Dee-1 enlisted Big Krit and Lupe Fiasco to hop on the remix for his track “Against Us” and the New Orleans native details being challenged by Lupe Fiasco to adhere to his beliefs when he cursed on his verse of the song during the recording process.
“When I asked Lupe Fiasco to hop on my song, he was totally cool with it,” Dee-1 says in his exclusive interview with STASHED. “I’m in the studio with him and as he’s recording he’s freestyling, he’s not writing. He’s doing his thing in the booth. He knows that I don’t curse and that I don’t have profanity in my music. On the last bar, he said ‘My kind and they logic is like 99 of their problems with no B.’ He said that and came out of the booth.”
The Mission Vision boss recounts the struggle of collaborating with artist who don’t understand his artistry and speaking up about cursing without discord. When it came to facing Lupe, a person whom Dee-1 looks up to, about using the B word, he had to make a decision to say something or let it go.
“I decided to speak up and we had a little conversation about it and he was cool with removing it,” Dee-1 says. “That Instagram post came from real live footage of us kicking it, of us seeing each other after a few months. We talked about the collaboration. He was telling someone else at the time, ‘He don’t know it, but I cursed on his record on purpose just to see what he would do.’ I think he was testing me to see how strong are my convictions, and what I believe in, even when it’s not convenient.”
Although the former high school teacher doesn’t curse in his music, it doesn’t mean that he won’t occasionally indulge in music that is riddled with curse words, like most music. The rapper names Nas, DMX and Lil Wayne as artists that he likes to listen to. He credits creating a familiar sound that is clean by connecting with the music that feeds his “inner kid from the hood.”
“Lupe asked me that before when we were on tour,” he says. “I had this Yo Gotti song on repeat, like 50 times in a row, and Lupe was like, ‘Dawg, what’s up with you?’ It was just the energy that I connect with. Even though I’m not saying curse words, I’m sitting there censoring myself.”
Dee-1 premiered the college debt-free message, viral cut “Sallie Mae Back” on HipHopDX this year which further catapulted a wide open door of opportunities for the rapper including being nabbed by ESPN to record The Undefeated anthem.
“We thought Dee would be perfect to introduce The Undefeated because number one, the brother can straight-up rap,” Jesse Washington, Senior Writer, The Undefeated, said. “He’s extremely talented on the mic. Dee is also a basketball player, a sports fan who watches ESPN, and an insightful social critic with a deep appreciation for black history. I had been following his music since ’50 Weezy and Jay,’ and once we met, it was clear he was the perfect artist to create an Undefeated anthem.”