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Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop Soul




"Austin Rapper D.O.S. Drops A Standout Package With Obey The Raw"

In 2005 local emcee Bryan Mitchell, aka Doszastro or D.O.S., was almost the first rapper from the Austin hip-hop scene to break out.
“I was meeting consistently with major record labels,” he says. “I was one of the only artists out of Austin who would get meetings, (get) flown out to Los Angeles all the time.” The meetings were routine enough that Mitchell stopped taking them seriously. He knew the drill — free trip to L.A., confer with A&R reps, perhaps a celebrity party then back home, but on one occasion with Universal Records it was different.

+Austin Rapper D.O.S. drops a standout package with ‘Obey the Raw’ photo RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL
Bryan Mitchell, aka D.O.S., is a McCallum High grad who has been involved in the local hip-hop scene most of this ... Read More
“I got out there and it was the real thing,” he says. “I met with an executive. Headquarters. Santa Monica. And he already had my music and was familiar with me through my music… they already knew what they wanted to do.”

Unprepared, Mitchell frantically tapped his contacts looking for representation. A friend hooked him up with an entertainment lawyer out of Dallas who confirmed that the label was serious and signed on to work the deal. Negotiations continued for two months, then fell apart.

Later Mitchell would find out the lawyer was trying to secure his own cut in a way that chafed the label, but a bigger issue was at play. Universal had latched onto a specific track on Mitchell’s debut full-length “Monsta’s Ball.” The song was called “Back’er Freestyle.” Originally intended as a skit, the track features Mitchell rapping over a twangy guitar line and crooning a mock-country chorus in a fake hick dialect. It was a cleverly executed joke, but Universal wanted to build the rapper’s name around it, a commercially viable move that could have been catastrophic to Mitchell’s creative aspirations.

Listen to 'Obey the Raw' on Spotify
Mitchell tells this story on the dark patio at Cherrywood Coffeehouse in East Austin, where the crowd is a mix of students cramming knowledge at the end of the term and young families with kids up well past bedtime. He picked up a box of CDs on the way, preparing for the early May release of his latest, “Obey the Raw,” a collection of rugged bangers that mixes blunted braggadocio with clear-sighted street wisdom. The album was deliberately crafted with a throwback vibe, designed to “mimic the feel of a classic ‘90s hip-hop album,” but it remains rooted in the present. It’s easily one of the strongest hip-hop albums to come out of Austin this year, and with almost a half-dozen guest spots from a variety of local emcees, it’s a standout representation of the hip-hop scene. In short, it’s a reminder we’re all lucky that a weird twist of fate saved one of our city’s sharpest rhyme-slingers from becoming marginalized as a novelty act.

Mitchell, a 32-year-old McCallum High grad, fell into the Austin hip-hop scene almost by accident. His younger brother began rapping at age 13. The younger Mitchell, who went by the name Logic, was serious, a natural talent. Nervous about her young son moving in a music scene she didn’t understand, their single mother sent Mitchell, then 15, along as a chaperone on gigs. He made his first South by Southwest appearance in 1999 at age 17, as a hype man for his brother’s group Ballistics.

Slowly, he began to gain confidence crafting his own rhymes. By the time he was 18, the Hip Hop Humpday, a weekly improvisational jam at the Mercury Lounge featuring a core of the city’s top emcees backed by a live band, was in full swing. Encouraged by the house emcees he did guest spots, spitting a 16 here and there. He was a quick study and with a large family rooted in Detroit, Mitchell’s style had a gritty Northern sensibility that distinguished him.

He hung out at the Living Room studio, home base to Circular Records, one of the city’s only hip-hop production houses at the time. He was a fly on the wall during the recording of “Create and Hustle,” the debut full-length from scene leader Bavu Blakes. He joined forces with a collection of Austin’s young emcees to form a group called the Alliance that had a checkered run marked by explosive live shows and equally explosive backstage battles.

In 2002, Mitchell met Smoke, a rapper and producer for Pacific Northwest indie hip-hop powerhouse Oldominion who lured him up to Portland. For two years he honed his craft, performing in a weekly live band hip-hop improv gig similar to the Hip Hop Humpday. He recorded his first album and sharpened his skills, but Portland’s eight-month rainy seasons got to him and by the time the third one rolled around he was done. He moved back to Austin.

The ill-fated major label courtship made him determined to forge a path for himself as an independent artist and he was starting to make strides locally, but in 2007 life threw him a curveball when he became a father.

For years Mitchell used a street hustle to fund his musical endeavors. The money was easy, but his life was wild and unpredictable. With a child on the way he was forced to go straight. He took a job in a call center working for $10 an hour, a tough but necessary transition. Mitchell now refers to his son’s arrival as a “divine intervention” that put him on the right path. Less than two years later Mitchell had a second child and these days he lives in North Austin with his wife and daughter and has shared custody of his son.

For several years while his children were young Mitchell scaled back on his involvement in the local music scene, but lately he’s been more active. In addition to solo shows he performs with Subkulture Patriots and does emcee duties for multi-instrumentalist Dwayne Jackson a.k.a. D Madness.

Mitchell says he feels like the Austin hip-hop scene is rich with talent, but a sense of anticipation hurts the spirit of community. The fact that no big hip-hop talent has broken out of Austin leaves everyone in a race to be first, creating a “crabs in a bucket” mentality. Mitchell would like to see local rappers support each other more.

“Don’t worry about being the first crab that looks over the bucket, but instead let’s get there to begin with,” he says, “and then reach down and get your brothers.” - Deborah Sengupta Stith

"Album Review- "OBEY the RAW" by @DOSzastro. Features by @BavuBlakes, @PlanetAsia, @SubKultPatriots and more"

After listening to this single, I got curious enough to peep Obey the Raw. Like Bavu, D.O.S. is from Austin, Texas. I lived in our state's capital for a little while, and was very enamored with the indie hip hop scene there. Obey the Raw reminds me of that time in my life when my knotty dreadlocks were constantly full of smoke from crawling indie rap shows in Austin and Dallas. A decade removed from my time in Austin, I found myself enveloped in nostalgia listening to Obey the Raw. D.O.S.'s rhymes, which are sprinkled with spirituality, battle rap shoulder chips, and blunt ashes, are tailor-made for fans of indie rappers who see future stardom around every corner. Obey the Raw is slickly produced by Ruler Why, who maintains the spirit of of nineteen ninety whatever that embodies this record. Even the album cover art by Solomon Perry aka Grim Nasty* looks like the kinda Image Comics-inspired visuals I'da drawn back then if I had photoshop, which I didn't.

After listening once, I'd say the high points of Obey the Raw are the tracks with features, such as Let it be Known, Smoke Break (w/Rudi and Cap'n Kirk from SubKulture Patriots), and Too Raw (w/Crew 54 and Jamar Equality). The jewel in the crown is Yellow Tail w/ Rasco and Planet Asia. But I admit to being the guy who thinks the majority of solo rappers really belong in a group.

That said, this record is worth having even beyond the features. Obey the Raw comes from the Texas true school hip hop tradition of heads like Bavu Blakes, Devin the Dude, and a bunch of other rap cats you never heard of. Forcing his way past the distorted gangsters and effeminate skinny jeaned fashion-fiends of contemporary pop rap, D.O.S. faithfully carries the standard of the talented tough guys that used to dominate hip hop in the YO! MTV Raps era. As the name of this album implies, street hop has its own code of conduct that must be adhered to. I imagine D.O.S. would agree with those who say that many of these pop tart rappers today are in serious violation. But to paraphrase our gurl DJ Fusion, if hip hop sucks, it's partly your fault. You gotta support the kinda hip hop you want, seen? So if you complain a lot about modern rap, you should probably stop whining and click here to listen to and/or buy Obey the Raw on bandcamp, tough guy! - ASCAP


D.O.S. "Get Low" EP released: Oct. 2002

D.O.S. "Monsta's Ball" LP released: March 2004

D.O.S. Presents: MillTiket "The Number 1 Spot" mixtape vol 1
released: March 2006

D.O.S. "Tha OverDOSe" LP released: February 2008

D.O.S. ft Devin The Dude "Southern Slump" type: single released: July 2009

Neckbone ft D.O.S. "Gangsta Flowz" type: single released: Jan 2010

D.OS. "Obey The Raw" LP released: May 6, 2014



Austin Texas based lyricist, Bryan Mitchell aka Doszastro aka D.O.S. (Deadin’ On Sight) (Dare Observe the Skills) has been consistently crafting and perfecting his brand of traditional raw edged hip hop since the age of seventeen. Although primarily growing up in Texas, D.O.S. spent a majority of his childhood and adolescent years back and forth between Texas and both sides of his families native Detroit, Michigan. In 2001 D.O.S. released his first studio recording and EP titled Get Low, on local based independent label Circular Records. In 2002, the very young and ambitious MC relocated to Portland, Oregon to work exclusively with a group of polished producers from the NW. The result was a critically acclaimed full-length album titled Monsta’s Ball that received a slew of press write ups praising it’s solidity, and was released in Spring 2004. A strong friendship and musical bond was formed between D.O.S. and Seattle producer Pale Soul who assisted the talented MC with a wide range of production that complimented his flow and helped him to come into his own as an artist. In 2005, D.O.S. returned to Austin from the west coast with extraordinary momentum as there were ongoing and recurring meetings with major labels at the time. He was no longer the same inexperienced kid with dope rhymes that most remembered prior to his musical journey out west. At this point he had become comfortable on the mic whether in the studio or blazing shows as he now had hundreds under his belt. Later that year, D.O.S. teamed up with a good friend from the NW who joined forces with him in Austin, and another former schoolmate to form the group MillTiket. in 2006, D.O.S. released with his own money and resources and on his newly formed Dosaztro Music imprint, MillTiket//The Number 1 Spot Mixtape Vol 1. Another critically acclaimed release, Number 1 Spot also received great reviews and became a favorite amongst locals with it’s combination of original studio tracks and bars spit over mainstream instrumentals. In 2009, DOS (pronounced dose) as many refer to him, boldly released an experimental full-length double disc album featuring collaborations with Texas legend Devin The Dude and Austin's “godfather of hip hop” Bavu Blakes and many others. That same year, D.O.S. became a proud father of a baby boy with a baby girl soon following. During this time, the now seasoned MC took a hiatus from recording studio albums and instead focused on balancing family and the hectic schedule of a full time artist. DOS kept his name alive during this time period by supporting fellow up and coming artists movements and continuing to do live performances. In late 2012, D.O.S. joined forces with Austin, Tx hip hop collective The SubKulture Patriots ( a group which he is currently an active member), and San Antonio producer Ruler Why. He is slated to drop his latest and in some ways, “don’t call it a come back!…” album produced entirely by Ruler Why titled Obey The Raw on May 6 2014. Obey The Raw is a return to traditional Hip Hop in an age of “turn up” and “swag”, an ode to the golden era if you will… another bold offering from one of rap's finest underdog MC’s... The album will release worldwide via iTunes and www.doszastro.com.

Band Members