Listening to D.R.A.M. describe his diverse and multi-platform listening habits isn’t surprising. The Virginia native’s debut album ‘BIG BABY D.R.A.M’ demonstrates the kind of eclecticism that comes from having a world of music at your fingertips.
“I like to listen to a few of the records from (Travi$ Scott’s) ‘Birds In The Trap Sing KcKnight’” he begins, enthusiastically. “‘sweet sweet’, ‘beibs in the trap’, ‘first take’, ‘the ends’, I find myself listening to that shit damn near everyday. Then when I’m on a plane, I like to listen to ‘The Best of El DeBarge’, it’s so dope. I also have my likes on SoundCloud, the most ‘SoundCloud’ rap shit. It’s like a set of five or six records that I just play back to back Yachty, Ugly God, Little League Larry, ATM. Very low key.” D.R.A.M lives in the present, learns lessons from the past and keeps a finger on the pulse of tomorrow.
Our call with the 28-year-old began ten minutes prior to this description with a forewarning from his publicist: "His name is pronounced Dram," like drama, "not Dram" rhymes with ham. It seems that nobody on the press run has been making the mistake of literally spelling his name out; D.R.A.M. The dots between each letter hide a layer, a reminder that he "Does Real Ass Music", but that doesn't need to be spelled out any more.
Back in April, D.R.A.M released the eccentric ‘Broccoli’ on SoundCloud. The jaunty track sees him and Atlanta’s Lil Yachty - who was introduced to him by Rick Rubin - paying tribute to weed over an addictive concoction of piano chords, flutes, snares and bass. Over six months the cult hit fol-lowed an unlikely trajectory that saw it chart on US Billboard, eventually swiping the number one spot from under Drake’s feet, and subsequently garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap/Sung Performance. “No matter how good something may feel to you, if it’s outside of the norm it takes time to grow on people,” he acknowledges, reflecting on the song’s success. “Repetition is key. Even if they don't understand it at first, they start buckling. They've got a handful of the people that they follow talking about it. You keep hearing that, you end up like 'What is this? Aight, let me check this out!’"