We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Noodlez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
Growing up I loved hip hop so much I wanted to be a rapper. My favorite rappers were Eminem, Jadakiss, Nas, DMX and Method Man. I released demos in high school, freestyled in the lunchroom and everyone knew me as the rapper Noodlez. When I got to college I was heavily into writing songs. I had always loved cool looking t-shirts and wanted to create my own clothing. I just never knew where to start. I spent most of my time making music as well as working weekends to save money for MPC’s, keyboards and a computer to make my first album. After 5 years of hustling, hard work and creating my dream came true. My first album ‘Live, Breathe,Eat’ was set to drop in 2008. I wrote and produced the entire album. It was recorded, mixed and mastered with the help of my friend Christian of Projectivity. It was one of the best feelings in the world. I thought my time was coming to be in the spotlight with some of my favorite artists growing up. During this time I started learning screenprinting and how to use Photoshop. I made a few dozen shirts for friends at our first show. I started getting more into custom merch and it really opened my eyes to give it a shot. Shout out to my brother for selling dozens of hoodies in his high school. Little did I know Stereotype Co was forming. I did plenty of shows pushing music in the indie circuit at open mics, cyphers and live events that we put together . On the side I would keep making new designs and they kept selling out. At around 2011 I made one of the most difficult decisions. I decided to stop rapping full time and really put my all into the clothing. I enjoyed being behind the scenes and it gave me a sense of purpose that I always dreamed of. This was difficult because for the longest I thought I was going to be a professional emcee rocking stages around the globe. It was a fork in the road moment for me and I made the decision to pursue a different dream. My heart is with music forever. It is because of hip hop and music that I found myself as a designer and business owner. I look back and I’m happy I made the decision. It was because I made that the decision I am where I am today. My love of music is burning strong to this day. I am grateful to teach songwriting, music production and DJing to youth around the tri-state area. Stereotype Co hosts several hip hop cyphers and music events to bring emerging artists together and shine a light of underground talent around the globe. Dreams change as we grow up. It happens. I always say “don’t stop dreaming”. No matter what your dream is, work hard, keep learning and make it a reality.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The brand is founded on the principle of dreaming. The dreaming I’m talking about is setting goals and working everyday to make them a reality. My life purpose/dream is to motivate others to dream as well as help with achieve their dreams.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in Staten Island I have a few local gems that I always brings friends to who visit from out of town. The pizza game is top notch here. The Island is often referred to as “Staten Italy”. I have to take them to Brothers in Port Richmond. This has my favorite pizza spot since I’ve been in middle school. I would then walk a few blocks down to Ralph’s Ices. This spot is an Island staple for decades. They have the freshest selection of home made ices. Not too far I would do some diggin at Staten Island’s only record store ‘Majors Records’. I am a homebody so I don’t go out that much but when I do I may hit up the Hop Shoppe. They have an old school arcade there and live music. I also like hitting up Funstation. They have laser tag, batting cages, tons of arcades and ski ball (my favorite). Most of my favorite spots haven’t changed since I was younger.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out God, my family, friends and everyone around the globe that has supported the brand over the last 13 years.
Amanda Lee Caitlin Rounds