Hip-Hop Wired: Accountability seems to be a running theme in your music. Is that the case? And if so, why?

Dee-1: I want accountability to be a theme that’s synonymous with the name Dee-1. I want people to hold me accountable for what I talk about, because I wouldn’t feel right rapping about the things I rap about if my lifestyle was a total 180; if my lifestyle was totally different from what I rap about. I want people to hold me accountable. I want the kids who listen to my music and the people that who look up to Dee-1 as a celebrity – where I come from and all across the world – I want people to understand that it’s not just music; It’s really a lifestyle that I live.

I want them to understand that it’s possible to really be a positive dude, an educated dude, be a cool dude, and not have to compromise any of that and you can still succeed and win big. We have never seen that where I come from. I have to emphasize that. In New Orleans, we have no examples of that when it comes to musicians. Zero. I’m glad I can be the one.

Hip-Hop Wired: We’re guessing that your major label debut is next. Is that the case?

Dee-1: No, not necessarily man. If you think about it, J. Cole put out a couple of mixtapes after he got signed, before his album came out. Kendrick put out a couple of projects – Wale. Everybody’s path is different, so I don’t want to compare it to anything that’s ever happened because my path to getting where I’m at now wasn’t the same as anybody. How many rappers other rappers didn’t start rapping ‘til they got to college? Got to college, took it serious, found out they were real good at it, but didn’t get a deal or didn’t have any backing, any label behind them, no manager or nothing? I graduated, had to be a middle school teacher – this all part of my story – taught middle school, quit from that to step out on faith and pursue their dream and two years later ended up with a major label record deal.

All of that is so far from the norm, that moving forward I don’t want to compare myself to what’s supposed to happen. Anytime I make a plan, something just comes through and rearranges it. My plan was to chill in New Orleans and record for the rest of the year; stack up music. Then Lupe Fiasco hit me up and asked me to come on tour. What, I’mma tell Lupe no? So, I’m doing that until the end of the year now. After Psalms Of David II, I don’t know. They just gotta stay tuned and see what comes next.

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