Screenshots via YouTube
San Antonio isn’t particularly known as the hotbed for southern rap. While Houston cemented its sonic legacy long ago through J. Prince’s Rap-A-Lot Records, Swishahouse, and the immortal Screwed up Click, the Alamo City has long been without a nationally recognized act or identity. For fucks sake, weird-ass Austin has even managed to somehow turn indie band-centric SXSW into the yearly Disney World vacation for aspiring “check my Soundcloud” rappers. Is a city that holds God, Selena, and Spurs basketball as its greatest exports ready for a transformative voice to emerge? Dingo Johnson—yes, DINGO JOHNSON—doesn’t care. By sheer force of personality and obnoxious tweeting habits he’s on a one man crusade to make his city matter in the world of music whether anyone wants it or not.
Armed with a name that hearkens back to the glory days of 70s ebony porn and a dedicated cult of cyber bullies affectionately referred to as the #TheDingoHive , Dingo has been making waves and pissing people off across the internet for the past several months with his relentless criticism of current rap trends and the artistry that exists within his own city. Online posturing and peacocking are nothing new in the world of self-promotion; these things have become as scripted and expected as the opening promo segment on Monday Night Raw. Yes we get it: (insert rapper's name) is going to drop the (insert project title) of the year and show everyone in (rapper’s hometown) that he’s the best (crowd goes crazy). Boring.
Fortunately for Dingo, he knows how to rile the fuck out of people and doesn’t fall short when it’s finally time to perform. In February he released his Make San Antonio Great Again project, which piggybacks on Donald Trump's now overplayed campaign slogan. The title serves as more than an ironic battle cry, as Dingo’s ambitions to break out are as bold as his raspy voice delivery.
His story took a strange turn in November 2015, when he was diagnosed with a rare sinus tumor known as ameloblastoma.
“Pretty much the only treatment was them going in and taking out the top half of my jaw to remove the tumor (it was the size of like 2 golf balls almost),” he explained over instant message. “So yeah I had the surgery in January and haven't really been able to record since. I'm waiting until I get this mouthpiece type shit fitted in my mouth, and then hopefully I will sound the same.”
Not the one to let his story or his shit-talking overshadow the creative output, however, Dingo recently shared his first-ever video for his song “The Jig is Up,” which serves as a neon fuck you to everyone who doubted the lockjaw hero. In front of a glowing pop-up Prada store in the middle of a nowhere Texas highway, Dingo reminds us that you don’t have to have all your teeth to enjoy the vibrato of a white woman’s booty meat as it rapidly shakes against the setting sun.
Noisey: Since you live in Texas, would you consider getting the custom Jonny Dang piece?
Dingo Johnson: That would be tight as hell actually, but then I know someone would call me out since I said I don’t wear grills in my “Jig Is Up” video ha.
Let's talk a little bit about “The Jig Is Up.” It's kind of your statement song and frustrations about the current state of rap and San Antonio at large. What about your local scene got you so mad?
I think I speak for most people when I say that I am pretty tired of the current shenanigans going on in not just the local scene but just in general. I just want to know when the bar became so low for artistry and what not. Ninety-five percent of the rappers and music videos in San Antonio are just a carbon copy of the next man, and nobody is telling their friends "no" or anything like that. I just want the people who live by me to do better because I know they can. That’s why I talk so much about it and am so frustrated at times.
Where the hell did you film the video?
The place we shot the video is a little town called Marfa, Texas. It's a real artsy town with a population of about 2,000 that not that many people know about. The guy who directed my video has been there a few times, and it was his idea to shoot the video there. The actual place where we shot the video is 30 minutes west of Marfa literally in the middle of nowhere. Beyonce was actually there a few years ago and that was the last time I’d seen anyone talk about that place.
Is there just a Prada store floating around in the desert or was it part of the video design?
It was already there just chillin. It's an "art installation" that was put there in 2005 by two artists. It's never going to be repaired or anything so it's just going to degrade back to its normal state once its done.
What's next while you wait for your jaw to heal?
I have a few more tracks I recorded from before my surgery, so I am going to drop those when the time is right. We shot a couple more videos while we were out there, so after I push this “Jig Is Up” video then I am going to drop a video for “3sum,” which I like way more than the one we just dropped.
Before we bounce can you explain to the world what the Dingo Hive is and why people should join up?
DingoHive is a cult that requires a monthly membership. You can sign up by going to dingohive.com and sending in an application. Get in Formation #DingoHive
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