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Q&A With Benjamin Brubaker

(interview me)
Benjamin Brubaker
Director of National College Street Team, Atlantic Records

Location: New Orleans, LA United States
Birthday: Jun 7th
Joined: Aug 7th, 2009
About   (request update)
Often described as “a mix between Common and T.I.”, Dee-1 is one of a small number of Hip-Hop artists that specializes in making music that has a positive and uplifting message, while still appealing to the masses. Growing up in New Orleans, home of the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Soulja Slim, B.G. and The Birdman, Dee-1 admits to being exposed to the same struggles as the artists that put New Orleans on the map, but he is determined to represent "The Big Easy" with a different viewpoint by using inspirational and insightful rhymes in his music.

Having built a solid street buzz with his independent releases Still We Rise and I Am Who I Am, Dee-1 has become a nationally recognized talent with his N'awlins accent, educated rhymes, clever metaphors, and catchy hooks, mixed with his playboy swag. Dee-1 recently became the first hip-hop artist ever to win the annual Louisiana State University “Battle of the Bands Contest”. Graduating from Louisiana State University in 2007 with a marketing degree, Dee-1 began teaching middle school in Baton Rouge by day to help fund his music projects. Little did he know that his passion for teaching would ultimately lead to major news outlets like CNN and Billboard Magazine picking up on his story. The charismatic MC also has performed and collaborated with Dr. Rani G. Whitfield M.D., a.k.a. “Tha Hip-Hop Doc” and frequently mentors youth alongside the board certified physician on the lecture circuit.

Dee-1 recognizes that his music resonates with almost anyone “first and foremost because its real”, and as Dee-1 says “that’s why people from the hood all the way to the classroom to medical school will feel it”. As a recurring performer at Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest, Dee-1’s music creates an atmosphere that welcomes all listeners from nearly any background. His positive message extends well beyond the stereotype of the traditional conscious rapper, because as he says,”people forget we have fun in the hood too”. Dee-1 has the rare ability to perform in nearly any environment, from schools, to churches to nightclubs; the response is always the same, and as Dee-1 says “I feel that’s more of a testimony than just having positive lyrics.”

Dee-1 represents the untapped talent that New Orleans has to offer as he’s created a loyal fan base throughout Louisiana and around the country. With classic anthems like “Rebirth” and “One Man Army”, Dee-1 is making radio programmers take notice. Dee-1 ‘s singles have frequently been featured on radio stations in New Orleans (B97, Q93, Power 102.9) and Baton Rouge (Max 94.1, KLSU FM). In June, Dee-1 was voted as the hottest New Orleans artist on Power 102.9’s website poll.

The combination of raw talent, versatility and N’awlins flavor, has created a cult like following, with the help of a co-sign from New Orleans’ premier beat makers, Mannie Fresh and Raj Smoove. With the recent release of his debut album, “David & Goliath”, which sold out at all Best Buy locations in Louisiana on the first day, Dee-1 has proven that Hip-Hop in its rarest forms is not dead. The album received rave reviews in Louisiana’s #1 music publication, Offbeat Magazine, and various other regional media outlets. It is without question that Dee-1 is set to make significant contributions to the music arena.

Most recently, Dee-1 has performed alongside nationally touring acts such as Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Trey Songz, Akon, Mya, the Clipse, Musiq Soulchild, Lil Boosie, Juvenile and more. Dee-1 is currently touring state to state while promoting his new album, which available on iTunes. As Dee-1’s fan base continues to grow throughout the nation, New Orleans already knows, Dee-1 is poised to become one of Hip-Hop’s next great superstars.

Get Ready! Dee-1’s TIME IS NOW!!!
My Interview Question
Do you think music with a positive message will ever gain mass popular appeal?
Current Whereabouts:
Dee-1, the most incredible hip-hop artist in the South (picture a blend between Common Sense and T.I.)
Life & Professional Aspirations:
To get Dee-1 signed to a major label deal (superstar status) and use his fame, wealth and power for social change around the globe. To see the "Hip-Hop for Hope" benefit concert model replicated in every major city in the U.S.
Education   (request update)
Tulane Univ class of 2008
Undergrad Major: African-American Studies
Claim To Fame:
Founder & Director of New Orleans Hip-Hop for Hope... Manager of the most incredible hip-hop artist coming out of the South, Dee-1.
Most Memorable Moment:
Seeing one of the most legendary music venues in New Orleans (Tipitina's) packed out the door with college kids and New Orleans hip-hop fans, all in support of Hip-Hop for Hope's goal to raise money for New Orleans education (and rocking out to Dee-1's live performance)
High School: The Lawrenceville School in Princeton, NJ class of 2004
Activities & Accomplishments:
Learning how to fall in love with education, and use education as a tool to change the world for the better.
Best Memories:
The first time I ever wrote a rap song and performed it in front of the whole school.
I currently work with Atlantic Records as Director of National College Street Team
I have 5 years of experience working in the Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations industry.
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