"Man, I got myself in a fucked up ass situation, dog," he began while holding a stack of papers. "I don't know what the fuck to do."
Then the Memphis artist faced the camera and added, "Really, to tell you the truth, I do know what to do. But I'm going to let y'all know what's going on. For the last six months, I've been having a motherfuckin' 22 million dollar contract, debating on, 'Should I do the deal or not?' Know what I'm saying? I'm like, 'Should I take the 22 million? Or fuck the 22 million?'"
After a dramatic pause, Dolph laughed and yelled, "Fuck the 22 million!" So it seems the 33-year-old artist will pass up the big payday and continue putting his time an energy into his own Paper Route Empire label.
For years, Dolph has proudly spoken about his status as an independent artist. "I ain’t never had no deal," he explained to XXL in 2016. "Everybody know it ain’t nobody dong shit like I’m doing. On successful tours, you getting real bags. Everybody know to book Dolph. On all these top 20 songs. Ain’t no 100 percent independent artist doing that. They can only hold out for so long. Know the want a piece of that action."
Operating as an independent artist for a decade, Dolph admits there are some drawbacks, though.
Asked about the obstacles he faces as an independent artist, he told XXL, "Being independent and having to go through situations and deal with certain people that all the major label artists have say. They be like, 'Ah, you independent.' They wanna give independent artists a hard time. Just a few of them, not all of them. A majority of them fuck with me, they respect what I’m doing. That’s all it is. Just got a point to prove. Any independent artist got a point to prove. What’s going to make them take you more seriously than they take him? Both of y’all are rappers, no matter what y’all backgrounds are."
Even for an artist who prides themselves on independence, 22 million dollars is worth taking a second glance at, but it appears Dolph still has his eyes set on the bigger picture. Punctuating his decision to pass up the major label paycheck, Dolph wrote on Instagram, "#PaperRouteBUSINESS."