I had the opportunity to speak with the rap duo, Urban Republic – Dewey Da Don and Novacain (from Kansas City, Kansas). Both gentleman have faced huge challenges and overcame them all. Dewey Da Don went from being on the verge of standing before a judge as a teen to speaking in front of Congress. They have defied the odds with their dedication, determination and drive. They just released an EP, Killa City State of Mind the Prelude from their company Loudpack Productions. Check it out at http://piff.me/e9646db.
After you read this interview, I know you will be just as inspired as I am to continue to be and pursue my dreams and purpose.
Questions & Answers
The transition from a mentee to a mentor, what has been the message you’ve heard from the youth you work with?
“Basically, the feeling of being trapped, you see no opportunities because of your current situation. I always tell them that their dreams and passion is bigger than your current circumstances and ultimately you are bigger than that. It means to stay in constant pursuit of not what is but of what you see can be. You are not what people say you are. You have to be who you see yourself as.”
Your saying everything we do, you’re going to hear about it – what do you want people to know when you say this?
“Our brand is greatness and excellence. We try to exude that and confidence in everything that we do. LoudPack is our unified effort to streamline similar minded individuals that believe in the same mantra. Everything tied to our name is going to be great. We are tapping into various markets and facets to create a revolving door so you will hear about us no matter what interest you may have. ”
What do you hope to accomplish with your music and who is the audience you want to capture?
“Want to gain traction and gain monetary success so we can get a platform to gain more resources to affect the communities. That really resonates with us because it feels like home and home for us was a pocket of hopelessness (little to no opportunity). When traveling around and performing I want to be able to offer more than just good advice. One of the initiatives with Strong, Willing, and Gifted (SWAG) program is to help talented kids with the resources to pursue their dreams. We want to also evoke emotion. Music is powerful. We hope that our music can empower. Our target audience is everyone which is why we have a diverse catalog.”
What is the concept behind the Killa City State of Mind the Prelude mixtape?
“Killa City State of Mind the Prelude mixtape is a mentality from which we come from – if you want it bad enough, you have to do what you have to do to get it done. It’s all about the hustle. The projects invoke our mentality. Being in that type of environment you really don’t make it out. When we opened up the mixtape our first song is called Killa City and we talk about how we made it out of there. It shows how far we’ve come but never forgetting where we are. Where we are from there aren’t a lot of opportunities so we created LoudPack, we created our own opportunity.”
What inspires you?
Dewey Da Don “I was always drawn to the Texas sound that really influenced me first. That is how I got introduced to mixtapes. Chamillionaire, Slim Thug had a heavy influence on me.”
Novacain “I would agree. It was the Texas sound that inspired us to do music.”
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Dewey Da Don “I have two. Musically is when I started a new entertainment company in Georgia – LoudPack Production. People from where I come from like to talk about it but not be about it. When I say this I mean, substantiating and professionalizing yourself within your position. That is how you make something no longer a hobby. Start wrapping professionalism and education around yourself. Civically is when I testified before Congress, hands down. Being able to use that platform to not only share my testimony but share the story of millions of youth across the world. That is why it was very important that we get the message conveyed that programs are beneficial. There is little to nothing where we come from. We need every little bit we can get. So getting that Edward Kennedy Serve America Bill passed that was pretty big.”
Novacain “When we did our first show in front of Usher, Alonzo Mourning and others. It was our first show that was not like a talent show. To have that accomplishment so early really opened my eyes to say that we really can do this.”
What business information did you learn that every up and coming artist needs to know?
“How to put together strategic goals, outlining five year plans, completing a business plan, appearance when conducting business, importance of communications/articulation, direct eye contact, firm handshake.”
What do you feel is missing in today’s music?
“We have move from the traditional sense and the foundation of what hip hop was started and how it sounds. What is missing is a balance of researching what laid the foundation for what we are doing now and putting it back into the music. People haven’t forgotten, it’s the new people who don’t even know. Rapping is an act. Hip Hop is the culture. We need to get back to the culture. That goes back to giving back to the community. We can turn up and have fun but can we get into the streets and make a difference. Music also needs vulnerability – everybody is too cool to say something of substance.”
As you have read, there is more to the Urban Republic than dope beats and hot lyrics. One thing that really resonated with me during this call is the words believe, behave, and become. These words say to me if you believe and act accordingly, you will become what you dream. I love it! Join me in supporting these two hip hop artists/entrepreneurs/philanthropists on their journey. As you can see their mission is bigger than music, they are out to make a difference and inspire minds. Stay connected with these gentlemen on the rise.
- Website: www.loudpack.biz
- Urban Republic’s SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/urbanrepublic
- Urban Republic’s Social Media pages: Group Twitter and Instagram : Urbanrepublic2; Individual Instagram: Deweydadon & Novacain007; Individual Twitter: @iamthadon & @novacain007
Best Wishes and Much Success Urban Republic!