Check out this rapper who is also a student at El Camino

Check out this up-and-coming rapper.

June 2, 2018


Drawing and photo by Sarah Desmond.


Standing out like an uncapped highlighter, Ernesto Rodriguez has bleached short-hair and has on a dark, baggy hoodie. His hands rest inside the large kangaroo-like pocket at the center of his hoodie.

Ernesto is a 20-year-old business major attending El Camino College. He is also an aspiring rapper who goes by the name of Doty Gess and has amassed his own following.

He first began to realize he had gotten some traction when he found out some blogs had posted about him and his music. One song he uploaded on Soundcloud on July 14, 2017 had garnered a lot of attention.

“When I got blogs posted about me – talking pretty good about me – I found out that there were actual people listening to my stuff,” Ernesto says. “I’ve got a song called ‘On Your Own’. It’s the song that got me traction. Forty-thousand plays.”

“You don’t need no help, you can do it by yourself. Do it on your own,” Doty Gess sings in “On Your Own”.

Ernesto was inspired by Canadian rapper, Drake, when he first started writing songs in middle school.

“Initially, yeah. I don’t sound like him. He talks about girls and stuff, that’s what my music is mostly about. It consists of talking about girls and love. That’s mainly what I do,” Ernesto says.

He feels as though love is a relatable topic because everyone goes through it.

He grew up in Inglewood where he was influenced by his peers to try and be a rapper. He got the name “Doty Gess” from a combination of his street’s name and his own.

“My street is called Doty. My last name is Rodriguez. So I took the “guess” from my last name. I’d always be guessing in school, so, Doty Gess,” Ernesto says.

The first time Ernesto performed in front of a live crowd was in his senior year. He participated in an event called Acoustic Night and freestyled on top of three beats with his friend Jerli Duenas to three hundred people.

“I mix melodic singing with trap beats. I think that’s what makes me different. It’s not hardcore stuff like drugs, this and that. The bass is there and the love is there. No one really sounds like that,” Ernesto says. “My fans follow me for the lovey-dovey songs. It’s what I do best and what I like doing.”

You can follow Doty Gess on Soundcloud, @dotygess.