So what does he have to say for himself? First of all, how old is he?
Dóri: Write down that I’m 20. I think it sounds better. All the rappers are in their twenties now.
Grapevine: Done. Where are we going?
Dóri: We’re going to drive out to get my CD from my producer. But you can’t bootleg it. Everybody had the first Rottweiler CD before it went on sale.
Grapevine: I don’t think that will be a problem. But if I wanted to, do I put it down as Dóri or is there a band name?
Dóri: NBC-No Bullshit Campaign. We played with that name once and it stuck.
“There are only three words in English that don´t rhyme”
GV: How long have you been on the scene here?
Dóri: Four years, but I became established two years ago when I won the MC battle 8 Mile style.
GV: And you’ll be involved in the 50 Cent show, right?
Dóri: I’m in the Rottweiler show, opening, yeah. Their MC is featured on the NBC album. This record is the best that Icelandic hip hop has ever seen. It offers beats and rhymes that are A Class.
GV: Who are you topping? What’s the best before you?
Dóri: Forgotten Lores was really good. The first Rottweiler album was really good. The Gods’ Offspring, their second album is great.
GV: And these are MC’s who rap only in Icelandic.
Dóri: Yeah. Rottweiler sold 10,000 copies of their first album.
GV: Isn’t it easier to rap in Icelandic with all the inflections? I mean, the old poetry is full of thick rhymes.
Dóri: The old poetry, the rímur, people say that’s like rap. But it’s not really. It can be really long. Most of the rímur did not even rhyme. And the language was hard to understand. Some of them were six hours long.
GV: Okay. But the language?
Dóri: No. There are only three words in English that don’t rhyme. It’s harder in Icelandic. We’ve also got fewer words.
“It´s not a reference to my grandfather…”
GV: But you rhyme in Icelandic. And then there’s your moniker, Dóri DNA.
Dóri: Everyone thinks it’s a reference to my grandfather. But it’s not like that. I want to make it on my own talents. There was just a call out at the end of a song, and I said my name, my crew, which was DNA, and Mosfellsbær.
GV: That’s where Laxness lived.
Dóri: I live right next to his house.
We have been driving throughout Reykjavík and pull up at what seems like a random street corner. There a strung-out looking young man waves us down, runs over to the car, and holds a CD in front of Dóri.
“Ekki bootlegga,” he says, and gives me a stern look.
Dóri calms him down as the man looks me over. Finally, he hands the CD over.
We go through the three songs on the CD, track by track. The rhyming is relaxed and skilled, but the production may stand out even more.
“Beat makers in Iceland are very talented – some of them do make it internationally,” Dóri says. Somehow this leads into him telling me that he practices Brazilian Jujitsu.
“See if you can work that into the article. Brazilian Jujitsu,” he says. And there it is.
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!