Dee-1 To Perform At #UHSXSW
Dee-1 is the last, but certainly not least, of our featured artists performing at Unrefined Hype: Extended Play Showcase. Hailing from New Orleans, Dee-1 is an inspirational hip hop artist turning the industry on their ear, and with the help of his “one man army”, he has extended his lesson plans from the classroom to the stage…
Question: Do you feel as though being a conscious rapper bares the same reward as being a club/party/dopeboy rap artist? Dee-1: Yes. It actually has a greater reward. To sell records, make money to provide stability for you and your family, AND change lives in a positive way is the best thing you can ask for. But I’m not a conscious rapper. I’m just an artist that uses my music to motivate others and tell my story. My music fits on radio, MTV, college campuses, high schools, churches, and clubs….. and the beautiful part is that I’m just being myself. How you luv dat?
What does the landscape of the New Orleans music scene consist of outside of Lil Wayne? This scene in New Orleans is like a big bowl of gumbo. It’s one of the most diverse scenes in the country. Between Weezy, Jay Elec, Mystikal, Currensy, Dee-1, and all the bounce artists doing their thing, you can clearly see that we cover the entire spectrum of hip hop. 504 don’t play.
What do you feel distinguishes your forthcoming project, The Focus Tape, from any other project you’ve done (i.e. the I Hope They Hear Me Volumes 1 & 2). “The Focus Tape” is a concept tape. I’m locking in on one theme and going in depth about it. It’s a compilation of anthems that will motivate people to get out here and turn nothing into something; turn 15 cents to a buck fifty; turn dreams to reality.
What would be the first piece of advice you’d give to an up and coming rapper? Ask yourself, “Why do I want to rap? Is it just a way to make quick money? Do I have something unique I want to say?” If there is no real passion in your heart for it, your hustle will be hollow and empty. And secondly, I’d say that you have to look at what others did to succeed, but realize that your journey will be different from any of theirs.
How have you been able to stay grounded/humble with your impending success? Blame it on my parents and on New Orleans. My parents raised me to value the power of one, meaning that each person is unique and each interaction is an opportunity to learn from somebody and/or teach somebody something. And in New Orleans, it’s easy to stay humble because you never know when you might lose it all or even lose your life. We’ve all seen it happen too many times. I’m not just saying that, I mean that….and the battle continues.
Catch Dee-1 and more at the Unrefined Hype: Extended Play Showcase, during SXSW on Thursday, March 15th from 11am to 6pm. [R.S.V.P Here]