By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
So get this: Dorrough's car? Doesn't have an ice cream paint job. Go figure.
It's not the most earth-shattering secret ever revealed, no. But, still, it's kinda funny to see Dorrough rolling around town in a car that isn't decked out in the style described in his smash summer hit single, "Ice Cream Paint Job," a song that celebrates his ride's purported "grape jelly" color, "cream" interior, a trunk that "hits hard like Kimbo Slice" and "rims so big you can see [him] coming."
Instead, Lancaster's 22-year-old Dorrough (born Dorwin Dorrough) rolls around town in a relatively modest black 2004 Cadillac DeVille—not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just not as ostentatious a car as you'd necessarily expect, especially when you consider that, Vanilla Ice dalliances aside, Dorrough's "Ice Cream Paint Job" is perhaps the biggest hip-hop song to ever sprout from the region. It's already been downloaded 200,000 times on iTunes and, in recent weeks, the video for the song, shot largely in Deep Ellum, has been a mainstay at the top of BET's 106 & Park video countdown.
So actually giving his car an ice cream paint job? Seems like something that should've been a priority for Dorrough...
"Hey, I got a fly ride!" Dorrough responds while filling out paperwork so he can get the money he's owed for helping sell Shreveport rapper Hurricane Chris the rights to the song "Halle Berry," a song Dorrough and another Dallas rapper, Superstarr, originally worked on together. But that doesn't mean he hasn't thought about making some upgrades to his car. "Yeah, I might get [a new paint job] or something. I feel kinda obligated to."
Problem is, at the moment, Dorrough isn't sure when he'll find the time to make any modifications to his car. For weeks now, he's been on the road, lapping up all the attention being showered upon his upcoming record's first two singles, "Ice Cream Paint Job" and the track that preceded it, "Walk That Walk," which also saw its fair share of BET attention.
There was the appearance and performance at the BET Awards Pre-Show. Radio shows, too, of course. Tours throughout the Southeast and beyond, as well. For the most part, Dorrough's recent life has been lived almost exclusively on the road—to the point where Dorrough guesses that he only spends two or three days a week actually living in the town he still calls home.
Odd thing is, simple beat aside, "Ice Cream Paint Job" is nothing like the other, countless Dallas-born radio hits du jour (a list that now includes tracks such as Treal & Prince Rick's "Mr. Hit Dat Hoe" and Fat Bastard's "It's Going Down"). It's a club song that isn't necessarily a club song—one whose success rides heavily on its chorus, sure, but also on its silly lyricism. And, even more crazy, especially given the climate of the D-Town Boogie at the moment, it comes without any moves readymade for dance-floor appropriation.
Part of that stems from the fact that Dorrough never expected the song to make his upcoming debut album, Dorrough Music—a disc Dorrough proudly believes boasts 10 or 12 singles on it—let alone turn out to be the disc's second single.
"When I did it, it was almost like a freestyle track," Dorrough says. At the time, he didn't even own a car. "It was nothing I really put a lot of thought into. And then people were telling me, 'Hey man, this is a single.'"
Specifically, a DJ based out of San Francisco was a fan from the moment Dorrough posted a demo of the song to his MySpace page: "He told me he liked the track and asked me to send him an MP3. After that, every day, he played it in his mix show—it was getting played in San Francisco before it was getting played in Dallas or anywhere. About three weeks later, he hit me back and told me it was the biggest song out there. That fast! All the DJs, on the radio and in the club, started hitting him up for it." Shortly thereafter, although not directly a result of that West Coast success, the song started blowing up at home for Dorrough too. KKDA-104.5 FM K104 afternoon drive-time personality DJ A Bay Bay picked up on it and also became a fan—and his support eventually found the 22-year-old signed to the deal that resulted in E1 Music releasing Dorrough's debut. But Dorrough's relationship with A Bay Bay turned out to be beneficial in other ways too—particularly when it comes to "Ice Cream Paint Job." After all, the car Dorrough drives through Dallas in his music video? It's A Bay Bay's.
"The thing about music," Dorrough says, "is you can put yourself in the world that you want to be in."
And now, thanks to his recent successes, Dorrough's dream world has far outgrown the frivolous car world. His new goal? Getting Dallas hip-hop respected in cities like New York and Los Angeles, the last two battlegrounds where the "Dallas sound" has yet to be fully embraced. Or, Dorrough says, at the very least he hopes to be the one to show the rest of the country that there's more to Dallas hip-hop than dance songs.
"A year from now," he says, "hopefully people will respect Dallas and say, 'Hey, Dorrough did this.'"