Doobie Dalil

Doobie Dalil is relaxed. Basking, actually. “I feel real good, man,” he says. “It's my debut album. I really like the way we put it together, and I'm real comfortable with the track list. For the first day, it had a great response.”

The 26-year-old Southside Chicago rapper (Killer Instincts Entertainment/Priority Records) is referring to his debut solo album titled In Gauged, which was released last month. He has released projects in the past and been part of other major artists’ projects, too, such as opening on tour for Lil Durk and Drake and being featured on Juice Wrld’s song “London Tipton.”

In Gauged is 100 percent Doobie Dalil. Anything that’s 100 percent Doobie Dalil is also 100 percent Chicago-influenced. Though he has never considered himself to sound like the stereotypical Chicago artist, he describes his Southside Chicago roots manifested in the album as “just what I’m talking about. I’m talking about everyday life in Chicago. I’m talking about the struggles we go through. I’m talking about what’s fun to us that may not necessarily be fun to everybody else. Just everything, the whole, is Chicago to me.”

On the flip-side of that are universal themes running through the album that anybody from anywhere can relate to. One track he points to as an example is “Somebody” featuring Eastwood, which to him sounds more Caribbean than anything else.

“I had got that beat from my producer,” he says of the song’s backstory. “And it stood out, though, when I got the beat. He gave me a lot. He made at least half of the tracks on the album, but it stood to me, and I didn’t want to touch it because I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m not just gonna rush and put anything on the track. So, I waited until I got to L.A., and I was in G.O.O.D Music studio actually with me, Tia and Eastwood and my homie. We were just chillin’, and Eastwood walked in. I’m like, “I got something for you.” It just hit me, like, try to see what East can do.”

Chicago or not, the most personal track on the album is titled “Mary Jay” and written after a close friend of Doobie’s passed away. “I write from the heart, you know what I’m saying? Any time I come, it’s usually what I’m going through. I can’t fake it.”

In Gauged, plainly in the title and the way its spelled, is a testament to being “engaged to the streets.” More than that, though, Doobie sees the album as a whole as a declaration that he’s “engaged to this activity, and I’m ready to go.”

He reiterates his excitement for the album and how proud he is about the way it came out, but he’s tired of listening to it and is ready for the next one. In fact, he’s already started working on his next album. So, In Gauged is fully yours now.

You can stream In Gauged on all the usual platforms, but while you’re here, check Doobie DaLil setting it off bellow.

Words by Megan Armstrong

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