Picking up steam as an artist to watch in 2022, rising Tampa FL rapper Taleban Dooda serves up the intense music video for his new single “It’s Me” today. Watch it above. It adorns his buzzing White Chalk & Yellow Tape mixtape out now via District 18/ Warner Records.
The track hinges on an ominous piano line and understated beat as his instantly recognizable vocals take hold. His words snake through the production with a warning, “Ask him how he lost his teeth.” Over piano notes that hit like a hammer, the young rapper shares stories from his past: “Ay, this is me, I like first degrees — pistol’s in my jeans.” Dooda has been hardened by circumstance, and he plans to use that resolve to work his way up the hip-hop hierarchy. The accompanying visual bottles this tension with its smoky nighttime footage of Taleban in a custom ski mask, behind a blunt, and rapping to the camera with his crew. The clip also intercuts action-packed moments with arresting performance vignettes, hinting at the multiple dimensions and levels of his artistry.
Thus far, White Chalk & Yellow Tape has gathered over 5 million streams and counting in addition to earning critical acclaim. Lyrical Lemonade proclaimed, “Whether he’s rapping swiftly, displaying his vocal range, or mixing together some tunefulness with some nifty flows, there isn’t a single piece of this tape that won’t have you perplexed at how adaptable Dooda truly is, and it pleasantly surprised me even more than I once anticipated.”
The electrifying project contains recent singles “War With Whoever” and “Spin” as well as six new songs, including “It’s Me.” Other highlights on White Chalk & Yellow Tape include “Go,” which finds the Dooda swearing off “social beef” and “Dividends,” which showcases the artist’s brilliant flow over an odd-metered beat. There’s every chance that it could go viral like “Spin.” Dooda weaves a tale of a hungry kid making good on his preternatural talent. With real and raw storytelling, the project serves as yet another reminder of the East Tampa breakout’s staggering potential and undeniable skill.
Thus far, Taleban Dooda has caught fire out of East Tampa with an inimitable signature style punctuated by his warped delivery and infectious intonation. He has gathered tens of millions of views and streams and already earned acclaim from Pitchfork, KAZI, Earmilk, FLAUNT, and more. This year, RESPECT. fittingly christened him, “the next big rising star” and Noisey declared him “next.”
ABOUT TALEBAN DOODA:
Taleban Dooda has the type of voice you remember. The Tampa rapper’s piercing delivery on singles like “Spin” has always caught listeners by surprise. With a knack for delirious melodies and an unshakeable bravado, he’s used that sound to become a rising star with chaotic charm, penning spirited stories that shine thanks to his uniquely high-pitched vocals. Last year, the 20-year-old released his debut album, Fallen Angel. That record, as well as a string of solemn singles that includes 2021’s “Call 100 Times,” became a safe space for the grief he has nowhere else to put. Dooda’s journey to the top of Florida rap has had its twists and turns. In high school, he tried his hand at football until he realized his voice would probably take him further than sports could. He eventually dropped out and got to work, releasing the early hit “Dreams & Reality” in 2019. Fallen Angel, which followed in 2021, was crafted as a testimony to the course his life could’ve taken without music. It is a remembrance to the lives of lost loved ones, and a promise that their stories will be inspirations as he continues on his journey. Now with new music on the horizon and a record deal with Warner, fans can expect the rapper to experiment with sounds beyond the gritty beats that have become his signature. As his first viral song foreshadowed, Dooda’s reality is finally catching up to his dreams. “I just want everybody to see I ain’t here for a little bit,” he says. “I’m here for a long time. I ain’t done yet.”