New Orleans can be described in many way, but in this case we'll refer to the city as "flavorful." It's a place that's defined by a rich culture; people, food, and, more particularly, music included. From its renowned big brass bands to bounce music to Hip-Hop, the Big Easy can provide an audible delight perfect for any scenario.
But the one thing the city sorely lacks is a voice for the common man. We're talking someone who's in tune with streets and speaks for those looking to conquer their adversities, but has a presence large enough to appeal to the masses. RCA Inspiration recently announced the signing of Dee-1, our latest Certified Fresh feature and a local artist who just might fill the bill.
Earlier this year, he debuted a project titled Psalms Of David, which ultimately made him worthy of a major label look. With all eyes on him, Dee debuted the project's ambitious sequel, Psalms Of David II, that serves as the next listenable blessing. Well, that is until he the southern MC proves what he can do with a machine backing him (he has an unconventional plan).
Who: Dee-1 isn't your run of the mill rapper, especially if you factor in those who rose to fame from the N.O. before him. He's a graduate of Louisiana State University, which he attended on a full scholarship. Considering that, it's no surprise that his conversational flows do more than display his wizardry with words. The message reads loud and clear.
Dee is a true New Orleans native, but he got his bearings straight in Baton Rouge. There, he worked as a middle school teacher by day, while chasing his dreams of becoming a noteworthy MC by night. The wordsmith eventually saw fit to quit his steady gig to work on music full time. What followed was a long, winding road of ups and downs that he vividly detailed in projects like I Hope They Hear Me Vol 1., I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2, The Focus Tape, and more recently the Psalms Of David series.
Credentials: If paying dues were the only determining factor in inking a deal with a major label, Dee-1 would have been sing eons ago. Aside from the aforementioned projects, the MC has organically grown a healthy fan base without any gimmicks. He's also earned the respect of peers and industry veterans alike. His real-life Rolodex includes the likes of Lupe Fiasco, who he's currently on tour with, Macklemore, Mannie Fresh, Yaasin Bey, and more. And this was prior to becoming a marketable commodity.
Credit Dee's early signs of success to what he's coined "mission vision." This plays into the rapper's nickname, "One Man Army," which proved to be prophetic since he championed the game independently for eight years before joining the RCA family.
Fun Fact: Dee-1 didn't pick up the pen and pad until his sophomore year of college. No, really.
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Photo: YouTube, Dee-1