Our Interview with Rapper Big Dipper About His New Album, Sex, and More
Big Dipper is a force on the queer music scene. He's been making waves since his first mixtape, and starting last year, entered the world of podcasting. Read the interview, download all his music, and enjoy. We touch on acceptance, creativity, and his new album Late Bloomer in this lengthy and deep-diving interview.
Pale Panda: If you were to describe your personality as a song from any era or genre, what would it be?
Big Dipper: That's wild. I have no idea....? My favorite song is Please Mr. Postman by The Marvelettes... lol
P: Your music has helped me, personally, come to terms with my size as a gay man who doesn't really fit into any neatly defined categories. Do you get that a lot from people--and, is it telling about the gay community on the whole?
D: I think in America and generally, in the world, society has an issue with fat people. I always had pretty intense body issue growing up a chubby kid. Even now, it's super easy to slide into some self-loathing and body shaming when looking in the mirror.
I really had a turning point when I came into my own sexuality and realized that I was attracted to different body types...including chubby guys, hairy guys, older guys, short guys, etc. I realized we are all sexy to someone and that gave me a huge amount of freedom to love and celebrate my body as it is.
Honestly, I think there is no difference between loving your body and wanting to improve or change your body; as long as you are coming from a place of love. I want a rounder ass and bigger pecs and arms, but that doesn't mean I can't love my body now as well as if I change it. Being proud of who you are is about being proud of your journey and evolution.
Basically, something shifted in me to give me confidence and I try to spread the message in my music. To let everyone know they are sexy and can have fun and leave the shame and self-loathing at home girl. The lead single "Lookin" from my new album "LATE BLOOMER" is all about being a big boy and being confident. The music video is a bunch of sexy fat boys at a car wash :)
P: I love your podcast with Meatball. Is there anything new and interesting happening on that front?
D: YES! We are just wrapping up the recording of Season 2, so that will be out soon on Revry and everywhere you can get podcasts. For anyone who hasn't listened, it's called unBEARable with Big Dipper and Meatball and I love making it.
We have a ton of awesome guests on Season 2....lots more graphic sex conversation and many more snacks to eat lol. The podcast is super cool because I feel like Meatball and I get to be ourselves and we don't have to perform. Like it's fun to be able to actually talk and be me and not be seen for just my lyrics or my music.
P: You have distributed your music freely as mixtapes in the past. Is free music supplemented with tours the model going forward? And, on a related note, do you see any money from when people stream your music on Spotify or Google Music
D: The music industry is in a constant state of flux....and honestly, as an independent artist, I'm barely in the industry. From when vinyl became cassettes to CDs to digital, and then Napster, LimeWire, iTunes, and now we are at the point of digital streaming.
I'm just trying to roll with it as the industry sets a new standard for music consumption. It's hard to make any money from streams unless you're a worldwide superstar that gets millions and millions of streams. I'd like to keep putting music out for free if I could....but in order to be on the streaming services, you have to offer an option for purchase.
So, my new album Late Bloomer will be available for all the streaming services when it comes out. I'm also working on getting my older work (that is still available on SoundCloud and for free on my website) up and streaming as well.
Honestly, I never set out to make and sell music...I've always been a performer...so my live show is always the goal. I like to travel around and get up in front of live audiences. Perform my music and share an experience with people so they can feel something.
I love when people dance and turn up, and also when they get inspired or feel confident after my shows. Talking to the audience after a live show is so rewarding because everyone can relay their experience back to me and each show is unique in how people react to it.
P: If you could give advice to anyone making music for the first time that you wish you had been given, what would it be?
D: Be true to yourself; do what comes naturally and don't second guess yourself. But also know why you are doing it. If you just want to make music to create art and express yourself...GO FOR IT! If you are on a goal for fame, awards, money....it's not an easy path. I set out to make one song and one video and the whole thing snowballed. I feel in love with performing my music and making videos so I've continued to carve a space for myself and pursue a music career.
I've been at it for 6 years and honestly, it gets harder and harder. I'm extremely lucky as an independent artist to make my living as a creative and travel and perform and have people pay attention to me....because that is not always the case. I think the advice depends on if a person wants to make music.....or wants to be a successful artist lol. The hustle and grind of the industry and booking shows and self-promotion, it's not for the faint of heart. You have to stay dedicated and inspired and keep your head in the right place or you can lose your sense of self.
P: Are you on any dating apps? Do you get recognized? Do you get turned down? What is your approach to this area of life?
D: I'm on a few dating apps. I get recognized a bit on there...I always say thank you to the message and keep it moving lol. It feels weird to me to have sex with someone who knows me from a video lol...Oh, and I get turned down a lot on the apps too.
I'm pretty bold on the apps honestly...."suck your dick?" "want to get fucked?" that type of thing. I kind of have bad dating app etiquette, but I think it's because I don't really have any time to date. I'm just looking for sex....so the messages kind of weed out the people who are looking to get together and talk and date. I fully support that...it's just not what I'm into at this exact moment.
P: You range from the comical to the down and dirty grinding jams. What are your favorite kinds of song to write?
D: The ones that come out easiest. On my new album, there are songs that I wrote in 30 minutes and songs that took me almost 2 years to write. Some lyrics just fall out of me and they make sense and it's a jam and fun and works on the beat, so we are all set. Other songs I can see in my head...I know what they want to sound like, the vibe...even the type of lyrics, but it just takes a bit longer for things to fall into place.
At this point, I really like writing more personal honest songs...but they tend to be slower and less of a club track. I listen back to them and I'm like "that was a good exercise in songwriting, but it's not for the album."
P: What are a few of your favorite things in media right now?
D: I just turned 33 so I'm really growing into my adulthood. There is so much out right now, but I'm really leaning towards content that feels a bit more mature. I love Pamela Adlon's show on FX Better Things. I think all of Janelle Monae's new visuals for Dirty Computer are stunning. Beyonce is back so like can you even? and CARDI B! The team behind her album did a LOVELY job on that. I also obsessively listen to the podcasts "The Read" and "This American Life". For the most part, I only consume things made by women or gay men lol.