A-Dubz grew up in Hunters Point, San Francisco. He never thought that his calling would be music and that he would be so good at producing hit beats, writing and rapping his own lyrics. “I’m tired of the bullshit on the radio right now. I bring originality and people can relate to my history.”
Within just two years, the CEO of Dub Hop Records, A-Dubz’s library accumulated to over 300 beats, over 72 written songs, and has recorded, mixed and mastered 4 albums- all out of his own pocket. As both CEO and Artist, “I can’t wait for labels to come check me. I’ll keep it moving. I’ll keep investing in myself, keep it independent.”
A-Dubz has been referred to as the new 2-Pac of rap. “I’m focused man. Write a song a day have an album in twelve. I’m working when others sleeping. My labor makes me the best thing flowing right now. I breathe this; I live this; I was born with a spot in the music industry.”
Reparations began the day A-Dubz (aka) Adam Esa turned 18 when he found himself homeless. Now 23, successful and married, A-Dubz recalls that period of time before turning 18 when he was living with his stepmother, the woman his stepfather married. A-Dubz doesn't know what happened to his biological mother or father.
"She disappeared or passed away, my stepdad never said," he says. "He took me and my sister under his arm and he remarried."
While that marriage didn't work out, A-Dubz continued to live with his stepmother in San Francisco, where she collected checks for caring for him as a foster child. Those checks ended when he turned 18.
"My stepmom told me I had to move and to take all my stuff with me. She said my stepdad in San Jose would take me in for a week," he says. "I went down there and I guess he saw I was looking for a job, so he let me stay for a month. But after a month he said I couldn't stay there anymore.
"From there I was on street cars, on a bus that runs all night. I met a couple of people who let me stay for a night or two, but it wasn't anything stable," he said.
On the street, A-Dubz learned of a program that might help. "They sell you a dream. They said they would help me find a job and housing, but they put me in shelters. They had lotteries and you'd have to be there by 3 p.m. to see if you were going to get a bed. Since I was in school, I couldn't make it," he says.
For those not there at 3 p.m., there was a 10 p.m. lottery. "Some nights there was a bed left, or enough spaces for everybody to get in," he says.
A-Dubz was homeless for almost the entirety of his community college career. Struggling to eat and get good sleep he attended classes daily and completed his assignments. The staff at the shelter recognized A-Dubz’s commitment to school, letting him stay up to complete homework and sometimes letting him use one of their computers. When there wasn't a bed at the shelter, however, he slept on the floor.
"I just started taking whatever empty bed I saw and some nights people would come in late after working and the staff would wake me up because it was somebody’s reserved bed."
Yet he says, "I didn't have too big a problem. It was a roof over my head during the rainy season and I wasn't wet or cold. Deep down inside, I knew something positive was to come out of this situation."
Through struggle comes success. A-Dubz is now living under his own roof. He is living out his dreams in ways he had never imagined. He is married and enjoying the success in his music. “What I have to tell any artist who is going through a hard time right now is to never give up. Keep doing what you love because you never know what is going to come out of it. Also, follow the keys to life: 1) trust God 100%, and 2) have NO FEAR but God.”