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David “Whitefolkz” Simmons once struck a quintessentially gangsta pose: He kept his eyes perpetually covered in shades—-and he carried a pimp cup.

But by last September, Simmons had grown tired of the grind—-of sitting in the studio and picking glossy beats in the hopes of securing some radio play. He stopped performing live shows and stepped back from the scene. “I love music, but I couldn’t keep doing the same thing,” he says now. “It was all uniform, it was all the same thing. I feel like hip-hop’s been confining me a little bit.”

Since then, Folkz has dropped the “White” from his rap name and is focusing more on production. He’s still rhyming, but now he dabbles in other genres. Released earlier this month, “Opium” was a psychedelic concoction of electric guitars and congas. Yesterday, Folkz dropped a dubstep remix of D.C. Don Juan‘s breakout single from a few years back, “Looky Looky.”

Folkz may be less visible these days, but he’s still keeping busy. His upcoming album—-The Long Road Out of Hell, dropping in October—-is heavy on rock and heavy metal, among other genres, he says. In the nearer future, he’s planning to release other dubstep remixes and might package them as a mixtape.