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“He’s technically brilliant as a rapper, and his greatest gifts are ferociousness and tenacity—when he digs into a beat, he leaves claw marks.” – Pitchfork
“With such meaningful and stimulating lyrics each record tells an enticing story about his journey. He consistently reveals more about his character in tactful ways. With each bar he sheds another layer of his personality. While the lyrics open up your mind intuitively. Each song tells a different story. He uses his lyrics to expose his deep thoughts that enhance his creative process.” – RESPECT Mag
“I feel like a brand new artist,” declares Bronx, New York native Doley Bernays. The lyricist who first emerged in the early 2010s as a publicized talent took nearly five years to focus on properly raising his son. “I grew because I was still writing; that’s how I vent,” he says of the time away. However, since 2018, Doley has reopened the book that he was never able to finish. Comeback single “We All Sin Here” achieved 2 million Spotify streams following its appearance in Netflix’s The Afterparty. Since then, Doley has relentlessly released music that addresses fatherhood, losing his beloved brother, and his life and times. 2020’s The Lobby Tape marks Doley’s biggest project to date, arriving on UpAndOn1/Sony/The Orchard. It intends to show that Doley Bernays is from a place where only the strong survive—something his rap career illustrates.
Doley comes from the Uptown section of the BX, a community that helped raise him. “My mom was great, but she just had to work a lot, so she wasn’t home like that. I was in the streets every single day.” Even before he turned 10, Doley (an adaptation for the loner slang term “dolo”) spent his days in the concrete streets. His older sisters introduced him to hometown hip-hop, ranging from Wu-Tang Clan to Busta Rhymes to Ma$e. By adolescence, the top student who was regularly expelled from schools for ignoring authority began rocking the microphone. Ever since then, Doley’s prided himself on his mind and his originality. “Everybody was naming themselves after drug dealers, gangsters, and Italians,” he recalls of the rap cliche. “I named myself after a great thinker, not someone who just did regular stuff in the streets.”
Doley, who had become a father during high school, prioritized his son. Before stepping back, Doley met Picaso, who later co-founded UpAndOn1. In the days and years that followed, Bernays regularly crashed on Picaso’s couch while in L.A. While joining the P in the studio, he witnessed a Rap movement that included L.A.’s Shoreline Mafia and 03 Greedo take flight.
Even though he stepped away from the public eye, Doley maintained writing and recording. One reference track, “We All Sin Here,” was shopped by the rapper’s manager. As a result, it was prominently featured in 2018’s The Afterparty, starring KYLE. Thanks to Shazam, new fans came on board, leading to nearly 3 million overall streams. Soon after, more music appeared on HBO’s Insecure as well as Ballers. “You never know what your music can do for you. You have to put it out in the universe to get something back,” says Doley. Since 2018, he has released thematic song packs. I PROMISED… honors a pledge to Doley’s brothers, who were his steadfast support system regarding his music. While one brother was slain, the other, Highklass, is serving a 17-year federal sentence. Another 3-pack, 2020’s Hard Raising Black Boys, shifts from perspectives within generations of his family—all themed on preserving young Black life.
However, Lobby Tape puts a spotlight on Doley’s Rotten Apple come-up. “In New York, the project lobby is a very lethal place,” he recalls of seeking shelter in his hustling days. In the spirit of classic mixtapes, the raw mixes complement the gritty lyrical content. The campaign launches with “A Week Straight,” the latest in-studio collaboration between Doley and 03 Greedo. With more music in the can and a career taking shape after years of paid dues, Doley Bernays is moving like he has something to prove. “It’s not about ego or pride; I just bet on myself.”
Doley Bernays Heads to a Legendary Rap Neighborhood in “Sugar Hill” Video
Doley Bernays Welcomes Us to The Lobby in an Unflinching New Project
Doley Bernays Continues to Connect Coasts With Gritty “The Lobby” Video
Doley Bernays Collabs with 03 Greedo, Announces Upcoming ‘The Lobby Tape’