Back before R. Kelly created the hip-hopera, crooned to Mr. Big’s main squeeze and earned himself a beatdown; and certainly way before J.L. King ever wrote about straight men who sleep with men, there was another meaning for DL – a level-headed, down-to-earth, rapper/entrepreneur by way of Queens who believes that strength is the means to survival. It’s certainly time the listening public wrapped their minds around this connotation of DL because this man isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
With determination like no other, DL used inspiration by fellow Queens lyricists LL Cool J and Run DMC to make himself into an MC. Today, DL’s hard knock life has given him material that proves he’s not just saying things he thinks you want to hear. He’s lived it. With his “can do” mentality, DL has been able to grow as an artist, while developing his own record label, film and television production company, Triplebeam Entertainment.
With his debut album The King of Paper Chasin’ hitting the streets on August 25th and his debut film of the same name currently reaching completion, DL’s dreams are held firmly in his grasp and there is no way he’s letting go.
When and how did music grab your attention?
When I was a kid in the 80’s, the whole rebelliousness, the street edge, the coolness of hip-hop grabbed me from the jump and ever since then, I’ve watched it grow. Basically, up until recently, I can honestly say it was cool to be a rapper. Who doesn’t want to be cool? That was the main thing—the popularity of it.
What inspired you to create your own production company?
Life experiences. Growing up and trying to get signed by majors and always having an attitude of, “Why can’t I just do this myself” in all walks of life, not just music. After I got to a certain age and I felt like I wasn’t getting the responses I was looking for. I just delved in deeper to analyze what was needed in order to do it myself. I felt like after I did that, it was possible. So I just started it.
I just finished watching your movie trailer for The King of Paper Chasin’.
What did you think?
I think it’s going to be really good. I was very surprised to see your acting skills!
Thank you Danielle, very much!
Is acting something you’ve always had an interest in or did you not want anyone else to tell your story?
I would say it was more of the latter. I never really thought about being an actor…As we got into the whole idea of doing the movie, I just felt like it was something I could do—so why not try it? If I didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t have attempted it at all. I can’t take much credit on being able to act. I was just being myself. The story was about me and my people. It kind of felt like I was cheating. I was able to be myself and I could relate to certain situations in the movie that were based on actual events. I took myself back to those times, so it gave me the energy and the moves that I needed.
What’s the purpose of The King of Paper Chasin’, the movie?
Good question. The [movie] was originally done so we could— in the competitive field of rap—get a little bit of leverage to separate us from the pack. We had the music label and we feel like there are more artists than consumers these days, so we just needed something to do that was going to give us that extra [something], so people could say, “Hey, look at them!” That’s how it started and quite honestly it evolved into something totally beyond my imagination. To be more honest with you, if I would have known who was involved before I got into it, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I’m glad it happened the way it did.
Why do you say that?
**Read DL’s response & the rest of the interview HERE**