Known for his beats, Drumma Boy also aims to make a name in fashion


Drumma Boy pulls up to the small white and black storefront on Howell Mill Road in his black Cadillac Escalade.

The Atlanta-based rapper and producer recently opened his first clothing boutique called House of Fresh, which carries his own Fresh Phamily clothing line as well as other brands.

Inside, he quickly strolls to a back room of the store and comes out with a chilled Bud Light.

It’s early yet.

When asked about it, he looks questioningly at his visitor and in all seriousness asks, “Do you want one?”

“Man, when I’m running, I can’t eat or do anything,” he says as he leans back on the leather sofa. He’s already squeezed in errands and a meeting so far.

Memphis-born Drumma Boy, aka Christopher Gholson, is excited about the business, which is located near his studio space and includes space for a quick haircut for celebrity friends who might drop in.

“I’ve always been a great salesman,” said Drumma Boy, 34. “I’ve also always had an eye for what looks good. I was wearing everybody else, why not start a store? I’ve been kind of touching people in the same way I do music, only it’s through fashion.”

In fact, his first job at age 16 was at a Just for Feet athletic shoe and apparel store, where he was placed in the so-called “combat zone,” which had the cheaper, generic-type shoes. He calls them “bobos.”

“If you could make it out of the combat zone in a week, then you’re a real salesman. I was the No. 1 salesman in the combat zone in two days,” he said. On the third day, he moved up in the store and started selling the Air Jordan and Nike brands.

“That’s where that competitive edge came from,” he said. “I always want to be the best at what I do.”

The first day, House of Fresh did more than $5,000 in sales.

He wants to franchise the concept and plans to open another location on 14th Street by next summer.

The Grammy-nominated Drumma Boy, though, is best known for his energetic beats.

That reputation goes back to that job at Just for Feet: During slow periods, he would go in the back of the store with other workers and pop a tape in the boombox.

“They said, ‘We’re going to call you “Drumma Boy,” because your beat pattern is crazy.’”

Those beats later led him to work with some of the hottest names in music. He produced “I Put On” (Jeezy featuring Kanye West) and “No Hands” (Waka Flocka Flame featuring Wale & Roscoe Dash).

This has been a busy few years for Drumma Boy, who is sometimes simply called Drumma.

The first song he ever produced for Migos was the 2015 hit “Look at My Dab.”

“It was just amazing to see how we could have this energy in the studio and chemistry together and take that from the studio and push it around the world to this global trend.”

This year, he’s worked with the Atlanta Falcons and also on Keyshia Cole’s “Ride,” Yo Gotti’s “Don’t Wanna Go Back,” Young Greatness’ “We Rollin,” rapper Dolph’s “While U Here,” and Trap Beckham’s “Cold.”

He has nothing but praise for Gucci Mane, with whom he’s collaborated for years, including the “All My Children” single.

“Gucci is just on top of his game,” he said. “It’s just so fun to finally see him get his just due and finally zoned in to what’s meant for him. Gucci’s just one of my favorite artists to work with because of his energy, because of his passion. Now to see him so clear and exact on what he wants is amazing.”

He said he is working with Beyoncé and Jay-Z and wants to get other “OG vets on the roster.” He’s worked on some music with J Cole and Kendrick Lamar.

He’s also working on some Caribbean and international beats and is interested in dabbling in the country music world. “Absolutely!”

His classical music background, though, may come as a surprise to some.

His father, James Gholson Jr., was a music professor and author and played first chair clarinetist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for nearly four decades; and his mother, Billie Baker Gholson, was an opera singer and accountant.

He had to win his dad over to his hip-hop music.

Growing up, Drumma Boy learned Bach and Beethoven. He learned clarinet and piano, but he always “wanted to be the conductor.”

“Everybody in the orchestra raised me,” he said.

Does it bother him that his name isn’t always on the front end of a project?

“As long as the publishing residuals come in the mail, I’m happy,” he said. “It’s really about doing what you love and exemplifying what is you.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Atlanta Concerts this week: Wiz Khalifa, Jeff Beck with Paul Rodgers and Ann Wilson of Heart
Atlanta Concerts this week: Wiz Khalifa, Jeff Beck with Paul Rodgers and Ann Wilson of Heart

TUESDAY The lanky Pittsburgh MC and Mississippi-raised, Atlanta-residing duo of Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi have teamed for a 27-city run of amphitheaters with perhaps the most obvious tour name ever created —“Dazed and Blazed Summer 2018.” Wiz released his sixth studio album, “Rolling Papers 2,” in July, on which he shares...
Things to do in and around Atlanta for Monday, Aug. 20
Things to do in and around Atlanta for Monday, Aug. 20

Monday’s calling, Atlanta! The bad news is it’s not part of a three-day holiday weekend, when we’re all officially allowed to kick back and let loose. That one’s still a couple of weeks off (yes, we mean you, Labor Day). The good news is there’s no reason you can’t turn this particular Monday into an unofficial...
TV best bets with Betty White, Paul McCartney, season finales of ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘Queen Sugar,’ ‘Love Is_,’ ‘Sharp Objects’
TV best bets with Betty White, Paul McCartney, season finales of ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘Queen Sugar,’ ‘Love Is_,’ ‘Sharp Objects’

PBS will honor the honorable 96-year-old actress and legend Betty White with a special Tuesday night. Jennifer Lopez, who is 47 years younger than White, will be honored on MTV’s 35th annual MTV Video Music Awards Monday. And Paul McCartney, at age 76, has already gone viral with his Carpool Karaoke with James Corden visiting his hometown...
‘American Idol’ notes: Aretha impact, Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Caleb Johnson
‘American Idol’ notes: Aretha impact, Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Caleb Johnson

Aretha Franklin, who passed on Thursday at age 76, was a major force on “American Idol” over the years. Her songs were covered at least 30 times over 16 seasons. Season one winner Kelly Clarkson broke through during Motown week with a stunning rendition of “Natural Woman.” <iframe width="459"...
Nick Jonas introduces ‘Future Mrs. Jonas’ in engagement photo with Priyanka Chopra
Nick Jonas introduces ‘Future Mrs. Jonas’ in engagement photo with Priyanka Chopra

Musician Nick Jonas confirmed Saturday he’s officially engaged to “Quantico” actress Priyanka Chopra. >> Read more trending news  “Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love,” Jonas posted on Instagram. Chopra expressed her happiness on her Instagram, too. “The only way to do this ... with family and God. Thank...
More Stories