While many may know Nashville as the holy land for country music, Dee Goodz is ready to show the masses that Ca$hville has a stake in that old Dirty South rap label, too. The rapper has built up his buzz in the region, collaborating with artists like Mac Miller and Casey Veggies, but instead of riding the wave of momentum in his hometown, Dee left his region altogether and headed for New York City to make a name for himself in hip-hop's birthplace. And with an accounting degree, you know he has crunched the numbers and figured the timing is right, as NYC has become a mini-outpost of Southern rap thanks to style-blending guys like A$AP Rocky.

We recently spoke with Dee about his relocation, his Game Of Thrones mixtape track, playing Bonnaroo, and more.

dee goodz

On the transition from Tennessee to NYC:

Let’s be honest, New York is New York. This is where all the greats at one point have lived. I consider NYC the city of champions. I felt like it was the biggest space for me to work and create. In NYC I can run into more people that can push my career forward in a day than I can in a year in Nashville. With that being said, I love my city. I always let it be known, I’m from Nashville but I am here on business.

On A3C, SXSW, and Bonnaroo:

I have just been grinding, really focused on doing what I can to push the brand forward. All were great experiences. It was awesome to have these opportunities on deck as we were able let people see that the movement is real. I have a respect and love for the underground grind. I have a love for the energy at these concerts, where you can be so close to the fans and interact with them. Those events are rare opportunities you get to meet the bloggers who always push your music or the fans who always support with a retweet or share on social media. I like meeting people and connecting and pushing the culture forward. That’s important to my brand. I will always do mixtapes and things of that nature and play events like those.

How going to college helped prep him for his rap career:

College gives you a certain discipline. It teaches you to do things that the major machine does that lead to success. Having a degree in accounting gives me the business acumen to recognize a fair deal and when to negotiate for more. I think the fact that I can grab a great job whenever I feel like it allows me to remain calm with making my art, as I feel no pressure financially. Right now my job is to focus on my music, but college has allowed me the freedom to create and grow at a comfortable rate.

I also have a joy for being a student. I study music, how long the verse is and how to create a chorus. I have an appreciation for quality music. I am an avid reader and understand the importance in being effective and efficient in what you are saying. I think that’s what makes Jay Z the greatest, because he can say very powerful things in one sentence. I have always said that I am not the college boy, I was the boy who went to college. Right when I got out I went back to the hustle, meshing my business sense with street savvy.

On his Rocksmith collaborations:

I love streetwear and it's a huge part of the underground culture. It’s not just about the clothes but the people behind the brand. A lot of the people behind Rocksmith showed a lot of love to me and wanted to be a part of the music. Regarding Rocksmith, Kenshin is from Nashville and when I first started to create I had a studio apartment in Los Angeles, and whenever Kenshin was in town he would come through and show love. They have been supporting me through sponsoring my tapes as well as inviting me to perform on their stage at SXSW and more. They aren’t the only brand to support me as I have had great relationships with Staple, Burn Rubber, Been Trill and other brands over the time.

dee goodz rocksmith

On HBO's Game of Thrones mixtape:

The opportunity came for us to put together a project for HBO. We had some beats and they liked them so we merged and did a project. We reached into our network and connected with many artists. Very organic experience, as we all had a love for the show and were excited to be a part. We were able to get artists such as Common, Big Boi, and more. I was very glad to do that.

On indie versus major:

I see myself going with the best opportunity to expand my brand and make the most money. I’m here to do good business. If that comes with me and a major and they allow me to stay who I am creatively than I am all for it. If not, I have no problem doing it independent like I have been doing. To be honest, until last year I didn’t even have a manager. I was handling my booking and day-to-day work on my mixtapes on my own. It was all organic.

On the new mixtape Don Jovi:

Don Jovi is another one of my aliases. It’s something the homies call me when I be on my musical shit. I make music weekly, and when I get in a certain state of mind I can create like 50 records that all sound different. Lots of marijuana and girls coming through, just soaking in the influences while in my creative space. You hear some of them on the interludes on Don Jovi. Artistically, I feel as if I can do any style. Sometimes I feel like a rockstar [laughs] so instead of calling myself that I mesh my name with Bon Jovi. It also stays within my Don collective, as I dropped Donald G, then Donny Ca$h, and now Don Jovi. Next up I am coming with my mixtape Don Madden. I am already in the works of that tape and excited to share that one. I have a passion for creating new music, and I think it shows in Don Jovi and will continue with Don Madden.

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