Rapper’s Music Expresses Life’s Challenges
…my option is to survive, watch out, I’m on my way back to what’s mine – lyrics from “Forgive” by rapper, Dustin James Dobler
Dustin has experienced some significant challenges in his life so far: abuse, intellectual disabilities, mental health challenges, and a drug overdose that nearly killed him. But as the lyrics to his rap song Forgive, show, Dustin’s determination has helped him overcome the odds. These days, he is celebrating both his physical and mental health as well as the release of his first CD Running Out of Time.
Music has been a part of his life since childhood. He first heard an Eminem song when he was just 8 years old and fell in love with rap music. By 13 he was creating his own songs and took every opportunity he had to be on stage performing his songs.
Rap music made a connection for me. It inspired me to make my own music. I knew early on that this is what I wanted to do. – Dustin, rap musician
After high school, he immersed himself in music, doing research, joining a songwriter’s group, performing, and saving his money to invest in studio recordings. He self-produced his album and then started marketing his work on every music platform he could think of. It was not easy.
“I sent my album to over a hundred record labels and heard nothing,” he says. “But then DJD Records UK contacted me.”
The UK-based label liked what they heard. They helped him polish his work and he re-released Running Out of Time on Friday, March 8, 2019. He is proud of his achievement. He counts his own tenacity with his success. He also recognizes the importance of having a support system around him. Part of that support comes through Communitas Supportive Care Society. Lisa is Dustin’s support worker and she reflects on his determination.
“Dustin is probably one of the most determined people I’ve met,” she says. “His outlook on life has helped him achieve his goals. The success of getting his album onto a label is because of his ability to not let his problems get in his way.”
Dustin’s life experiences became the inspiration for the lyrics to his songs. He explores themes of anger, disappointment, fear and forgiveness. Instead of being discouraged by his problems, he used them to motivate himself even when he wanted to walk away. The title track tells of his experience coming out of the coma after his drug overdose.
“I realized that life is short, tomorrow is not a guarantee,” he says. “We don’t know when time will run out, so every second counts.”
Dustin truly hopes that those who listen to his music will be inspired by the songs and by his own story of triumph over adversity.
“I want people to see that I have a disability, I’ve got problems but that didn’t stop me from going after my dreams,” he says. “I want people to see me and think ‘if he can be successful, why can’t I?’ Just because you have challenges, doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.”