Last month I drove to the small city of Lancaster to meet California artists K Dub and Doe Dollaz, founders of the BloodCuzzinz. We linked up at a local recording studio. I was greeted by both men and a few members of their recording label. They were planning to hold a group session, but decided I could interrupt a second for an exclusive interview.
The inspiration for the name “BloodCuzzins” comes from the fact that they are related. K Dub and Doe Dollaz are cousins, but grew up on opposite sides of a historic gang rivalry: the Bloods and the Crips. K Dub grew up in Los Angeles and is from 87 Kitchen Crip. Doe Dollaz grew up in Compton and Long Beach and is from Fruit Town Piru, one of the original gangs under the Bloods confederation. They didn’t often see each other as kids — they are related by their fathers, but raised by their mothers. Even though they experienced LA gang culture’s trials and tribulations separately, they both decided that there was more to life.
There is a message behind the name BloodCuzzins: although one is a Crip and one is a Blood, they can come together as a unit to run an empire. They encourage youth to stay in school and to not glorify street life. “I stand up as a man before any of that gang stuff, I don’t glorify that, I wish someone taught me what I know now at a younger age really,” K Dub says. Neither K Dub nor Doe Dollaz have any regrets in the decisions they made, but they won’t allow history to repeat itself either. “Like I said, I’ll never have my kids in that life, it only leads to two things; the graveyard and the penitentiary,” says K Dub. Both of them have stories about experiencing the negative parts of being in a gang. Doe Dollaz says he was even shot when he was just 15 years old. “As I got older I got to see we don’t fuck with certain niggas because they live over there, shit fucked up, but that’s how it is, don’t know how they managed to pull that off,” he says. As the father of a 15-year-old, he says he understands how his mother used to feel about him.
K Dub’s mother moved him to Lancaster in the third grade due to the rising gang violence in LA. “She seen where stuff would end up with the gangs and all,” he explains. The majority of K Dub’s family was still in LA, and he says he would spend half of his time there. “When my mother was at work I was in LA with my grandma. My grandma really raised me,” K Dub says.
Without knowing, the cousins both ended up in Lancaster. Doe Dollaz resettled in North LA County at 24 after he had his second child. In 2014, they started their music group. “Before we linked back up I didn’t know he was banging Bloods,” says K Dub. “I wasn’t gonna let that stop me though.”
What started off as just a rap duo turned into a label in 2017. “We started seeing artists that we wanted to invest in, and we could use our connections to help put the younger generation on,” K Dub explains. Today the BloodCuzzinz consist of various hot, new, young talents — one of them being the Lancaster native Lil Scotty Pz, whom I interviewed earlier this year. “I didn’t plan on signing him but the way he was rapping we saw the vision,” Doe says. “You gotta be willing to work with us and build with us, we have that type of family relationship,” says K Dub.
Through their original sound, the BloodCuzzinz stay true to the values they have learned and obstacles they have overcome. “My inspiration comes from a lot of the shit that I see. ‘’Everything that happened in them songs, I done seen it,” says K Dub. “That’s what my reality is, so that’s what I try to put, not everybody is gonna feel my music, not everybody sees that,” Doe Dollaz agrees.
The BloodCuzzins found commonality making their own music, and strive to bring the same thing to the world. Both men have big plans for the future and continue to stay humble and authentic in their everyday lives. “I want this label to be big,” Doe says. His cousin agrees: “West Coast Cash Money, West Coast No Limit.” Instilling the same values into their label, they strive to teach their younger generation of artists how to do the same thing.
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