Emerging ATL Hip Hop artist Dae Dae pulls out an emotional banger with "Wat U Mean (Aye Aye Aye)"
Atlanta functions as this centurys undisputed hip-hop mecca. Hailing from a city as creatively illustrious and prolific as the ATL, Dae Dae instinctively distinguishes himself by making music that provokes movement and emotion.
You can ride to my songs and bump them in the club, but you can feel the lyrics and relate to them at the same time, he declares. Youre going to bounce, but Im going to get your attention. Its about putting out a real story.
Hes got quite the story to share too. Growing up in the rough Boulevard Fourth Ward where every day wasnt promised, rap quickly became an escape from the violence, corruption, addiction, and turmoil in the streets around him. At eight-years-old, Dae Daes pops bought him a Bow Wow and Lil Romeo CD, inspiring Dae Dae to pick up the mic. By the age of 14, he left school behind and became a father for the first time himself. Getting serious about hip-hop, dad converted the bedroom into a makeshift studio where the budding artist diligently recorded until one fateful day
Basically, the police busted the house I grew up in, he sighs. Money was coming very fast. My dad would buy fancy things, nice cars, and stuff for my children and his momma. He always had to watch his back, but they came in this time. At the snap of a finger, his career ended. The cops found drugs in his room, and they locked him up. They took the studio equipment, because we didnt hold on to the receipts. I didnt know any better. When that happened, I was literally left with nothing. Somebody had to pay these bills.
Stepping up, Dae Dae immediately got a job doing concrete and flooring. Inspired by everything from Future and Rick Ross to Drake and Tupac, hed invest every last dollar into recording at another local studio. Around the same time, he started to participate at a weekly open mic night. Crowned the winner every Wednesday, he linked up with DJ Playboi and found management. As a natural buzz grew, red hot producer Nitti Beatz [Rich Homie Quan, Gucci Mane] offered him a deal with Nitti Beatz Recordings.
I didnt give up, he says. I was still going through it, but I was doing everything I could to take care of my kids and myself. I had a Trailblazer truck at the time I was paying for. It just so happened the car ended up getting repo-ed. The next day, I signed that deal.
Under partnership between Nitti Beatz Recordings and powerhouse 300 Entertainment, he shares this ride on his 2016 debut mixtape, 4 Reasons. Its lead single Wat U Mean (Aye, Aye, Aye) begins with cinematic production before he unleashes an authoritative and strikingly smooth flow punctuated by candid lyricism. Opening up about his struggles, it swings the powerful hook, Got a family to feed, they dependin on me.
I came up with the two bars while I was pouring concrete, he recalls. Its a declaration. Talking about my family brings me closer to everybody else who has the same responsibilities out there. Im showing its possible to take care of the ones you love, but youve got to work like youve never worked.
Elsewhere on 4 Reasons, Big Bankroll sees him trade verses with Rich Homie Quan over an ominous swell of handclap percussion. That happened in the moment, he says. We were at Quans house, and there was a lot of good energy in the room. We were in it.
The name of his movement LOVELIFE reflects this spirit. I couldnt have a violent name for what Im doing, he goes on. I wanted something relatable to that paints with positivity. No matter what youre going through or have been through, you have to love life. If it werent for those trials and tribulations, you wouldnt be who you are. Be thankful for it.
Ultimately, Dae Dae can make a banger with a whole lot of heart beating beneath the surface.
I take this music and opportunity very seriously, he leaves off. Im honest about family situations, the streets, my household, and where Ive been. I want people to feel good listening to it too. Thats my lane.