With the release of The Carolina Plug just a few months ago, Dirty Dave Da Fly Guy's world just got a little bit bigger. His latest single, "I Got a Sack," has shown up on MTV Jams. "You know, it's one thing to hear your stuff on a local level, but when you hear a song you made on a more national platform, that's just a completely different feeling. I like it," Dirty Dave says. "It makes you feel like you were doing the right thing all along."
David Alston (a.k.a. Dirty Dave) and his company, Dirty Dollar Entertainment, are quickly making a name for themselves in Charleston's hip-hop scene — and judging by the pickup from MTV, nationally as well. The Carolina Plug sold out in two days at Monster Music and Movies and the mixtape boasted equally strong sales at Loco Records on Rivers Avenue. This doesn't include the digital downloads of his mixtapes and "I Got a Sack."
For the North Chuck native, it all started when Calvin Broadus released his debut disc Doggystyle in 1993. With a trace of wistfulness and child-like amazement in his voice, Alston talks about the rap icon that fueled his love of hip-hop. "Snoop Dogg is the artist that made me want to pursue this dream. Back in the day I emulated him. I wore button-down shirts, Chuck Taylors, the whole thing," Dirty Dave says. "He came onto the scene and was unlike anyone I had ever heard before."
When asked about when he first started rhyming, Alston pauses and says, "Well, back when I first started, I was still in high school. I'd save up my money for studio time and made sure to make the most of it. I'd always write out my stuff and put together the music before I even stepped in the studio."
Writing, rapping, and recording quickly became an obsession. "I swear that I love the music so much. Sometimes I think I love it more than a woman. Music was there before any women ever came into the picture," Alston says.
But as inspired as Dirty Dave was by Snoop, Alston has adopted a style and flow that is as distinct as Broadus' own drawl. And the credit goes to the Lowcountry's own Geechee brogue. "That's what sets us apart," he says. "From myself to all the other artists around here, we have that Geechee thing that no one else has." When placed into the bars of a standard rap song, Geechee can make a non-local's head spin as they wonder what Dirty Dave just said.
The passion in Alston's voice grows as he talks about the Geechee sound, and this passion comes close to matching the same feeling that can be heard on his mixtapes. "The Geechee sound is just so unique and has its own flavor. Our accent, our slang, isn't heard outside our local surroundings," he says. "A lot of people aren't nearly as familiar with our accent and grammar as they are with other regions."
Not content enough to just make the "Top Nine at Nine" on Z93 Jamz, Alston strives for longevity in the game, something that many artists lose sight of after their first brush with local fame. Fortunately, Dirty Dave has a sharp sense for self-promotion — he recently put up a huge billboard on I-26 advertising his album 1000 Ways to Get Paid— and that's just as important a piece to the puzzle as his skills on the mic.
As our conversation comes to a close, Alston, the captain of the Dirty Dollar ship, ends the interview by making a point to big-up his compadres. "I mean, I got to make sure and mention B Kiddo, Slycka Slcyk, Mally Racks, Delly D, Yung Rome,Slim Bubba L.O.C. Then there is the production team ..." he says.
Clearly, Dirty Dave is not to be satisfied with some sort of flash-in-the-pan status. Not only does he want to be in the game for the long haul, he wants to bring the 843 area code and the Geechee style to the national level. And if he continues his hustle, he'll succeed.