Music Nerdery.

I listen to a lot of Music.

Posts Tagged ‘Jay 50 and Weezy

Music Nerdery Sits Down with Dee-1 for Some Great Times.

with 7 comments

“Ancestors of ours are screaming from the grave, Because physically we are free, but were still some Mental Slaves.
Ancestors of ours are SCREAMING from the grave… Because physically we’re free, but were still some Mental Slaves.”

Man. Talk about truthiness. Something that Hip Hop needs right now.

“Jay, 50 and Weezy.” Hip Hop at its best. It was basically this line, amongst many others in that video above us, that left me in total awe and on a mission to find out more about this overly talented MC named Dee-1. Born and raised in mighty New Orléans, this unsigned, independent artist is challenging your understanding of what real, quality hip hop can be. With intelligent lyrical content spit cleverly over hot beats that hold a southern flare, and a music video that is all over MTVJams right now… its only a matter of time before this kid hits the big leagues.

Word.

So in an attempt to shine some light on this intriguing individual, I spoke with Dee for a bit and got the basics on his life, his music and his plans for a successful future. You interested? Good. Me too. Keep reading.

Music Nerdery: Hey Dee. Thanks so much for taking time out your busy schedule to indulge my Music Nerdery. really appreciate you taking time out your day for this.

Dee-1: Not a problem.

Music Nerdery: Alright. So it seems like there is a lot of talent coming out of the NO lately… Jay Electronica, Curren$y, and now you’re breaking out on the scene for New Orléans. Why don’t you tell me a bit about where exactly you grew up in and your life there… pre and post-Katrina life in New Orléans… and how all of that influences you and your music.

Dee-1: I grew up in New Orléans East. I lived my whole life in the same house on Dwyer Rd. I also spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. They also lived in the East, actually directly across the street from Curren$y. So I’ve BEEN knowing him.

Music Nerdery: Wow. Nice. Talent sees talent.

Dee-1: Yeah. Pre Katrina life in the N.O was never easy. But the thing about New Orléans is that it’s a bittersweet place. The highs are so high that we fall in love with our city and live, eat, sleep, and breathe New Orléans pride. There’s no culture like N.O culture. You gain a certain swag by living there… But the lows are so low that it makes you wish that you could just get away and live somewhere else with less poverty, corruption, crime, and hopelessness. Post Katrina N.O consists of a vibe of “rebirth” or “revival” for the city. I was off attending college (LSU in Baton Rouge) when Katrina hit, so once I graduated and “retired” from being a middle school teacher I moved back. This is my first time living in N.O as an adult so I have a different perspective now. Honestly, I love it.

New Orléans has influenced my music because I have so many memories growing up that I incorporate into my lyrics. Also, my slang and the way I carry myself is because of my N.O roots.

Music Nerdery: Yeah, once I heard your music, I knew you were probably from Louisiana. That drawl is unmistakable.  And that’s huge thing of you to do; going back and teaching children (My mom was a Teacher). Props for that.

Now lyrically, you are a unique breed of Hip Hop artist in the sense that you have refused to use any type of profanity in your lyrics… and I commend you for that. Hard to make that choice in a society/industry where swearing is seen as “cool,” and cool can equate to sales at times. What prompted the decision to take that step with your music?

Dee-1: Great question… My decision to not curse in my lyrics didn’t have ANYTHING to do with music. It was a decision I made in my personal life for personal reasons. I used to have a bad problem with my choice of words, so I challenged myself to stop cursing. Once I mastered it in real life, its was easy to not curse in my music because it’s a relection of who I currently am. I don’t look down on people who curse, but I want people to know that you can still be cool if you don’t. Look at me.

Music Nerdery: Nice. I really need to use you as an example… man,  I can swear like a sailor (laughs). So, you also have the distinction of being one of the few Hip Hop artists I know who has their college degree (good job dude, I still have to figure out how I’m going to pay for mine.) Tell me why you made the decision to not only go, but finish…. and about what you majored in.

Dee-1: I never had a choice (chuckles). My parents wouldn’t accept anything less than excellence from me. My dad never went to college, but he was so hard on me when it came to school that you would have thought he had a P.H.D… But it worked. Once I got to school, I started rapping, and my plan was to graduate and walk across the stage with a diploma in one hand and a recording contract in the other hand. It didn’t happen that way though, and I wasn’t making any money from music when I graduated so I had to get a real job. I always loved working with kids, so I decided to become a middle school teacher…. But my major was Marketing and my minor was Sociology.

Music Nerdery: Marketing… I see what you’re doing there. Smart for a musician to know. Funny… Soc is my major too. Explains your lyrics a bit too.

So really, what brought us all here is MTVJams genius, and the absolute epicness that is your “Jay, 50, and Weezy” video. It was love at first sight (and lyric) when I saw that video; I absolutely adore it. The theme behind the song and the video are a wonderful concept…. why don’t you go into how you came up with the ideal to address “The Big Three?”

Dee-1: When I wrote that song I was still teaching middle school. I saw 1st hand how much hip hop really influenced our youth, and I wondered which of hip hop’s giants really understood the influence they had but still chose to not use it in a positive way. I honestly don’t think some of hip hop’s stars “get it,” but I know for a fact that “Jay, 50, and Weezy” do because they have each built empires and it takes skill and intelligence to do that. I knew I couldn’t get a meeting with them in real life to address these issues so I wrote a song about it…. Hopefully I’ll get that meeting one day though!

Music Nerdery: I’m sure they heard you. Or they will soon, at least. Alright kid. Shameless plug time. This is where you tell me about your all about your music, the “I Hope The Hear Me” Mixtape Series;  and ANY new music you might have on the way.

(Readers, this is where you start clicking links.)

Dee-1: My independent album “David & Goliath” came out in 2009 and is available on iTunes and cdbaby.com. The original version of “Jay, 50, and Weezy” and my other single “One Man Army” are both on there. That album put me on the radar of a lot of people… I even got personal phone calls from 9th Wonder and Mannie Fresh after they heard the music…

Music Nerdery: Word? Congrats family.

Dee-1: “I Hope They Hear Me” is my current mixtape series… They are all free downloads on the internet and on my website dee1music.com
“I Hope They Hear Me Vol 1” is currently out.
“I Hope They Hear Me Vol 1.5” is dropped on December 15th.
“I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2” will consist of 100% original music and will be released in January 2011…..

Also, my music videos for “Jay, 50, and Weezy” and “One Man Army (Remix)” are on youtube… And the Jay, 50, and Weezy video is on MTVJAMS (which has single-handedly changed my life by the way). Real talk…

Music Nerdery: Yeah. I can testify to that one myself. (laughs)

Dee-1: I keep my fans updated through my twitter page, which is twitter.com/dee1music.

Music Nerdery: Nice. All the info I ever needed. Now here’s my favorite question in all interviews. As a Music Nerd, I HAVE to ask you what are you listening to. Anything new? What about any old school. Different genres? Whats good?

Dee-1: I’m currently listening to Joe Budden’s “Mood Muzik 4,” Tupac, several old CDs from Cash Money Records (the cash money I grew up on), and Talib Kweli’s “The Beautiful Struggle.” When I listen to different genres, I mostly like to vibe out and listen to Jazz. My dad and grandpaw have biggest Jazz collection on the face of the earth, so I just use their cds… Lol. Miles, Coletrane, Cannonball, Charlie Parker, Dizzy G., etc. All the greats.

Music Nerdery: I like your Jazz Game there. Now I’m asking you this because I know I’ll get a decent answer out of you.  What does being a MC mean to you? Better yet… when you’re done with Hip Hop, what do you want your Legacy to be.

Dee-1: On some real stuff, I look at being an MC as part of my calling. I feel like I’m the one that has been put here to reach people and spread a positive message on and off the mic to whoever will listen… I have a wonderful gift and opportunity right now, so I don’t take it lightly.

When I’m done with hip hop, I want to be known as the person who fulfilled his mission to change the world for the better, through his music and his lifestyle. I also want to inspire “One Man Armies” and “One Woman Armies” all over the world to fulfill their purpose too, whatever it may be.

Music Nerdery: That’s an awesome mission; Great Answer. Alright. Fun Question Time! If you won the lottery right now… list off some of the first things you would do with the money.

Dee-1: I’d invest half of it and use the other half to do hoodrat things with my friends. (laughs)… That was just a joke. I’d definitely make sure my mom and pops never had to work again, invest part of it, give back to the community, and call you to see where you wanna go party at!!! I’ll definitely break you off with a milli.

Music Nerdery: Nice! I’d buy a house and build a Music School that I want you to come teach at. (laughs) So when you get famous, can I get a part two to this interview?

Dee-1: I thought I was famous already? (laughs) Of course you can! And part 3, 4, 5, and so on..….

Music Nerdery: Word! I’m talkin about, when you get that first Grammy, I get the first sit down interview. 🙂

Dee-1: Holla at ya boi.

To find out more about Dee, you can always visit his main site, or you can keep up with him on his twitter.

Thanks again to Dee, Evan Alvarez, MTVJams and everyone reading. Enjoy.