I read an article recently about famous historical figures and common misconceptions about them. Oftentimes, people know the names but can’t tell you any more than that. Or maybe they can regurgitate some half-truth or incorrect understanding about the individual. Let’s test this. Have you heard of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates? What could you say about them? These gentlemen, along with other well known thinkers are famous because of theories, doctrines and arguments that they either wrote or passed down and were studied by later generations. Unfortunately, too often, many of their ideas weren’t as timeless as the myth behind the men themselves. Much of what they theorized has been disproven. Hey, even Einstein got it wrong a few times (like his idea of a Static Universe).
It’s the same with music. We listen to what we like and sometimes end up categorizing what we don’t like into stereotypes based on what little we know about it. West coast Hip Hop is all gangster rap. Christian Hip Hop is all preachy. Freestyle MC’s can’t write good songs. Sometimes, it takes more than just recognizing a name to be able to really associate it with anything.
We caught up with Playdough, a freestyle battle MC from Dallas who has been part of a Hip Hop group categorized as Christian Hip Hop (Deepspace5), makes fun party tracks and subscribes to a vegetarian lifestyle. Know enough about him yet? I don’t think so. Follow along for some of the dialogue we had and see how you feel about the unwritten doctrine of Playdough.
TKM: First off, congratulations on the new album. How’s the response been? Good feedback?
P: Yeah, that’s what’s cool. First we got love just telling people it was out and now we’re at the point where it’s out and people have gotten the chance to listen to the album. Now we’ve gotten feedback and yeah, it’s been great.
TKM: What is the relationship between cooking/eating/preparing food and creating music?
P: I think that you can be creative in anything you do. You can be as creative as you want, take as many short cuts as you want. You can take a TV dinner and put it in the microwave and you know it’s gonna work. It’s quick and it’s a formula, it’s happening right now and it’s easy. You can do that with food and music – a lot of us do, just take the quick way out. But, I think if food was more of a passion of mine I’d probably put more time into it like I do music. I definitely think that you could draw similarities between the two.
TKM: So, for you, there’s more time put into the music than the food?
P: I do, bro. I’ve looked at the website and I think it’s really cool and interesting to read what the different artists say about that stuff and I just feel like I’m gonna let you down when it comes to that. I live just a really humble life. I just do what I need to do, to be honest. Of course I love food, and if a lady’s preparing it for me that’s really tight. But for me, I don’t get that loose. I try to be as low maintenance as possible. It’s probably bad of me, but I find myself having to remind myself to eat. I’ll be busy working and food isn’t a big priority to me so I’ll be like oh dang, I gotta eat. I’m sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear but I keep it real, though.
TKM: Not at all. Food is fuel and it seems like whatever you’re doing is working because you’re obviously doing very well with the music.
Let’s talk about the music. One thing that I thought was interesting was – well, I know you’re a vegetarian and I thought it was interesting that your album prior to this newest release is called HotDoggin and on the cover is a woman eating a hot dog.
P: I know. Yeah, I was a vegetarian when that came about, too. But hot doggin’ just means – like the old school term of just showing off. I knew I was going to be trying to do a lot of different styles on that album so I just wanted to show off a bit. And as I was working on the album I found this interesting correlation with the idea of a hot dog, what goes into it – just pieces of everything. So then it started to be metaphoric for that because songs on that album were all just pieces of me. Some sad and some written when I was super happy, struggles and victories and just all parts of me. So it worked metaphorically, just cramming it all in, here you guys go. Hot doggin’.
TKM: Let’s say a hot dog is a normal meal for someone else. What’s normal for you?
P: Today I had some almonds. I had a banana for breakfast. That’s really it for today. To be honest, I kinda plan my meal on what the night might hold. As a musician, I’m out at night a lot. If I’m going to be drinking, I try to eat something before I go out that’s got some carbs to soak up the liquor. So, I might just do a veggie burger, that’s probably not even that good for you. I’ve been trying to stay away from the GMO’s. I’ve been trying to be conscious of that. The normal day for me is a lot of nuts, granola and that type of stuff. I’m not a vegan but I’ve been trying to chill out on dairy a bit. But I still struggle to get my protein so I’ll do the Greek yogurt in the morning and other days just fruit. But a lot of nuts and granola. And for dinner, my favorite thing is to do some raw vegetables. I’ll just steam up some broccoli. My friends always clown but broccoli’s my favorite. I could just eat a bowl of broccoli, put some sauce on it and I’m straight.
My recipe for a bowl of broccoli:
All you need is some broccoli and some salt.
TKM: Talk about getting into the vegetarianism. How did that come about?
P: I just started becoming more aware of the things that are in the meat. I don’t really have a problem with the meat just the way it’s prepared was always kind of weird. So, I just made the natural progression of first no pork, then no red meat. I ate chicken and some fish for awhile and then still finding things out about how it’s prepared and research and I just decided – I know me. I’m not rich enough to go out and buy the kind of meat that I think I need to buy if I was going to eat meat. So I was just like, that’s it tomorrow I’m gonna be vegetarian. And I was just so surprised at how easy it was for me. I really was kinda shocked. “Whoa, I’m a vegetarian now.” So for me, once that happened it became more about finding out how to do vegetarianism right. Because for me basically vegetarian was just not eating meat. So I was still eating tons of horrible food for me, it just didn’t have meat in it. I was actually gaining weight. “Why am I gaining weight?” I figured out I was eating horribly, just not eating meat. I did more research and found it fun to start to implement my health and my diet and have it all correlate. And for me, I’m a spiritual dude. I started being able to implement the diet thing into some fasting and I started seeing results spiritually and obviously physically. It was easy to stay motivated to keep doing it. Then my sister started to get motivated by me and she became vegetarian. So it was cool to have someone close to me that I could talk to about it. She’s been really helpful, schooling me on GMO’s – she’s all the way live now. She went straight vegan. I feel like the vegan thing for me is kinda like approaching the way vegetarian did for me. I feel like it’s gonna come probably eventually.
TKM: I’m glad you brought up spirituality. You definitely embed that within your music. From your work with Deepspace 5 to the track you have about angels. Can you speak a bit more on that?
P: The things I believe, I think, are somewhat common. I don’t think I’m weird. But maybe within the world of Hip Hop, it’s a little strange – it’s not talked about as much as being a Muslim, which is pretty common in Hip Hop. So, me talking about Jesus is not the most common thing to do in Hip Hop, but I don’t care. I just do what I do. When I did that song, Angels, it was just a particular thing that I was in to at the moment. Angels are a strange thing to me and I was just trying to wrap my head around it. I wasn’t trying to do a song on angels but it just happened.
TKM: I listen to so much different Hip Hop and love to balance it out with all forms and styles so I appreciate you adding that element to it. It’s as if the mainstream is saturated with GMO Hip Hop and we’re being offered an organic version. We just wanna share that organic food and music to people that might not be aware that it’s out there.
P: That’s real. I agree with that but I think that’s just knowledge. That could be music, that could be spiritually, that could be food, that could be anything. You enlighten them, man. You’re letting them know there’s a whole world out there that you don’t know anything about. Just kinda droppin’ knowledge on them. It’s fun to do that in music. I’ve been doing that and that’s a big thing for me. I like to have fun and that’s all cool but to be honest that’s a little tool for me. Just for people to be into my music, and while I have their attention I can leave them with something eternal. Just say what I say, say what I find to be truth and hope that from that they take away something that’s way more than just listening to a song for three and a half minutes. I wanna drop some knowledge when I can. I’m one of those dudes that appreciates that in music. I like to have fun but when someone says something that sticks with me that’s way different than just making music to have a cool melody, you know?
TKM: Yeah. I’d say that with your prior work it’s more out there and transparent. Whereas the new album, Gold Tips, it’s more about the fun and the messages are more embedded.
P: I would agree with that. I think that the stuff that’s embedded is stuff that just subconsciously comes out of me. I’m not even trying, I’m just that dude. That album I specifically tried to avoid any deep subject matter. It’s very surface-y. It’s very let’s-have-fun. You know, just being with your friends, the soundtrack and background while you’re hanging out. For it to be played in the background, you don’t want to put some deep messages. There’s a time and place for everything. I just wanted to make a fun, party album. I kinda took a chance with the sound on this one. It’s a big stray from anything I’ve done. So, it’s cool that it’s been so well-received.
TKM: What are your thoughts on these Dead Prez food lyrics:
“Lentil soup is mental fruit
And ginger root is good for the yout'”
P: Oh yeah, I’m with that, bro. I mean, I have to actively seek out protein. So, yeah, lentils – I’m down with lentils. It’s a great way for me to get the protein I need. Ginger, I don’t know that much about. I’m not knowledgeable about it but I’m with it.
Definitely make sure to check out my dude’s new album as well as his extensive back catalogue. There’s a bandcamp page for that and if you need a new friend to follow on any of your favorite modes of social media, you can find him on just about all of them. He’s worked with a wide array of your favorites like Gift of Gab, Von Pea of Tanya Morgan, OhNo and Koncept from BBAS. Go back and check out his stuff with Deepspace5 as well. The latest album, Gold Tips, dropped last month and you can get that HERE. Or, just head over to iamplaydough.com and get it all. Can’t get to know him if you don’t stop and listen.