By: Starrene Rhett
D. One has something to prove. Relatively unknown, the Boston native has been grinding for years and is finally starting to make significant progress but you probably still have not heard of him. His song, “Patriots II,” featuring Canibus has been creating a buzz and he also scored collaborations with AZ, Royce Da 5’9,” Krumbsnatcha and more but he’s just getting started.
He scored a record deal with indie label, Upscale Records since moving to L.A. on a whim last year, and is working on getting a major label deal by next year. His first project on Upscale is entitled Second Nature and hits stores worldwide next month. Sure he’s another rapper amongst millions of other rappers, but D. One wants the world to recognize and understand why he’s worth the time.
Hiphopcrack.com: In a nutshell, who is D. One and why is he someone people should mess with?
D. One: D. One is that young vet coming up slowly but surely out of the trenches. I been independently grinding hard for 6 years now and I finally see some light at the end of this long a- – tunnel. My music is rooted on that mid nineties era lyrical tip which is my idea of real Hip-Hop. I mean the talent / music has always been there but it’s on another level now and I made some real strong connections since I moved from Boston to LA last year.
Hiphopcrack.com: Why did you move to LA as opposed to NYC, which is closer, or the South, which is supposedly poppin’ on the Hip-Hop front? Did you have any family or friends in LA to hold you down?
D. One: I got tired of the snow and cold! Boston to LA seemed like the two furthest points. My girl and I moved out pretty blindly, honestly. We didn’t even really plan it or think about it too much.
Hiphopcrack.com How did you make out when you first got out there?
D. One: I was focused on surviving. First, I found a studio right away and spent half the year recording and finishing up my latest project, “Second Nature” it def. took a minute for anything to pop off.
Hiphopcrack.com: And when it finally did, it happened at a gas station or car wash right? Can you elaborate?
D. One: Actually at a Mercedes dealership. I was valeting cars part time while interning at a music management firm in LA. Nothing happend with the music job , but at the dealership I ended up valeting the car of Manny Mijares; owner of a record label out here….I ended up getting a $10,000 advance, plus studio time, beats, promotion, etc
Hiphopcrack.com: You did a song with Canibus and you’ve also worked with Royce da 5’9′ and AZ. How did you hook up with them to do music? Who else have you worked with and what collabos are planned for the future?
D. One:Each one came about at different times in different ways. I hooked up with AZ in Boston last summer right before I left when he was in town for a show. He has always been my favorite rapper so that was a real honor being in the studio with him. It’s crazy getting on tracks with dudes I grew up listening to. I try to collabs with legends not just whoever is buzzing at the moment. The Canibus track is something we are adding to Second Nature before its national re-release this year. Canibus is a genius. He was schooling me on the evils of this business and all that, and once again it was an honor [working with him] and we did that “Patriots II” joint and brought those lyrics back to the people. The track was released for download on all of his fan sites and really took off last month.
Hiphopcrack.com: Who are some of your other influences?
D. One: Jay-Z, Big Pun, Lost Boyz, Biggie, Pac, Pearl Jam, any real music no specific genre and obviously AZ, Canibus and Royce Da 5’9”.
Hiphopcrack.com: Let’s jump into your album. Second Nature is out next month, what does the album represent for youand what do you want people to get from it?
D. One: This project has taken on a life of its own. I mean originally, it wasn’t really an album or a mixtape it was a collection of tracks from the 2005-2006 year, collabs and freestyles. Now, we are adding some more solo tracks from my 2004 project Dvisione to it and replacing some others. I want people to get what they get from it and give it an honest listen. I know they will feel it. My only major set back so far has been exposure.
Hiphopcrack.com:What type of exposure are you getting now and how could it be better?
D. One: When I first signed with Upscale Records we were planning on getting the album distributed right away, but then some bigger meetings came up. We are now working with Qadree El – Amin (Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Michael Jackson), taking him on as a second manager, and if everything goes well I hope to have the album in stores before Thanksgiving, that will be distributed through Sony Red. Also, a major label deal by the end of my Upscale contract next summer.
Hiphopcrack.com: What does your album sound like in terms of production? Who are some of the producers on there?
D. One: the production is real tight in my opinion. There’s some samples, some raw beats; young cats like Decap out of Boston and DJ Broc ( Mobb Deep, AZ, Chino XL, Game) out of NY and Upscale on the Canibus joint. I also executive produced it, coming up with sample ideas, song arrangement, drops, etc.
Hiphopcrack.com: Are you currently touring or have any coming up?
D. One: A tour is in the works. It’s still up in the air. There have been talks about the Microsoft tour but nothing is definite.
Hiphopcrack.com: Where can people find your album once it drops and are you on any mixtapes?
Hiphopcrack.com: Everywhere! as far as mixtapes i couldnt tell you which ones I am constantly sending djs tracks to use for their tapes…..as far as major ones that stick in my mind my track with AZ "What We Do" was featured on an Echo mixtape last year after they heard it on hiphopgame.com
Hiphopcrack.com: Now is your chance to freestyle, is there anything you wan to add?
D. One: Thanks for the interview. My official sites are D. One and
Second Nature is coming worldwide next month. Peace!