Rapper Really Doe shares tales of a misspent youth
One day in Chicago in the late ’80s, a 9-year-old, self-described “spoiled kid” named Warren Trotter came home to a brutal shock: While he was out, his father had died of a heart attack. “The last words I said to my pops was, “A’ight, Dad, I’m goin’ to the store,’” Trotter recalls.
Left with a financial void to fill, as well as an emotional one, young Trotter eventually turned to crime. “I kind of embraced the gang life in Chicago, selling drugs and all that,” he states. “Unfortunately, I ended up doin’ a lot of crazy things throughout the Chicago area. I’m not too proud, thinkin’ about that. A lot of the guys that’s out in the streets doin’ those things are fatherless. [They’re missing] some type of role model in their life to look up to.”
These days Trotter is known as Really Doe, an up-and-coming rapper whose songs sometimes serve as cautionary tales on the subject of the gang life. Doe is the headliner at the 15th Annual Musicfest & Fireworks Extravaganza, Oct. 3, a benefit for the Rudolph F. Monte Foundation (an organization designed to help local schools). Held at Seacliff State Beach, the event also features performances by reggae singer Mishka, indie pop band Lost in Los Angeles and the soul/pop/hip-hop outfit Bret Drucks & the A List.
Education is an issue close to Doe’s heart: He stayed in school even throughout his days as a hoodlum, if not for purely scholastic reasons. “I always been attracted to women, and I wanted to show off my goods!” he laughs. “[Because of] all the bad things I was doin’ in the street, I was allowed to have nice clothing, so I’d go to school and show it off for the girls.”
Though lacking in the estrogen department, one person Doe met in school proved especially important to him: rapper Kanye West. Since meeting during Doe’s freshman year of high school, the two artists have maintained a lifelong friendship and musical partnership, working together as members of the group The Go Getters, touring together as solo artists and appearing on each other’s recordings. West, whose song “We Major” featured a guest spot from Doe, appears on the track “Plastic” from Doe’s debut album, First Impressions, released last month.
Doe laughs mischievously at the mention of rumors that West will be making a guest appearance at the Musicfest. In a cheerful tone that bodes well for local Kanye West fans, he says, “Well, I don’t know. We’ll see. We will most definitely see what’s goin’ on with that whole situation.”
GT’s interview with Doe happens to be taking place the day after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, during which Kanye West stormed the stage during country/pop singer Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for the Best Female Video award, grabbed the microphone from her and expressed his belief that the award should have gone to Beyonce Knowles instead. Doe feels that West’s outburst “was very uncalled for at the time, but ’Ye is real emotional, real passionate about his work and things he strongly believes in. He will speak his mind, and you most definitely gotta respect him for that.”
With or without an appearance from West, the Oct. 3 show and fundraiser promises to shake things up. “It’s gonna be a party, baby,” Doe promises. “I give my all when I’m onstage—I’m not just one of those rappers who are just walkin’ around holdin’ their crotch an’ shit. I actually perform.”
As we say our goodbyes, Doe puts in a final request: “Make sure you have lots of ladies at the show, man! I do love that.”
info: The 15th Annual Musicfest & Fireworks Extravaganza takes place from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 at Seacliff State Beach, State Park Drive, Aptos. For more information, go to monte-foundation.com or call 685-3317.