it around the city.

When I knew he could rap, too, it felt like we could connect on a different level because I also produce my raps. From there, we connected, and the tape came about organically.

After recording our first song together, we knew we had something special. We were still in the studio recording as we finished the first project.

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When it comes to music, what is your creative process?

HDBeenDope: Definitely, the beat first for me. A lot of times, if I'm producing it, I produced a skeleton, so it'd be some drums, maybe an instrument, then I'll rap on it and then build the beat around it. The process was similar to some of the records Dizzy and I made. All these records sound like cinema because we are orchestrating our music with intention.

What does success mean to you?

HDBeenDope: Success is my people winning! My job is to ensure I get in the door, but what makes me feel special is seeing my people reap the benefits.

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Your visuals are always on point. Would you ever produce your own show?

HDBeenDope: We pay attention to stuff like that. It's crazy that you asked about the show because I have a show in the works. But that's down the line. All I want is the music right now! Me and Dizzy Banko are about to take over the city! Right now, my focus is on ensuring that we take the music to heights we need to take it to, and then keep expanding from there.

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Where do you see your record label Labb in the next 2-5 years?

HDBeenDope: I said it on my record "Off The Block," gotta learn everybody's job if you're trying to be the boss. My focus, as I said, is to learn as much as possible from this industry and then focus on building another artist. At some point in this journey, I want to be able to sign other artists and give them the platform to bypass some of the mistakes that I've made. The goal is to set it up for somebody else.

Want to keep tabs on HDBeenDope or stay current with the latest projects he's working on? Follow him on YouTube (@HDBEENDOPE), Instagram (@hdbeendope), or Twitter (@HDBeenDope).

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