New Orleans rapper Dee-1 is a dreamer, to say the least.
By his account, he’s already chased multiple dreams in his life and has much more to come. His latest? To reach the masses with his brand of southern-fried conscious hip-hop. While that may seem like wishful thinking, it’s important to note that Dee seems to be just as good at achieving as he is at dreaming.
“Dreams really come true, but by the time they come true, you start dreaming way bigger dreams,” he told XXL when he stopped by its offices yesterday. ”I just do my best and put out the best energy I can.”
That energy has brought Dee a long ways. Originally, his dream was to play basketball. When that didn’t work out—he was cut from Louisiana State University’s team as a freshman—he decided to be an MC. But after failing to get a record deal before graduation, he decided to become a teacher in Baton Rouge, where he taught impoverish youth. He kept performing shows and used his paychecks to pay for studio time.
“I really had a role in that particular school,” he said. “[But my students] parents were coming to me for parent-teacher conferences and they’re like, “When your new mixtape gonna drop?”
Without the help of a manager, he eventually caught the ear of RCA Inspiration and was signed to a record deal. Now he’s touring the country with Lupe Fiasco, who he’s been a fan of for years. He’s also released a new mixtape, Psalms of David II (listen below), the sequel to his well-received project from earlier this year. The project, Dee said, is a reflection of his life in New Orleans and all those past dreams that have helped shape the person he is today.
“It’s produced a hunger in me,” he said. “For my music to be so authentically New Orleans but for it to have this message is something that is a niche.”
Previously: Dee-1 Joins Lupe Fiasco On Tour