Ask anyone about Drayco McCoy, and there is one thing they will tell you: Drayco McCoy keeps it real.
McCoy himself isn't afraid to tell you this, either. Standing tall at 6 feet 3 inches, the 20-year-old has a mouth to match his stature, which, for a rapper, is a pretty good thing.
"I'm one of those guys that is really, like, realistic. Not like, you know, how you can tell someone you wanna be an astronaut and they're like, 'Oh, that's not possible,' or shit like that," he says. "But like, I don't really have a filter, and I really like to say what's on my mind," he says.
Typically "no filter" is social speak for "extremely rude," but that's not the case with McCoy. He admits that he loves to talk, but he speaks graciously about everything and everyone –– at one point, he refers to Lil Bow Wow as "a fuckin' legend"–– only venturing into negativity when he feels something or someone else isn't granting him the same type of respect or candor.
"I'm all about positive vibes and nice energy," he says with a smile.
McCoy's collaborator, fellow rapper, and friend Duke Algebra laughed when asked about his "realness," saying, "He's hella personal, man. He's real personal. Like if he don't like you, he'll fuckin' tell you, but if he fucks with you, you know, you can go places with that man."
Not surprisingly, McCoy's lack of filter and continual spontaneity permeate his music as well. His moniker, Drayco McCoy, is simply a combination of his real name, Ondrayco Greene, and his lifelong nickname from his uncle, McCoy. ("Drayco McCoy sounds like some real boss shit," he says.) His track titles read like random, tongue-in-cheek excerpts from a journal––"STFU Mom Im Trappin," "Wine Glasses Of Codeine," or "Wear My Tshirt As A Dress"––all spaced-out, stream-of-consciousness songs on which the former drummer will flip several flows.
"That shit is just groovy as fuck," he says.
McCoy stresses that even his most absurd titles are derived, in some way, from real life: "Everything that I do, it's because of something, you know what I mean? And I like that...it has a meaning, man. It's all organic."
Even McCoy's releases seemingly come at will. Since he started releasing music online just 18 months ago, he has released 7 different projects along with a host of locals, making him one of the most prolific musicians in Indianapolis.
Algebra collaborated with McCoy to co-release one of those projects, the wildly titled EP Bad Bitches and Lean Blunts. "His work ethic is ridiculous, bro," says Algebra, laughing again.
"I haven't met anybody in the city workin' like this dude. This dude will knock out a song — knock out a tape in like two weeks."
As an artist, that's how McCoy works. "I don't like thinking about stuff," he says, before repeating, "I like everything to be organic."
McCoy says he much prefers collaborating in person, and despite that requirement, he already can shout-out a long list of collaborators from the city: rappers like Algebra and Sirius Blvck, and producers K-Nags, Geechie, and TYJUAN ON THE BEAT, among others. For one of his next projects, he says he's hoping to drop a tape featuring only beats and verses from Indianapolis producers and rappers that he hopes can act as a showcase for the city's talent.
"If this city wants to come together, we gotta be on some DJ Khaled shit, and there has to be somebody willing to break the barriers, you know what I mean?" he says.
That's McCoy's plan, and part of it is Cold Sprite Gang, the half-movement, half-collective that many Indy rappers and fans have hopped on during the last couple months. Originally a one-night party-call among McCoy and some friends, CSG has grown into something not unlike Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang: an amorphous, inclusive group whose membership consists of "whoever takes a picture with some Sprite in they hand," says McCoy. "It's something everyone can be a part of, and that's the beauty of it."
In that sense, CSG is almost representative of the current music scene in Fountain Square, where hip-hop has heavily melded with what McCoy calls "art goon shit" during the last year, fostering a diverse scene where no one gets left out, and the art is most important.
"That shit is real, aight? Vinyl, CDs, you know, random artsy-like bullshit, bitches with tattoos on they faces, colored hair," he says. "But then they have this vision that drives their heartbeats, and everything is creative, artistic. All of us are different."
McCoy loves the way "metalheads" and other musicians have supported the influx of rap music into lineups and venues, especially on a roots-level –– call it "organic."
"They were gonna do a show in the kitchen, and that's what I like, you know? That grimy shit," McCoy says. "It kinda reminds me of Guitar Hero, where you can just hop up anywhere and have a show, have a random-ass flyer for it, you know what I mean? Rockstar shit."
Even in the excitement of his ambition, however, McCoy stays realistic. "I don't wanna be a rapper," he admits plainly. Instead, he wants to be an engineer.
To him, rapping is a hobby, he says, and that means if he gets famous, awesome, but if not, he's heading back to Ivy Tech, where he has been paying his way through school off-and-on by working two jobs.
Until life breaks one way or the other, he's staying working, with several upcoming projects planned, trying to ride this wave for as long as he can.
"Every month, I grow out of myself, you know what I mean?" he says. "You know how snakes shed their skin, but they still the same thing? They just got a different layer? That's me. That's growth. I don't have time not to grow."