Today I’ am fortunate enough to be able to sit down and introduce an inspiring positive upcoming artist Dee-1 that comes from the city of New Orleans, LA known as the “Big Easy”.
Before we get well into the interview Dee-1 let the people know who haven’t heard of you, or your music give them some insight to who you are and what your music is about.I’m Dee-1 “The One Man Army.” I’m a ma on a mission to entertain and inspire people through my music.
Being from New Orleans were there any rappers that you looked up to that inspired you to pick up a mic?Nas, Tupac, Mac, The whole original Cash Money movement, Lauryn Hill.
Growing up in New Orleans listening to local artists from P-n-C to Mystikal did you ever find yourself calling Q93 trying to get on the radio to do the 9 o’clock props?I called once and they answered but I knew I couldn’t rap so I hung up and busted out laughing.
(Laughs) When did you decide or figure out that music was something that you wanted to do?My sophomore year of college at LSU (Louisiana State University).
Being an unsigned and local artist do you feel that its harder to make a name for yourself as it is for artists that are signed to major labels?Yes! The hardest part is to convince people that you are different from the rest of the artists out there, and to get them to just listen.
Your music has a positive message in it unlike some rappers out there that rap about guns, drugs, females, and bling. Do you feel that being a positive rapper will keep you from being mentioned alongside rappers with the likes of Wayne, Jay Z, Jeezy, etc?No! Because I’m dope and people respect that.
The concept of your song “Wayne, Jay Z, 50 cent” where did you get it from, and what made you decide it was a song you needed to drop?I wrote it when I was teaching middle school and I felt like those three brothers could be doing more with their fame, popularity, and money to be helping our community because we are suffering and kids look up to rappers more than anyone nowadays.
Some people who may hear it might think you are dissing the rappers you mention trying to make a name for yourself. So could you state the true meaning and message behind the song.Its not a Diss song, its just a REAL song.
At the end of the song you say “Ancestors of ours are screaming from the graves cause physically we’re free, but we’re still some mental slaves.” Can you speak on that and the message you are speaking on.I’m saying that physically our ancestors had to suffer and be slaves now because of their sacrifices we are physically free, but mentally we are still enslaved because we are focused on the wrong things and our priorities as a people are screwed up.
David & Goliath was your first official album when you were in the studio and it was finally complete how did you feel?I felt like a champion. I just finished and dropped my latest cd “I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2” on March 1st, and I feel like this is the best cd I have ever put out by far. People can download it for free at dee1music.com.
When you are performing on stage, and you look into the crowd and hear them singing along with you how does that make you feel?Like a Champion.
Listening to your music you can tell that you’re not just a rapper your flow is that of a poet or spoken word artist. How do you perceive your musical style to be?A combination of soul mixed with swag.
If people pay attention to your music they will hear that you don’t curse is there any reason behind that?Its just something I stopped doing in my real life, so it became easy to not do it in my music.
Music is your pride and passion but what some people may not know that you are/were a teacher. How do the students you teach look at you, and do you sometime rap your lesson plans?Well my students looked at me as a young black professional first and foremost, but they also thought it was cool that their teacher was a real rapper. I’m doing my music full time and no longer teaching, but when I was teaching I use to rap to the students sometimes as part of the lesson plan in a cool way never anything corny (laughs).
(Laughs) the rapping teacher. In the music industry people feel that if you are not rapping about what you got, how big your crib is, or how many cars you have, and popping bottles in the club they feel you not keeping it real. What do you think about that?I think people have the wrong definition of what is real, because for 95% of people out here in the streets that’s no real.
What challenges do you feel that you may face in the music industry?Just getting enough people to listen to my music, but once they listen I feel like I’m going to blow.
Looking at an artist like Drake who was once himself was an unsigned artist who created a major buzz for himself and got signed to a major label. How do you think you can do that for yourself as he did?If I keep putting out tight music, videos on Youtube, doing shows, and keeping God first.
Speaking of Drake you performed a show with him at Tulane where you held it down like a paper weight. How did it feel to work with a major artist, and what did you take from that show?
My favorite part of rapping is performing so it felt good to share the same stage as Drake and Lil Wayne. I actually met Drake backstage too, and after that show I knew I could rock big crowds because that show was PACKED and I did my thing.
What are some things that people can be on the look out from Dee-1, and where can they go to find your music and hear what Dee-1 speaks on?Download my new mixtape for free at dee1music.com. once again its called “I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2.” Also follow me on twitter at dee1music.
Are there any artist out there that if you had the chance to work with unsigned or signed who do you wish to collaborate with?Nas, Lauryn Hill, and anybody making real music
You have one album out, and several mixtapes out. Which one do you feel to you is more harder to work on?Harder to work on an album by far, and I approached “I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2” just like an album.
At the end of the day after you are done writing, and out of the studio how do you feel about your music?I’m my biggest critic gotta keep pushing myself to get better, but it feels good to listen to what I just did and be like “Ohhhhh I did that.”
Before I let you go is there anything that you want to tell the people and your fans?I love y’all keep helping to spread the music to new ears and putting new people on it, and make sure you download “I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2” from dee1music.com for free.
I want to say thank you Dee-1 for taking the time out of your schedule and sitting down with me and on behalf of Purposely Awakened, I say Thank You.My pleasure God Bless….And the battle continues.