DNice

Pandora's Box: D-Nice Explains Life When The Music Stops


In an era of Black Power and Black Panthers, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones made his first appearance when he was born in New York’s own Harlem Hospital. While spending his first seven years in Harlem, Derrick experienced the love of being cared for by his grandmother. He also witnessed first hand, the struggle that came with ghetto life.

 

Admitting to being sheltered by women most of this time, Derrick still got a taste of what the older cats on the block had to offer. He says this is where he gained his confidence, and debonair. By age twelve, he was on his way to the Bronx. He moved in with his cousin V, and she showed him a new way of life. Derrick explains this time to be the defining years of his life. This is when music and the arts entered his blood, changing him forever.

 

 

Mashonda: Many people don’t know D-Nice, the multi-talented man. They know the rapper. Tell me about your other God-given gifts.


D-Nice: I'm a DJ, I produce, direct and edit films. I?m a web developer, and most significantly, I am a photographer. Everyday I strive for creativity.


How old were you when you started your music career?


I was seventeen years old when I signed to Jive Records. I was also producing tracks for Boogie Down Productions, but never received credit. I produced “Self Destruction” when I was 18. I slept under the mix board for weeks while producing that song. It went on to sell nearly a million copies.


What did you struggle with the most as an artist?


In the earlier days of my career, I did everything for the love of music, then one day, the love just ran out. I got tired of fighting with record companies and trying to prove myself. The label was ready for me to make my first album. Will Smith’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” was out, and they wanted me to go in that direction. I’m not Will, I didn?t grow up that way, so I couldn?t make a record like that. By then, I had decided that we would do it my way, or not at all. After my second album, the label shelved me. I came from a very militant, black power er I was like, “Fuck it, I’m done.”


Do you regret leaving that way?


It probably wasn?t the smartest thing to do, but it was gutsy. I don’t regret it. Part of me struggled with it at first, and part of me said “This is my decision, and I’m going to live with it.”


How did you deal with the dissolve of your rap career?


When the people stopped clapping, I decided to stay at home. I needed time to figure my life out. I asked myself “what do you do after the music stops?” People would always say I came from the golden era of hip-hop, but there was no golden money in those days. With the money that’s generated now, if the recording artist is smart, they wouldn?t have to work for the rest of their life. There are artist that get $50,000 - $100,000 a night to perform. Back then we didn’t make that. When it stopped for me, my way of living stopped as well. It took me 5 years to get out of that rut of depression.

 ________________________________________________________

D-Nice's Photography: Mary J. Blige before a sold out crowd

 ________________________________________________________


Did you know your next move?


I’m not super religious, but I’m very spiritual. God works in crazy ways. I spent all that time in front of a computer. I couldn?t afford a fresh haircut, so I became D-Nice in chat rooms, on America Online. Because of this experience, and my new found love of the web, I gained enough knowledge to start my own web development company, United Camps. It was like God was providing me a new service, that’s what got me out of that rut. I no longer cared about shopping a demo. I developed sites for artists like Annie Lennox and Aaliyah, and also provided online marketing services for Reebok. I had an amazing time with it. People began to call me the black Bill Gates. [Laughs.] I never thought I would be known for something other than music.


What happened in your life to get you back on a musical path?


I was doing online marketing for the G-Unit shoe with Reebok. We were in a meeting with nothing but executives at the conference table. This one guy walks in and says what’s up to everyone, when he got to me, he just stood there. Finally, I stood up and introduced myself as Derrick Jones, everyone laughed. This guy was the senior vice president for Reebok, and he knew exactly who I was. He smiled and said, “Ya know dude, I graduated from Harvard, I wrote my senior thesis on ‘A Few Dollar’s More’ from your first album.” At that moment, it hit me. I realized that for artist like you and I, maybe we didn’t sell millions of records, but the people we touched will never forget us. I spent years trying to be corporate, running away from D-Nice, but D-Nice was my biggest asset. I started to throw parties because of that meeting.

READ MORE...

From the Web

More on Vibe

Earl Gibson III

Lee Daniels Finds Viral Star For Gay Superhero Film

Nearly a decade ago, Lee Daniels revealed that he dreamed of creating a superhero film starring a gay protagonist. It's been a long time in the making, but apparently his dream is on the verge of coming true. Daniels recently took to Instagram on Tuesday (Jan. 15), and announced that he will be making a gay superhero flick, and he's found the perfect lead.

Daniels is reportedly teaming up with viral star, SuperB***h for the new movie. "Y'all remember maybe 10, 12 years ago I said my dream was to make a gay superhero film?" he said in a video message on IG. "Dreams do come true. And I found my superhero. America, world, get ready."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Dreams really do come true!! I had the pleasure of meeting the one and only @theoriginalbigdaddy. You’re an amazing man filled with great ideas. I can wait to work with you!. ❤️❤️🌈🌈

A post shared by Super B*tch 💞🤸‍♀️🦸🏾‍♂️ (@hesosoutheast) on Jan 15, 2019 at 10:15am PST

SuperB***h also commented on the news in the caption of the video. "You’re an amazing man filled with great ideas," he wrote. "I can wait to work with you!"

For those who aren't up to speed, SuperB***h is both an actor and comedian from Southeast, D.C., who rose to Internet stardom for his social media videos that feature him twirling, flipping, and protecting the world from homophobic trolls, horrible ex-boyfriends, and other villains.

Daniels has not leaked any details regarding the film at this time. Check out the video message above and below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

WARNING: THE LANGUAGE OR ACTION USED IN THIS CONTENT IS ONLY FOR ENTERTAINMENT & COMEDIC PURPOSES. IT DOES NOT REPRESENT THE FEELINGS OF THE PARTICIPANTS. THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO PROMOTE VIOLENCE OR THE USE OF WEAPONS IN ANY WAY. ALL PROPS ARE FAKE. WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE VIEWERS TO TRY THIS AT HOME. People will never understand to mind their own business!. So I had to get crazy and bring super b*tch out 😈🦸🏽‍♂️ 💞@bmrtwins1 @jinnkid

A post shared by Super B*tch 💞🤸‍♀️🦸🏾‍♂️ (@hesosoutheast) on Jan 6, 2019 at 10:07am PST

Continue Reading
Caroline McCredie

Rihanna Is Suing Her Father

Rihanna has had enough. Riri is reportedly suing her dad, Ronald Fenty, for using the Fenty brand to launch a talent agency and solicit money without her permission, TMZ reports.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the ANTI singer claims her father launched a talent development company in 2017 called Fenty Entertainment. The problem – Rih trademarked "Fenty" years ago so that she could use it for her blossoming businesses.

The lawsuit claims Ronald is profiting from the reputation that was already created with Fenty Beauty and her apparel lines. Additionally, the docs allege that her dad falsely advertised themselves as her reps to solicit millions from fans.

The entrepreneur claims that her dad made $15 million in false bookings for shows throughout Latin America and attempted to trademark "Fenty" to use with resort boutique hotels.

While it may seem extreme to file a lawsuit against her own bloodline, Rih reportedly sent multiple cease and desist letters to him before she was forced to take full legal action.

Rihanna is asking a judge to place an injunction on Ronald using the name Fenty and to compensate her for the damages.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

VA Basketball Referee Banned After Inspecting 10-Year-Old Girl's Braids

A white, basketball referee has been banned from officiating children's games in a Virginia City after he reportedly singled out and publicly inspected a 10-year-old black girl's braided hairstyle on Saturday (Jan. 12), WAVY-TV reports.

The young girl was reportedly wearing braids with blue extensions during the basketball game. Erica Guerrier, the mother of the young girl and coach of the team, said the referee mistakenly stated that hair weaves and braids are against the rules. Guerrier claimed the ref then made a "spectacle" out of her daughter during the game.

"At the end of the day, they're 9 and 10, so why does it even matter?" she told WAVY-TV.

Following the incident, Virginia High School League Executive Director Billy Haun said that the referee should not have raised concerns publicly.  Hampton Roads Basketball Association commissioner Rick Ennis announced that the ref is under investigation and is banned from officiating future games in the Chesapeake, VA area. In addition, Guerrier said that she would like the ref to apologize to her daughter for the embarrassment.

This isn't the first incident to occur at a sports event involving a black player's hair. A New Jersey high school referee received backlash after chopping off a black wrestler's dreadlocks in front of the entire school prior to his match. The ref was fired following public outrage.

Guerrier hopes her daughter's incident will be a lesson for other refs.  "I'm hoping that if the refs can get more education, more training, than we can see a decrease in these issues," she said.

Continue Reading

Top Stories