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“Hi, I’m Dream,” the Bronx native said with a bright smile on her face, as she greeted REVOLT TV for an exclusive sit-down.
Standing at about 5 feet tall, DreamDoll, whose real name is Tabatha Robinson, walked into the dimly lit studio where she often records music. After taking a seat on the leather couch, the 28-year-old opened up about rebranding her image from a reality star to an emerging rapper.
“I wouldn’t have been discovered by a lot of people had I not done reality TV” she confessed in reference to her time on “Bad Girls Club” and “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” “I can’t take it back. I can only keep going forward and showing people that I am DreamDoll the artist.”
Back in September 2017, Dream dropped her project, Life In Plastic. One year later, she followed up with Life In Plastic 2. Both of Dream’s EPs were released through Gwinin Entertainment, a record label founded by DJ Self, who was immediately impressed by the rapper’s go-getter attitude and hustler spirit.
“You know I used to do music, right?” Dream said during her conversation with the well-known radio host. “He said, ‘No, you’re lying. Go make a song and come back.’” Taking him up on the challenge, Dream recorded a single in Philly a few days after their meeting. “I met up with a producer, and we went into the studio and I recorded ‘Talk To Me Nice.’” Following the release of the track, her rise to stardom as an artist did not go unnoticed.
In addition to “Talk To Me Nice,” Dream was featured on a list of bangers including the recently released “Thot Box (Remix),” which currently has over 15 million views on YouTube. In honor of Women’s History Month, Dream spoke to us about her formula for making a hit, the importance of women empowerment, new music, and more. Read below!
Who were some of the female artists that you listened to growing up?
I listened to a lot of Lil Kim’s music because I’m a 1992 baby. I also listened to Foxy Brown, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and Erykah Badu. It’s a long list and I look up to them for a different reason.
When did you realize that you wanted to make a career out of music?
I used to do music in college. A lot of us have things that we’re good at, but sometimes it’s not the right time. I was in college and I was taking care of my family. At the time, paying for studio sessions or music videos didn’t feel like it would take me in the right direction. I wanted to be a hairstylist and went to school for it. During that time, I met up with DJ Self and we had a conversation.
You have a huge social media following. What are some of the pros and cons you’ve witnessed with that type of responsibility?
I stay focused and I don’t get sucked up in the negativity. I’m big on deleting and blocking. I try not to let the negativity bother me although it did take a while. We’re human. We all have feelings. I’m a Pisces, so I’m emotional.
Your track “Who You Loving?” is blowing up on the charts right now. Talk to me about the backstory and your decision to work with Rahky and G-Eazy.
I knew I wanted my next single to be a catchy song and “Who Do You Luv” with LL Cool J and Total was one of my favorite songs growing up. It’s always going to be a classic. I told myself that I needed a hook that people are going to remember. The song was already done with G-Eazy’s verse on it and Rahky on the hook. Hitmaka was playing me records at the time and I immediately wanted the song once I heard it. “I want that right there,” that’s exactly what I said to him. Hitmaka called G-Eazy and he said I could have the record. I put my verse on it and it was mine.
How do you overcome writer’s block while working on a song?
When I’m writing my hooks, I can’t write them down. I can only go off the top of my head. When it comes to my verses, I have to tune out and turn my phone off. I let the beat play and whatever I’m going through at that moment, I let it out. I don’t overthink. I don’t have a notebook filled with songs. I go into my notes [application] and I work off the top of my head. As an artist, I will say I worked on learning how to create metaphors, learning how to switch up my flow and work on my tone. I feel like practicing, trying and consistently recording will allow someone to get better at their craft.
I love “Thot Box (Remix).” How did you feel being featured on a record that enlisted so many talented women?
I’ve never been on a female record, period. I don’t want to say ever because I did a record with Lil Kim and CupcakKe. As far as more than two females on a record, I never had that opportunity. It was dope to see all of us come together, be at the video shoot and film it the same day. It was also dope to remake a guys’ (Meek Mill, Tyga, YBN Nahmir, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and 2 Chainz) song and it’s actually better than the original version. It was dope and everybody killed it. We showed that we could do this as girls. We lack that sometimes. The concept of the black and white video, and Hitmaka coming up with the record was super dope in general. I’m so happy to be a part of it.
What does women empowerment mean to you?
I feel like a lot of women throw that term around. To me, it means not dimming anyone’s light in the process of doing whatever you’re doing. No matter what it is, it’s important to offer support. You never know how you can help someone. I enjoy going to panels because I get to learn. I want to collaborate with more women. I have something coming up with Rubi Rose and Molly Brazy. We have a track that’s on Drewski’s project and it’s super fire. I’m trying to jump on as many female records as possible.
In what ways have you empowered women throughout your life?
I help women with [plastic] surgery [advice]. I’m very open on Instagram. Everybody is going through something. I try to reply to as many messages in my DMs as possible. I want to help more women, especially with surgery. A lot of people don’t have the right connections and a lot of women made mistakes. I made a mistake, I fixed it and I want to share the lessons I learned with everyone else.
What female artist would be an ultimate dream collaboration for you?
I want to work with singers, but I don’t want to restrict myself by labeling one artist as the “dream.” But, my dream collaboration would probably be Beyoncé. I watch her documentaries and I love her. She always sets the bar higher. She’s AMAZING. You shouldn’t be able to say that you can’t do anything because for years she’s been making it happen. I heard that she runs on the treadmill and sings. So, I started rapping on the treadmill.
There are great women in the industry. How do you ensure that you focus on your style and not get caught up in the fear of following someone else’s path?
I’m me. I have my own style and flavor. Everybody’s different and nowadays everybody is taking a little bit of something and making it theirs. As long as you make it into your own, you will always remain unique.
Happy belated birthday. What can your fans expect from you this year?
My fans can expect more music and more collaborations. I’m featured on a couple of albums. It’s out of my hands because my fans always want to know dates. I also have an EP dropping for the summer, so I will have new music. I’m going on tour with an artist this year. I’m just waiting for them to drop the dates. My fans and supporters are hungry, and I want to give them what they want.