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D.O. The Fabulous Drifter – Five Points Plan

D.O. The Fabulous Drifter is a rapper by trade. He is also a hustler at heart and lives by the hustler’s creed, “You don’t work, you don’t eat.”

At 29, he’s done more with less than many people before have done with silver spoons. As a member of the critically acclaimed underground outfit The Ground Zero Movement, he’s opened up stages for the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Boot Camp Click, and Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz (at last year’s NBA All-Star Weekend event at the Fillmore in Colorado). The group has also recorded a lauded album project, 2003’s Future I.D. (Response Records), and been nominated many times in Denver’s Westword newspaper’s annual Best Of…musical group in the Rap category.

As a solo artist, D.O. has not only released several mixtape projects, but also a critically regarded album–Guns…The New Watermelon (5PP)—who’s scathing assault on the industry and big ups to the Mile High City have been well documented. Most recently, he’s founded his own company, 5 Points Plan Recordings, with fellow Movement member Dow Jones.

“For me,” says D.O. in a recent interview, “it was about the art of reinventing [myself] again. I wanted to use the many contacts I’ve acquired over the years, strategize and focus on building a label out here (in Denver).”

Part of this strategy, of course, includes the music. To this end, 5PP has released D.O.’s “first single,” a blazing radio/club friendly banger “Wake Up,” geared towards all those who’ve slept on D-Town. Also included is the equally stunning, grimy street anthem “The Emergence of The Black Hero” (featuring Yonnas, of The Pirate Sygnal, and Dow Jones).

“I wanted to take it back to the time when you had to work a single to prove yourself,” says D.O. of the seemingly backwards move. “With Guns…I just needed to put something out. I mean, I got fire waiting to be released now, but I’ve got to be patient. I want to build this indie label, and my vision is to be what No Limit [or Rap-A-Lot] was to the South, what Bad Boy or Def Jam are to NYC. To do that, we’ve got to build the buzz and the best way to do that is going back to the basics.”

While working the single, D.O. manages to make ends meet by utilizing his contacts to take advantage of the many other aspects of the industry. He was recently tapped to lend his voice to a McDonald’s commercial, and this past summer you could also hear the man inviting you and the children down to Highlands Hill’s Waterworld for a refreshing getaway.

“Hey,” he says half-joking, “It still gets you in the hot parties!” D.O. will quickly be the first to remind you that he’s among the purists that really hates what commercialism has done to hip-hop and movement he holds so dear. As part of the Culture of Hip-Hop since his childhood in Trenton, New Jersey (the hometown of the Golden Era’s Poor Righteous Teachers), he wants people to understand that it’s also good business to make sure you expand and explore the many opportunities that exist out there. “I can’t be wearing bagging jeans forever,” he says matter-of-factly. Adding, “I’m still trying to get into the business, and if that’s what it takes to get the voice out, that’s what I’ve got to do. I want to make a career out of this.”

And D.O. should know what he’s talking about, the single father of three used to clean toilets for a living. Having started his writing career in the 8th grade, he really began to take his skills seriously as a rapper when he got to high school. He continued to pursue his dream when his family moved to Cleveland and he released his first single, “Ground Zero Movement.” However, it was the move to Denver and his participation in its’ burgeoning scene that prompted him to see his own potential. “We started this movement so we could have some representation,” he says. “It was our opportunity to represent what’s on the streets.”

Dubbed “The Fabulous Drifter” because of his work ethic and many travels across the continental United States, D.O. reconnected with the other members of Ground Zero just after the millennium. It wasn’t long before the unit had a record deal and was touring the country. “It’s kind of crazy how it all happened,” he says. “But that was a tough time for GZM. First of all, because of the label situation, the album was rushed and wasn’t our best effort. Then, here we were touring and only making like $30 a night apiece. It was frustrating.”

But, he admits, it was also a learning experience. “There’s a lot of things that could have been done better. I’m doing things now that should’ve been happening when I was with the label, ya know, since they had the money.” There are no hard feelings, though, the group just parted ways with the label upon returning from the tour, and the seed for 5 Points Plan was born. D.O. will continue to grind, staying in the public eye by any means possible. He plans to take the single on a tour of the various industry conferences, networking and getting his plan to the people that matter most. Staying linked to the streets is, as always, remains extremely relevant.

It’s been one hell of a trip, but the man who counts as his inspiration from such legendary groups as Slum Village and Little Brother knows the score. It’s time for a wake up call, and D.O. aims to bring it to ya; all while representing Denver to the fullest. Get on board.

D.O. plays The Milkbar this Friday, March 3 in Denver.


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