Spotlight

Bruce Dillon: Rising New Orleans Rapper Talks Music, N.O. Rap History, Affects of N.O. Streets, & more

16 Mins read

Bruce Dillon

New Orleans’ Next Up Rap Star, Back from Hiatus

Bruce Dillon has been involved in music for over 10 years. He’s a native of New Orleans, LA, which has such a substantial and unique music culture. In 2015, Bruce gained notoriety with his recognition from influencer Karen Civil and his brand sponsorship with Lil Wayne’s Trukfit Clothing.

His career came to a halt with the sudden loss of his best friend. Feeling defeated he paused all music endeavors and focused on himself, family, and friends. In 2019, Bruce re-emerged with his single “Why,” which captured a big local buzz and was heard on New Orleans airwaves. Bruce finally learned to channel tragedy into greatness.

As an artist Bruce wants fans to recognize him a person first, then as an artist. He creates music people can relate to and wants to inspire others to keep pushing, allowing people to know Bruce as a person first, and an artist second. His life has included college dorms and jail cells, losing friends to murder and prison. His story is to share with the world how he overcame death, struggle, and loss.

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Bruce Dillon – Bad Guy

Meet and Get To Know Bruce Dillon

Kulture Vulturez: Growing up in New Orleans, how could you explain that experience?

Bruce Dillon: I grew up in Laplace, Louisiana. That’s where my parents lived at about 20, 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. All my family was from New Orleans. So, I went to school in New Orleans, all my friends from New Orleans. But, you know, I slept in actually Laplace. My mama worked in New Orleans. I mean, it was just standard growing up. It was school, sports, listening to music, and stuff like that. I am not about to say I was in the streets. Nah, it wasn’t like that.

Kulture Vulturez: New Orleans and the area in general has a huge history in music, but especially hip hop. Can you breakdown the history through your eyes?

Bruce Dillon: I was born in 1988. With me growing up in New Orleans, it was a strong Bounce culture. It was when Bounce kind of first hit the scene. You had No Limit Records and Cash Money Records first coming up. This was before they even had their nationwide deals. It was a lot of DJs, and they were going to the projects. You had Mannie Fresh, he was a DJ at the time before he was even making beats and became the Mannie Fresh that the world knows.

“Bounce was started based off of that “Drag Rap” sound. They sped it a little bit and added some more instruments to it. Then there you have it, that’s when a Bounce culture started.”

They were taking The Showboys out of New York, if you ever heard of them with the “Drag Rap.” Bounce was started based off of that Drag Rap sound. They sped it a little bit and added some more instruments to it. Then there you have it, that’s when a Bounce culture started. You had Juvenile, his first song was “Bounce for the Juvenile.” You had Soulja Slim, he was doing his stuff but he went by Magnolia Slim and he was a bounce artist. You had T. Tucker who started it. He had a song “Shake That Thing Like a Salt Shaker.”

“Bounce kind of evolved into gangster rap when you had No Limit and Cash Money take over, but you still had the underground scene in New Orleans of Bounce music. That’s the culture of New Orleans.”

So, it was a real bounce culture. That’s really what New Orleans was. Bounce kind of evolved into gangster rap when you had No Limit and Cash Money take over, but you still had the underground scene in New Orleans of Bounce music. That’s the culture of New Orleans. It’s the bounce that you know now with the twerking and all of that kind of stuff. But it started out as rap with our own style of beats, kind of like D.C. has Go-Go Music.

Kulture Vulturez: What brought you, Bruce Dillon, into a life of music?

Bruce Dillon: I just grew up liking it. I had an uncle, he had so much music, like J.J Fad, Rodney-O, the D.O.C., and going back to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg with The Chronic. Just getting on all the old South music like Pastor Troy. When the Dipset came out, I was in high school and I kind of liked how they dress, what they was about, and those beats with the samples. That’s what kind of made me say, you know what I want to do this. This is what I want to do.

“When the Dipset came out, I was in high school, I kind of liked how they dress, what they was about, and those beats with the samples. That’s what kind of made me say, you know what I want to do this.”

It kind of was an inspiration between seeing what I saw growing up with the Hot Boys and Cash Money and what I saw in New York and Jay-Z, that’s my favorite rapper. Listening to him, Reasonable Doubt, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter, and going into the Blueprint, it just made me really want to take to music. If you hear my music, a lot of it has those samples of real melodic beats, but not hardcore hip hop snare drums that you heard come out with like Shawty Red and Young Jeezy. It’s kind of before that time. I kind of like that soulful R&B.

“It kind of was an inspiration between seeing what I saw growing up with the Hot Boys and Cash Money and what I saw in New York and Jay-Z.”

Me being from the South, you’re taking those New York style beats with the samples and then going back to the seventies and the eighties, just my love for music, with old school like the GAP Band, SOS Band, and Isley Brothers with different samples that we know that we try to use for my music. It’s like a gumbo almost is like a mixture everything.

Kulture Vulturez: Do you remember your first official release of music as an artist?

Bruce Dillon: Yeah, Actually, I was at Tulane University. That’s where I went to college. I would play around freestyling. We would smoke weed and just play around kind of freestyling. I made a song called I’m a Green Wave, which is the mascot for the school. When I did that, I got a lot of popularity at the school and it was just crazy. They started playing it at the volleyball games and the basketball games. It really was, you know, corny in my opinion. But it was it was like, I can rap.

“I was at Tulane University. I made a song called I’m a Green Wave, which is the mascot for the school. When I did that, I got a lot of popularity at the school and it was just crazy. It really was corny in my opinion, But it was it was like, I can rap.”

Then I started to kind of taking it serious with some of my friends from the neighborhood. Everybody was like you could really rap. I started taking it more serious, but I was just kind of rhyming words. Now I’m at that point where to talk about all that I’ve seen. I had a son in high school, and came from a Catholic family. You know, they kind of looked at it like I was an outcast, having a baby out of wedlock. That forced me to move in with my grandmother. My grandmother was in the hood. That’s the New Orleans area right there. So, I moved in with her.

“All of those life experiences, growing up in the suburbs, but then having something happen that’s completely changes you and you kind of embody the environment you’re in.”

Some of the dudes I grew up playing ball with, they were selling dope. That’s all they knew. I knew I had a kid. I knew I wanted to make money, so I took that fast money route. All of those life experiences, growing up in the suburbs, but then having something happen that’s completely changes you and you kind of embody the environment you’re in. All of those things that come from that, it’s just a lot of life experiences.

Kulture Vulturez: You took a break and a hiatus from music, following you originally starting your career. Can you talk about that?

Bruce Dillon: Going back, I started doing music with some of my friends. We call ourselves MADE, Money, Attitude, and Dedication. It used to be Money, Attitude, Dedication and Education, but the education shit did not stay to long. It was like Money, Attitude, Dedication, and Everything else. The reason we came up with it was, if you get money, you have to have the right attitude, the right dedication, then everything else is going to come. We kind of use that E for everything else. That was the clicked that I was running with. We was tight.

“We call ourselves MADE, Money, Attitude, Dedication, and Everything else. The reason we came up with it was, if you get money, you have to have the right attitude, the right dedication, then everything else is going to come.”

Then Troy caught life in prison, Keith caught life in prison, Wayne caught life in prison, Maker caught life in prison, Sean went to jail, but he recently got out, me and him been talking a lot more lately. Then my friend Irvin, we called him G Boy, that was like my right hand. If you saw him, you saw me, that was my right hand man. He got murdered in 2016. Crazy thing is, he got murdered by my first cousin. Both of these dudes was part of this MADE Gang shit. They had it tattooed on them just like me.

You’re talking about my cousin, my first cousin who was trying to rap before me back when he was 13 years old and we’re a year apart. I saw him rapping and kind of looking up to him, with us being so close in age, I wanted to do the same thing. I started trying to write little words, write stuff down, and jot lines here and there. When I got older and I started doing the music, Irving initiated me into this MADE shit.

“He stopped rapping to go full throttle behind my music. we put some music out and we got a lot of attention fast. We had the Trukfit sponsorship. I was on every blog. We ended up having a nice  run and then he got killed. When he got killed I was like, F***! Then coming from my first cousin killing him, the shit got real.”

He kind of stopped rapping to go full throttle behind my music. I got with Kisha and Erica, my publicists, and we put some music out and we got a lot of attention fast. They were excited how fast people was taking to it. We had the Trukfit sponsorship. I was on every blog you can name, at the time blogs were the biggest thing for exposure, more than just TikTok and all of that stuff now. We ended up having a nice little run going and then he got killed. When he got killed I was like, F***! Then coming from my first cousin killing him, the shit got real. It is New Orleans at the end of the day.

Now you have your head on the swivel, worried about what’s happening. It just made me be like I can’t focus on this shit right now. I’m trying to focus on keeping my eyes open and watching for beef. All the while trying to maintain being a parent. Making money to provide. So I was just like, “You know what? Fuck all this.” I took that little hiatus to get my shit together.

“Now you have your head on the swivel, worried about what’s happening. It just made me be like I can’t focus on this shit right now. I’m trying to focus on keeping my eyes open and watching for beef. All the while trying to maintain being a parent.”

In the meantime, I just got my money up. I built a house, I started my own business, and I kind of just became all the way legit. Now that I have everything being lined up from just putting that they’re grinding for six years. When I took a hiatus here it is 2022 and I got my shit together. My business does very well. So I’m funding myself and trying to take the independent route unless the right situation comes.

Kulture Vulturez: Do you feel like you have a bigger purpose? Like you said, everybody was sentenced to life or was killed.

Bruce Dillon: You had my friend Smash, that was a good friend of mine. Well, you could go back to Chad Greedy. I met him through an in-law of mine. When I met him, he was into music too. He took to me and was planning all of this. He kind of was helping the A&R because he had a lot of connections of different people that he dealt with, just from traveling around a lot. He kind of was helping with the A&R aspect, you can say like selecting the songs, selecting of the beats and different things like that to try to help put this project that I’m going to release together.

The project is Lakeshore Drive. It was Lakeshore Drive Vibes, but they said drop the vibes, we’re just going to go with Lakeshore Drive. Everybody got that night where they driving and it might just be them. They ain’t trying to have the music blasting, but they might have the music at a decent volume where they capturing what the person is saying. They kind of just zoned out. It’s a vibe type shit. I said, I’m gonna introduce people to who Bruce is. It’s basically me telling my story on wax. If they feel it, then it’s like, “Okay, I feel what this dude is saying. I f*** with this. I know who Bruce is.” Now, if you know me, I don’t have to be this facade. I got fans that actually know who I am as a person and they’re like, I f*** with Bruce.

“I’m not about to strap up and go ride and try to figure out what’s up and just bring on beef. Instead, I’m going to kill a n**** with success. It’s like I’m going to make this shit pop for them.”

Going back to Greedy, I talked to Greedy on June 5th. I was talking with him about music, and then I told him, “I was going to holla at him tomorrow. I’m about to get the kids ready for bed.” He was like, “Alright, cool.” I wake up the next day, they telling me he’s missing. He got murdered that night, the same night. It was a bad situation. That was in June. I kind of took a second to try to get back together.

In August, my best friend, like my brother, he kind of got into music because of me. In August, he got murdered. So you have June, here go July, and then August I lost my one of my closest partners. That kind of devastated me. Instead of sitting there saying, I’m going to stop, f**k that. All of these dudes was pushing Bruce. Like, this n**** is going to pop. Bruce Dillon is going to be one of the biggest artists ever and we know it. So we willing to do whatever we have to do to make sure you stay focused and do it.

Going to his funeral and sitting back and seeing his two kids and people sad there. Then seeing Grady with his three kids. Then thinking about Irving who lived his life. Basically, his old lady used to get into it with him behind how he would go about with my music. His son is now fatherless. This shit bigger than me. This shit is for all of these nights that we was dreaming this shit for their kids. I might not be able to give them their cut, but whatever I do with this, their children are going to be straight.

“In August, I lost my one of my closest partners. That kind of devastated me. Instead of sitting there saying, I’m going to stop, f**k that. All of these dudes was pushing Bruce.”

I got this hunger and this desire to say, “You know what? I’m gonna show y’all.” I’m not about to strap up and go ride and try to figure out what’s up and just bring on beef. Instead, I’m going to kill a n**** with success. It’s like I’m going to make this shit pop for them. I kind of got that feeling like it’s game seven and its three seconds left and I want the ball in my hand. I’m going to win this championship or I’m not. I’m to the point where it’s like, that’s the hunger I have. Kind of like Kobe, that black mamba mindset. It’s like, I’m 100% hungry, I’m 100% confident. No failure about to come from this shit.

Kulture Vulturez: Can you talk about the business that you have started and have going on, if you are able?

Bruce Dillon: I started a trucking company back in 2019 and I worked my way up from one truck to now we have 22 trucks under my fleet. I’m running flatbeds. I have a contract with U.S. Steel. I’m blessed in that aspect. My business does seven figures. It’s a good feeling to know that I have something without rap. Right now if I would to say, I ain’t f***ing rap, f*** it, I know that I’m still straight and I know that I got a legacy for my children because I started a business that I could pass on to them.

“It’s a good feeling to know that I have something without rap. Right now if I would to say, I ain’t f***ing rap, f*** it, I know that I’m still straight and I know that I got a legacy for my children because I started a business that I could pass on to them.”

The music shit is deeper. A lot of rappers talk and they are flashy you, but I’m not like that. I’m not flashy. I don’t walk around with chains and ice, maybe subtle little watches. That’s how I do my thing. I was blessed enough to sit there and say, I don’t need music to have a family and build a house, which is the American dream. I don’t need music to sit there and say I have a consistent income that allows me to live very well. I don’t need music for that. This music is something that is a destiny that needs to be fulfilled. That’s deeper than me. That is so my friend’s legacy won’t go down in vain. This is a totally different hunger and it’s way deeper than that.

Kulture Vulturez: Right now, you have been releasing new music. Breakdown your latest single “Bad Guy?”

Bruce Dillon: With “Bad Guy,” I don’t want it to get mistaken. They’ll tell me that it is a single, but I always thought of single as here’s the song that we’re going to put on the radio. We’re about to go hard with this and try to get it in the clubs. That wasn’t what “Bad Guy” was.

“Bad Guy was more so to create awareness of I’m back. I’m addressing all of this fake shit, all the lies that these rappers are telling, all of these lies that this new generation is telling these youth.”

“Bad Guy” was more sort of to create awareness. I guess it’s a single because it is the first record I put out, but it’s more so to create awareness of I’m back. I’m addressing all of this fake shit, all the lies that these rappers are telling, all of these lies that this new generation is telling these youth, these kids and these kids believe in this shit. They believe in that I want to pop pills. I’m going to do drugs. I won’t do all that shit.

Now, I’m telling you from experience what come with it. I’m telling you how I seen n****s go to jail. I’m telling you how you can make the news and be looked at as having a f***ing drug operation or a drug ring. You can look me up. It’s like I’m telling you what could happen if you’re doing that shit and how I was blessed enough to get out of that alive with no record. People know me and they know what I was involved in, it’s public knowledge.

I was able to make it out, blessed enough to get out of that shit. My message in this music is why I came with the song “Bad Guy.” I’m going to be the bad guy because I’m going to tell it like it is. I’m not going to follow the same monotonous thing that you hear and the same vibe. If you listen to a hundred artists across America it might sound like the same CD. They all got this same rap harmony, the same bubblegum lyrics, the same nonsense, all the same killing this person, selling these drugs, hoes they f***ing. It’s like, what’s the message?

“I’m going to be the bad guy because I’m going to tell it like it is. I’m not going to follow the same monotonous thing that you hear. They all got this same harmony, bubblegum lyrics, nonsense, killing this person and selling these drugs. It’s like, what’s the message? That’s why I say I consider myself the bad guy.”

That’s why I say I consider myself the bad guy. As I get deeper into my project, you’ll see what’s going on. I’m addressing all of that fake shit and just letting people know what’s really going on, what’s really happening. Don’t believe the bullshit y’all seeing these dudes doing. Don’t believe these rental cars, these dudes that’s doing scam, and don’t believe that f*** shit. This is what’s really going on.

Kulture Vulturez: Briefly talk about your upcoming album, Lakeshore Drive? Also is there a date for its release?

Bruce Dillon: We keep pushing it back. In a perfect world, I was telling myself and put this out and we were just going to try to drop it on November 13th. Clearly that’s not going to happen because I’m continuing to make music. I’m just working this first song (Bad Guy). I got another video I’m shooting next week. Every Thursday, I’m doing these throwback Thursdays, so I’m just trying to gain a lot of momentum.

“I want people to say, ‘Man, I can’t wait for this dude to drop.’ I want that to come.”

On Throwback Thursdays, I’m just doing freestyles over the beats that I grew up listening to. The old school Mobb Deep ’94 beats or Outkast back in the 90s. Those types of beats that I’m touching, the classic hip hop beats. I’m trying to do them justice to solidify myself as, “Oh, don’t get it f***ed up. This dude could spit and he can spit with the best of them.” That’s where I’m at with the Throwback Thursdays.

As far as the project goes, I don’t really have a release date. We’re kind of just winging it, for lack of a better word. I’m just sitting back planning and seeing what the momentum does. I feel like it’s such a good project that I’m not going to waste it. I’d rather just sit there and push it back. Even if it takes me to drop it four or five, six months from today, it is what it is. I’m just not going to waste it. I’m not really going to say I’m going to give you a release date. I’m kind of just recording and seeing how the traction builds up to anticipate for the project.

“I want this project to really solidify me. I want this to do what So Far Gone did for Drake and what Kush and Orange Juice did for Wiz Khalifa. I want that same situation.

I want people to say, ‘Man, I can’t wait for this dude to drop.’ I want that to come. Until I see that happen, I’m not going to just drop a project. I want this project to really solidify me. People don’t have to go back and be like, Oh, let me see what’s going on. I want this to do what So Far Gone did for Drake and what Kush and Orange Juice did for Wiz Khalifa. I want that same situation. Whenever we feel the time is right, then we’ll go ahead and release it.

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