The internet is destroying the music industry and taking the energy away from rap, but D*B*D wants to bring it back. 

The music group D*B*D (Different By Default) Industries consists of rappers Isaiah Smalls, known as Rhinestone., and De’Mani Moore, known as PeaceOfMnd, who met at Columbus College of Art & Design to form the group in late December 2019. The duo chose the name D*B*D Industries because they want to stray away from the mainstream music industry. 

True to their name, their sound is different from standard styles of rap. With high energy vocal performances and vibe-setting production with natural sounds, the group appeals to both creativity and individuality.

The duo believes the internet is shortening peoples’ attention span to music, Smalls said. They blame the app TikTok for promoting trends that encourage performance to only a short portion of songs. Smalls said they think the constant playing of the same chorus is making artists have to focus more on creating a cool ten-second clip rather than a full song. 

“People are not trying to hear no four-minute songs no more, people are not trying to hear six-minute songs no more. And it is funny because that is the stuff we love,” Smalls said. “We love a good bridge, we love a good six-minute song, we love multiple choruses, we love that aspect of music.” 

The artists have not released a full album yet but are looking to bring pride to Columbus’ music industry. Smalls, a North Carolina native, has been in Columbus for two years and said he believes it’s a place he can grow. 

“This is tight. When I first got here for school, I was like, ‘Bro, this is amazing, you can do this that and a third, even house shows. Like, the idea of a house show, that’s not happening where I am from,” Smalls said.

The lack of interest in small market music makes it hard for rappers based in the city to grow, Smalls said. Both artists said they are frustrated with this dilemma plaguing small, up-and-coming artists. They said Columbus has to get over the barrier of large music markets.    

“I watch documentaries on rap music from the ‘80s, ’90s [and] people didn’t have a phone, so everybody was, ‘Ahhh, here is this person from my neighborhood,’ but now today it’s like, ‘This person from my neighborhood, he is a SoundCloud rapper — I don’t even want to click his link,’” Smalls said. “‘Oh he’s from Atlanta, oh he’s from Detroit he has to be hard.’ Like, no bro, there’s people in your city and you’re complaining about not doing nothing during the weekend and we’re performing, like, come through.”       

Moore, 21, said he has been producing music since his mid-teenage years and draws inspiration from random sounds in other songs for his own beats, created by using what Moore and Smalls call “The Ear.”

“To not sound the same is also to challenge yourself, and I think for me personally, I like challenging myself when it comes to anything. Art wise, music wise, life wise, it’s all about just challenging yourself to me,” Moore said.

The duo feeds off of each other. They said having strengths that work together helped them form an instant chemistry. Moore said he mainly produces the beats for Smalls to rap over, and both artists said they found confidence and a greater passion for music after they came together.

”I didn’t really take it serious until last year. I didn’t think I was good enough, confident enough, just yet until Isaiah kept telling me to just put stuff out, and then eventually I did and I was like ‘I actually like doing this,’”  Moore said.            

D*B*D Industries is looking to grow during the pandemic. They said they are focused more on finding their sound together rather than playing in venues. 

The group has released three songs, which can be found on all major streaming platforms. Music updates can be found on the duo’s Instagram page, @dbd_industries