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D.K. - conducted by Hugo Lunny  

D.K. - The Don & The King

April 2006

Few artists can say that before the age of twenty, one of the world's most well known rappers had signed them and saw talents in them to make him (Jay-Z) further his profits. D.K. can. Being signed to the now folded Roc-A-Fella counterpart, The Carter Faculty, was just the beginning for D.K. who currently has a mixtape with Kay Slay and Sheist Bub floating around. He's working with Babygrande and his own label 730 Commission to put out his debut "Words Of Art" later this year.

MVRemix: What's your first memory of Hip Hop?

D.K.: Ah shit yo, it's been a minute. I had graffiti on my lunch pale. My first memory of Hip Hop was my mother tellin' me that it was noise just because back then she thought it was trash. Back then it wasn't, she was just old fashioned - but right now it is. My first memories of Hip Hop - I remember being at elementary school and when my nigga started smiling I knew Hip Hop was real. It's culture, not an image - know what I mean?

MVRemix: For those who don't know about you, introduce yourself.

D.K.: My name is D.K. - I'm the illest rapper you've never heard. I mean that in every sense of the word. What I mean is the game is narcoleptic on cats like me, they sleepin' - they sleep on cats that are real artists. Everybody has their images. I'm not that. I'm the best rapper you'll ever hear, for real 'cause I'm combing all the elements with a passion, trying to pave a wave for the future. I don't force nothin'. D.K. - the Don and the King and that's how I feel.

MVRemix: How did your original signing with the Carter Faculty (Jay-Z's subsidiary of Roc-A-Fella) come about?

D.K.: I used to work with Beanie Sigel's mother on a company called Black Friday management, that was around The Dynasty times and all that. So it was me and my homeboy named Ted Diamond, we used to rhyme together and all that - she managed the both of us. Ted's on my mixtape. What happened was we snuck into the Hip Hop summit with demos, everybody back in the day had demos and that shit was real. So we hit Jermaine Dupri, Puffy and all that and headed down to Def Jam's office and we had a connect with the dude who was the A&R at Roc-A-Fella at the time. My man Ted didn't feel like spittin', he wasn't trippin' on rappin' but I was hungry so I stepped to the plate and the rest was a part of history. The timing wasn't right it was Jay's... before State Property; it was Jay's other label on Roc-A-Fella that he started for his cousins Bee Ha and Ty Ty - you'll hear him talk about 'em in his songs and all that and I signed July 18th, 2001.

MVRemix: What ended happening with that?

D.K.: Like I say, Roc-A-Fella was real close with Murda Inc. so I had a lot of connections with Murda Inc. The A&R for Murda Inc. at the time told me that he heard that they was losin' they distribution; Def Jam. Being that I was under 18 at the time of the signing of the contract, I had a little clause in my shit that I could back out at any time. Shit that my lawyer had set up. I wasn't tryin' to mess with a company just because of the name - I was tryin' to mess with a company because Def Jam's a brand - I fit in with the music at the time, as far as what Roc-A-Fella was doin'. When they lose they distribution, I ain't want no part of it. So I moved forward and now I'm at where I'm at right now. Babygrande Records. 730 Commission. 730 Commission is my label, Babygrande is the label that I'm under.

MVRemix: What's the current standing with regards to your Purple City affiliation and the obvious beef between Jay-Z and Dipset - do you have a side or are you passive?

D.K.: You know what? I'm sitting down in the middle east. I'm worried about my situation. I'm worried about Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and I'm worried about what's happening on my thing. I'm here for a whole different purpose. I'm from where the wires fell, so I ain't really got no reason to get involved with rap street beef. That's not my position; I'm here to make bread. 'Cause I learned when I was here to make music, people was here to make bread. I ended up being the illest at music, and now I'm tryin' to play catch up, that's the managing up in this game. At the same time, I'm the best and I say that with no regret.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Purple City and Babygrande?

D.K.: Real recognize real anyway, so that would've happened anyway. That's how the stars line up. Sheist Bub is a real nigga and he heard my mixtape when I signed with Babygrande - I did a little promotional mixtape and he was messin' with it. So he decided that it wouldn't be a bad thing for me to be affiliated with the most street official clique in Hip Hop, which is Dipset. The respect has gotta be due to Purple City and they movements and they mixtapes and how they move - how they move on the streets. So real's always gonna recognize likewise. That's what was meant to happen.

MVRemix: Tell me about the 730 Commission.

D.K.: 730 Commission - 730 means that you crazy, a commission is a board of business people or people that share the same interest. That's how they combine in. Then I tried to... It's like 730 Commission is the future - it's like we got artists from all over the United States of America. I'm in a fortunate position where I know a lot of street niggas from all over the country from my days of being in the streets and all that, so we linked up. That's what scares people, when black people link up to get money together. So that's what I'm here to do. Some crazy niggas and I'm crazy enough to be right, so I'ma make it happen.

MVRemix: Tell me about "Words Of Art"

D.K.: I mean, if you can bottle up all your... When The Game came out, I feel like he didn't take my name, but that's kind of what I was tryin' to do. Instead of out-bitin' niggas, I was tryin' to out write niggas. So when I say I'm the best rapper you will hear in your lifetime, I'm not sayin' that arrogantly, I'm sayin' it like I earn that. I'm sayin' it like while everybody else was listenin' to music that came out after 2000, I was focusin' on everyone who made that original music. I'm payin' homage to all those old school cats that came before me so I feel like that's what I'm here to do. I'm here to be lyrically the most thought provoking cat you'll hear on the radio. I'm conscious with street cred. I'm Canibus with hooks - I'm tryin' to define balance. Every D.K. song you'll ever hear will be thought provoking, whether it's positive or negative - it's how I feel that day. I'm not no sandals wearin' conscious ass nigga, but I'ma wear it. I'm not gonna act like I'm dumb just 'cause that's cool now. I'm the smartest artist regardless and that's my squad. 730 and that's on my stomach for life. I'll die with it, I'll ride with it.

MVRemix: Would you say the album is still being worked on?

D.K.: "Words Of Art" is already done. It's a concept that was in my brain since I was 15/16 years old. I felt like it's so left field from what you hear commercially, that it would almost make some people shy away from it because it's not attaching me to an image off the top. I'm not holdin' a fuckin' pimp cup on the cover. I'm not holdin' my guns out 'cause I got real cases. I got the low-cut, I'm chillin' like a boss is supposed to. "Words Of Art" is basically the only concept album you'll hear that has any sort radio potential. I'm the only artist on the radio with lyrics. Fuck everybody. I can count on my hand the amount of niggas that's not wack. And I'm mad at the rap game and that's what it is. Anger when channeled right can be some real great passionate music. I feel like we need that back. I don't care. I'm from west-side B.More, I'm more concerned about gettin' killed in my street then some rap shit. Dare I be bold and say that I'm better than the typical laffy taffy rapper. Fuck everybody. That's how I'm on it. I'll blow up the radio station. Promote or die, that's my motto. Get with that, I'm the best rapper they'll never hear until niggas click onto that.

MVRemix: Kind of going on from that, it seems that these days there's no rap fans left - everyone does something in it. Is that a good or bad thing?

D.K.: Yeah. Back in the days they used to do Basketball. Nowadays rap's the new Basketball - used to speak for the hood - now rap speaks above the hood, flyin' from a G4 jet. I got no problems with a G4 jet, but Carlton Banks never had Hip Hop cred. Niggas is lookin' like Carlton Banks out there. Niggas is lookin' real crazy. Too many rap fans wanna be rappers, too many rappers wanna be fans. Lets go with the gangsta shit, we're here to uplift the people.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

D.K.: We don't really fight; I'm grown. Niggas got cases - we don't really fight. We're not really tryin' to be on no fightin' shit, we're tryin' to do this for Hip Hop. I don't really have time - why do... That's why we don't battle cats. I always say if I battle you, I will dazzle you to the booth. I'm not an "Ooooh" and "Aaah" rapper. There's no point me tryin' to fight niggas when I'm tryin' to out write niggas. I do me. I'm not focused on you. Why talk about your shoes when I can talk about mine? See what I'm sayin'?

MVRemix: Do you have any non-musical aspirations?

D.K.: All day! All day. This is just the beginning of a movement. 730 Commission, that's why we didn't call it 730 Records. We called it 730 Commission - leaves it open for many opportunities. Commission clothing coming soon. 730 Bella women's line coming soon. These are all things that we aspire to do. In this game called music where people don't even spit 16 bars no more, who knows what's gonna be happening? All I know is I've got the most commercially relevant, yet underground credible album. I'm where credibility, marketability and street credibility meet - that's what it is.

MVRemix: What makes you feel that you're music is underground and commercial and marketable?

D.K.: You know what it is? Fans nowadays, fans cop CD's, fans buy records off of images. They buy who they aspire to be. You might watch the video and you focus more on the images behind the rapper than the rapper, so you get the same on mute that you would because you're not even focusing on what the song is on. For the full hour I said the three p's for platinum is pussy in your video, good production and good promotion - I figured out the math - the wise man can play the part of a fool. Hip Hop right now is in a state where you take any D.K. song at any point and drop the beat - acappella; any underground person will tell you I broke it down lyrically at an angle. If I talk about bitches, I'm gonna justify every time I say the word "bitch." I'm not gonna say it just because it's a space filler. I've got a word bank. I could go on forever - sell bumper stickers with it. I do this, I have 1500 songs written. I'm scared of that. That's 105 albums... this is since I met Jay[-Z]. After I met Jay at the Carter Faculty, I have 1500 3 song verses with 3 songs, complete with hooks, written. I got to the point where I was on some obsessive compulsive shit. That's 105 15 song albums and that's after the greatest rapper alive said "You're good enough to be with me." If you can figure I'm still releasing songs on my mixtapes from that era, where would you think you were at when the game went backwards? You'd focus on the era you fell in love with this. This ain't crunk juice, this is Hip Hop and you can quote that, I ain't scared of niggas. Fuck everybody. That's my quote "Fuck everybody, 'cause you ain't foolin' me."

MVRemix: Any last words?

D.K.: Please don't take my arrogance as nothin' else but hunger, you know what I mean. When I say I'm the best, I'm payin' ode to all the rappers that were before me. I feel that if I'm not sayin' I'm the best, I'm disrespectin' they legacy. I feel that this is what the art is, whether it's martial art or words of art - this is what I'm here to do. I'm here to take, extract and make somethin' new. This is about the face of Hip Hop. I'm not talkin' about the future, this is now. By hook or by crook, I am taking over the rap game and I don't care. You will hear me on the radio, you will hear me in the coffee shop. Whether you wearin' sandals or you wearin' chancletas or whatever the fuck you wearin'. Whether you in Starbucks or you makin' hard bucks, there is no way that you can deny the most lyrical rapper that's alive. Period. Period. I don't care about whether you talkin' from Jeezy to Talib from any angle. I do believe that.

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"I'm here for a whole different purpose. I'm from where the wires fell, so I ain't really got no reason to get involved with rap street beef. That's not my position; I'm here to make bread."