Chicago – On the Lake Michigan in Illinois, is one of the largest cities in the United States. As of the 2017 census-estimated population of 2,716,450, Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles, and the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States.
Chicago is the home of many legendary artists and creators. With a vast amount of history, art, and culture Chicago has birthed amazing talents. Some highlight the beauty of the city like Michigan Ave. or Lake Shore Drive. But to hear about the other side of the city you need an experienced set of eyes and ears to divulge into the secrets of the streets. The truth about life in the hood can only come from one who lived that life.
D.A. Smart was born and raised in the Robert Taylor Projects which was one of the toughest projects in Chicago. It was heavily populated with gangs and violence, but he survived. Coming from the streets D.A witnessed the comradery as well the beef associated with the gang lifestyle. He began rapping and getting a name for his skill. His demeanor catches most people’s attention because his confidence exudes for him, he knows he’s a lyrical genius. After several battles and shows his popularity grew. The fans loved his sense of humor and well-articulated rhymes. D.A began collaborating with big name artists in the Hip Hop industry.
“Walk wit me” was his biggest hit to date. The song broke down the different elements of the gangs in Chicago and the video actually showed him walking through the different gang’s territories. This was cutting edge for a Rap artist because of the “code of the street”. However, D.A felt it was necessary to rep his hood the right way and to do it differently from all the other city “anthems”. He didn’t just want to reference his zip or area code he really wanted to dig down deeper. It’s bigger than the special mild sauce some Chicagoans request on their wings and fries or the Chicago Bulls Championship history. D.A felt the street soldiers needed a song, The BD’s, GD’s, VL’s and few other well-known gang members. The beat that was used for the popular song was created by Legendary music producer Traxster.
Using music as an art medium to connect with the youth and his peers D.A Smart dropped a musical dedication record. It was a salute to the Million Man March that happened in October of 1995. His song “One In A Million” was an ode to the million black men meeting in Washington to stand in unity and reclaim their role as the leaders in communities and homes. He was also featured on “Where Ya At” with Mobb Deep, Ice T, RZA, and Chuck D of Public Enemy. The song was included in the compilation album “One Million Strong”.
D.A Smart is a Chicago legend, a Hip Hop Hero, and a man on a mission to change the way the world sees Chicago and black men in general. He hosts monthly showcases to give others a shot of pursuing their musical dreams. He mentors and encourage the youth in his community and encourages them to aim for the stars and not to be a product of their environment. D.A is currently working on a few new projects as well as hitting a 6-city tour in 2019 with the Ames Production team. Being a Rap Icon isn’t something D.A Smart takes lightly because he knows the next generation is looking up to him. Creating music that reaches over barriers and speaks the truth is his trademark.