Dee-1 told me back in late September that he’d be signing to RCA. He told me this at my house. Because he came to my son’s birthday party. Because that’s what Dee-1 does. I was scrambling around the house between the grill and the kitchen and the cake and I don’t think I had enough time at that moment to really let it soak in and let the moment of joy really take place. But dammit, I’m proud of Dee-1.
I was reminded that I should write this post because my mom just called me to tell me to celebrate the fact Dee-1 got a record deal. “Tell him I’m proud of him.”
Oddly enough, Dee-1 and I have had incredibly intertwining lives for the last few years. My first ever freelance check was from an OffBeat magazine article I wrote on Dee-1′s I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2, his first placement in the magazine.
A few weeks after that review came out, I met Dee-1 at Law’s NOLA Summer Jam. Of all the glowing things I said about his project, I’d written like two criticisms about it. Dee grilled me about those two sentences and talked about getting better. He displayed a competitive edge and perfectionism that immediately caught my attention. A few minutes later, he took the stage: “Hey, guys, I’m gonna perform a new song I wrote recently. It’s called ‘Jay, 50 and Weezy.’” I emailed Gotty right after and told him that when this dude named Dee-1 drops this song, it’s going to take off.
Since then, I’ve watched Dee hustle and do just about everything pitch perfectly. (I can’t write any more without acknowledging his right-hand lady, Fatima, who is one of the smartest, most professional and nicest people you’ll ever meet. You’re an idiot if you’re an artist and not looking her up.)
Our career paths crossing doesn’t end there: a couple of years later, I wrote my first cover story on Dee-1, his first time on the cover of a magazine. We actually now live a few blocks apart and my birthday is less than a week after his. He’s really become a family member, so when he announces that he’s signed to RCA, it’s one of the happiest moments in recent memory. If anyone deserves success and happiness, it’s Dee. I know getting signed is just the first step, but I at least know he’ll make the right moves in this next journey.
Take this, for example: Dee-1 penned an open letter to the students he taught at Baker Middle School, where he worked as his career was starting off. Sometimes, the good guys do win.
And just because, we’ll throw in his most recent releases “Really Feel This” and “I’ll Pay For It,” produced by Mannie Fresh and probably not what you’re expecting based off the title. Both will be included on Psalms Of David II, dropping this month.
This is specifically for all the students I ever taught math, life skills, or study skills to at Baker Middle School. This is for any student I ever tutored, mentored, or held a conversation with in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or over the phone. This is for any kid who I ever coached in basketball. When I walked away from my job as a teacher it was a tough decision, but once I did it, I wanted to make sure I made it because I knew I could represent and symbolize something we rarely see where we come from. Well…..
Mr Augustine made it.
I just signed a major-label record deal with RCA.
Remember when I’d be in class with my mixtapes or talking about the show I had just done, or rapping to yall (sometimes lol)? Remember me spitting 16 bars to my 4th period class when yall didn’t even believe I was a real rapper, and afterwards yall started screaming so loud that Ms. Moses came running in asking if someone was fighting? Remember me saying that I don’t curse in my music but that I refused to change or compromise just to try to “get on?”
Well I’m on. And I still don’t curse, lol.
My dream came true. Yours can too. But 1st you have to have a dream. Find something you love, something you can become great at, something you’re willing to do for free, just because you love it so much. Something your mom can be proud of and say “Ooohhh yall look at my baby!! He/she is doing soooo well.” Then do it. Focus on getting better and remaining positive. GRIND!!! No wait, my bad….. SHUT UP AND GRIND!!! #SUAG is the new SWAG. Yep, I love all yall. I want to see yall WIN! Let my success serve as MOTIVATION…
The funny part I’m learning about dreams is that by the time you achieve one, you’ve already started dreaming bigger dreams. So keep going. Don’t stop. #MissionVision
Mr. Augustine aka “Dee-1”