DITCH: From Rock to Hip-Hop
Born and raised in Palos Verdes, CA and growing up in Orange County is not the background you would expect from a hip-hop artist, then again, Ditch breaks the mold of a lot of the stereotypes. Last summer on the Warped Tour, he made impromptu appearances when he performed with reggae artists Ivy League, as well as Eek-a-Mouse. He also steps out of the pigeon hole with his charitable work, contributions and performances to raise cancer awareness.
Recording since 1999; releasing his first full-length album in 2005, Ditch is not new to the game. In support of that first album he did 235 live performances. His album Public Intoxication that was released in 2008 also featured special guest performances by Shock G, Eek-a-Mouse, Hot Dollar, Cashis, Chali 2na and Bishop Don Magic Juan. He has the respect and admiration of performers spanning other musical genres and has been called the future of white rappers, but there is no reason to qualify him as a “white” rapper, he can just as easily be part of the hip-hop genre as a whole. His influences that also crossover musical boundaries from rock to reggae to R&B to rap, can be heard throughout the index of his musical catalogue. At times his throwback rap style a la Ice-T or KRS-1 is set to rock beats with touches of lyrical content along the lines of Cypress Hill or T.I. and give Ditch a unique ability to appeal to so many musical demographics of age, taste, race and so on.
In the entrepreneurial spirit of many hip-hop performers, his website www.lethaltendermusic.com owns the rights to his own music, but also through his numerous relationships in the industry is always looking to push new artists, not just in hip-hop but a pool that reflects his diverse musical interests. Ditch was also partner in a clothing line, Stay Faded, which he is working on resurrecting and wants to branch out and perhaps look into some acting roles.
Although he grew up in the conservative upper-middle class areas in Southern California, as a youth he moved with his family to the east coast in 1987 for two years; a move that was a bit of a culture shock but also one that shaped his awareness of music; both metal and hip-hop. It is that fusion that directed his chasing his dreams as a hip-hop artist and also influenced his lifestyle. He lives like a rock star and emanates that persona. I met him for the first time at Mayhemfest 2009, an unlikely arena in which to meet a rapper, but he fits in at a rock festival just as he would at Warped Tour or Rock the Bells or SmokeOut. He has a style about him that it all just fits, that it isn’t forced, it’s just who he is; a reflection of not only what he does but the life he leads. He is usually flanked on stage by scantily clad women or passing a blunt so as not to fuck up the rotation (puff, puff…pass.) But truth is that persona is not encompassing of Ditch the person.
I have had the opportunity to hang with Ditch and interview him away from the hoopla after a show or at a venue, but just chillin’ with him in the backyard of his friends’ beautiful home in Rancho Cucamonga. A very intelligent, likable guy with passion for his art and endeavors, he also uses his tools and talents for charitable organizations and also receives honor in return. He has performed on more than one occasion as part of David Levi cancer awareness events as well as participating in walks for breast cancer awareness. Ditch was honored by Debbie “The Glass lady” who is the proprietary source for the PIMP glasses raised by celebs like Bishop Don Juan, Snoop Dogg and Lil John with the presentation of his very own PIMP glass. Ditch recently opened at The Grove in Anaheim for Too Short and honored U.S Troops with performing his tribute to the troops “The Battle Rages On” at Hollywood Highlands. The list goes on and on from the names in hip-hop that he has performed with either on stage of direct support to the philanthropic events he is more than happy to be a part of.
You can talk to Ditch or hear his music following the links and check out his new CD “Self Made, Self Paid” that also features collaborations from Deuce of Hollywood Undead and Snoop Dogg artists Kokane and D Dimes.