When asked to interview Chicago Rap Legend DA Smart I was initially a little nervous. I was nervous because I knew he was an wordsmith and highly intelligent. I didn’t want my questions to be too juvenile or irrelevant to where he was currently in the rap game so I began to reword my questions and rethink the direction of the article. Until I spoke with DA and I realized that our conversation would flow like water and that with a personality as big as his all the right words would naturally fall in the right place. DA Smart is a man on a mission and his voice will be heard.
When the interview started I asked DA to introduce himself and he quickly replied “I am the coldest nigga to ever live and if they don’t believe take a listen.” His response was short and sweet, straight to the point and that’s how his delivery was through our whole discussion. Confident in his ability to speak the truth in his rhymes. His voice is loud and crisp while his mood is almost tangible you could feel his passion. I then asked him to describe the Rap scene in Chicago. He sighed and then said “There is lots of talent and connections and great ideas here, but there is a lack of support. Local media and television support for artists here in Chicago is nonexistent. Plus, the artists to artists support is lacking because little things like someone being from a different side of town. It’s hurting the music scene. The hatred of other people doing business like you. The dog eats dog mentality. It’s different from ATL, NYC, and LA. It’s a huge gap between artists and support. Those that made it out don’t come back to Chicago to give others a chance to shine. It’s all about making their fan based their consumer. What is power if you have a Nationwide voice and not use it. I am not talking about a Kids foundation, but something that will really help the people.”
As a Chicago native I was very interested in knowing DA’s view on the Police Brutality currently plaguing our city. And since we were already talking about Chicago and the idea of support I rolled the question out. “Talking about Chicago what’s your thoughts on the Police brutality and misconduct happening here in Chicago?” There was a pause and then his voice boomed “King Herod wanted to kill every male child from a certain age. They want to kill us…to kill the Messiah. We came from the other side of world. I don’t expect it to change since they brought us over. They are the source of the problem and we are waiting for them to answer the problem. It’s a straight on war on black men. As long as we’ve been in American it’s been a war on black people. Same ole same old thing. Population control. I don’t believe black folks are doing all these shootings. 30 people get shot in a weekend and nobody gets arrested with all these cameras around.” DA had just dropped a bomb on me. All I could do was shake my head in awe. It was a heavy and dark subject, but it had to be discussed. With the Laquan McDonald murder trial just ending the City is currently on edge.
To lighten the mood, I changed the tone of the interview. When asked what was his biggest accomplishment he replied “My biggest accomplishment? I have yet to accomplish it. The struggle continues! I am all about retraining and reschooling so we can do better for ourselves. Great men have come before me and we still haven’t reached it. We need to be in the business of bettering black people.”
Being a part of the Rap game for such a long time with so many amazing experience DA began to talk about his beginning days of raps. “Early in my career I only freestyled never wrote anything down. I traveled and battled all over the USA as D.A Smart The Black Terror. In my travels I noticed that Black men in America were on the bottom everywhere. Black people aren’t prejudice we are just mad. Got back to Chicago and went to a talent show. I got on stage and performed what I discovered, which was the truth and was disqualified. The Regal Theater Talent Show was backed by white sponsors and they didn’t like what they were hearing. I was mad and I decided to host a march against my disqualification. We marched and made a difference. I was let back on the Showcase and received an public apology. And ultimately won the Showcase. I believe the Truth is a shock value.”
No way could I have the Legendary creator of the powerful song “Walk with me” available to me and not ask about the motivation behind the lyrics of this provoking anthem. DA did you know how powerful “Walk with me” would be? DA Laughed when I finished my question and said “Walk with me, follow me, walk with me! It’s not about me. The idea was ‘each one teach one’. Seek the little ones out and work with them. I want my legacy to be that I stood and was willing to die to see us free. I’m their brother because this is bigger than me. I am a little piece of the puzzle. Malcom X died trying to wake us up and niggas are even worse now than ever. We need more rights than justice. I am standing up to bring truth because that’s power. Gangster is not about having a gun and killing your brother, but it’s about standing up for the truth. Waking up the mind of our people is a must. On my latest single ‘Where the Mob at?’ I’m asking where the mob at because I would be a fool to ask where the cops at. They not trying to protect us. We have to make our own way together. If you listen to one of my older songs ‘My letter to the Chi’ it talks about the rumors and exposes the devil. 99 percent of D.A Smart The Black Terror is about speaking the truth because the tongue is a hell of a weapon.”
After our interview wrapped up. I was speechless. In just one hour DA had schooled me, motivated me and left me wondering what was next for the black race and the music industry. When you see a legend you should celebrate them and today I celebrate D.A Smart The Black Terror. To hear more of his music and see what projects he’s currently working on check out his site.