Rapper | NOI Member | Community Leader
On his youthful years in Detroit, MI:
My parents met at Fairlane Mall in Southfield, MI. He was doing security and my mom was trying to get a job. Down the line, they ended up having my sister and then I came about. I spent a lot of time on 7 Mile and Myers in Detroit at my grandmother's house and at my mom's house on 7 Mile and Schaefer. When my parents got divorced, this was the area that I came up in. I remember being on 7 Mile when there was a black-owned liquor store, so that lets you know how long I've been over here. This area is pure motivation for me.
On the surreal moment he started to take rap seriously:
It happened recently. Around New Years of 2018, I got arrested. By the grace of God, I was able to leave a situation that could've went another direction. When I got out, my grandmother was sick, and she needed surgery. At the time, I wasn't driving, so I had to get on the bus to go to the hospital to go see her and go to work. Through it all, my mind stayed focused on the music. At the time, it didn't make sense for me to not have a presentation that I could market. I didn't have videos up and I was doing more recording than anything, so I came up with a plan to get other artists out here. Now, I have a rapport with people who know that I can get their music out there. I'm gearing up to launch a platform with my brother where I'll invest in artists, and in turn, I'll collect their royalties on the back-end.
On his initial involvement with the Nation of Islam:
I'm a third-generation Muhammad member of the Nation of Islam. My grandfather was a minister under The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. During that time, Muhammad Ali became known for avoiding the draft to go fight in the Vietnam War, but my grandfather was also a part of that class as well. While my grandfather was locked up, all the sisters was writing him letters. Out of all the letters, the most modest and spiritual letter he received was from my grandmother. He ended up marrying my grandmother once he got out, and their third child ended up being my father.
When the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad departed, the NOI went through a resurrection. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan rebuilt the nation thereafter. As a child, my father took me to hear Farrakhan speak. My mom would tell my brother and I that the Minister is in town and that's how we knew we were going with my dad. My dad put in work with the NOI and that's why I have a Muslim name (Derrick Akbar Muhammad.)
On the merge between Hip-Hop and the NOI early in his career:
In 2010, I was already an amateur rapper, so I would sample the Minister's voice on my records. At that time, I didn't view him the same as I now view him. When I heard Farrakhan talk about Elijah Muhammad and himself being on the Mother plane, it stuck with me because was always curious about aliens, UFO's, and secret societies. So on, May 23, 2010, I went to the Mosque on and started the process of becoming a member of the NOI.
When I found out the NOI had rappers, I started to rap and freestyle with other members and record with them. I remember passing out my CD during Saviours' Day in 2010 and at other events. But, my platform with rap became stronger when I became a member.
On the incorporation of knowledge from the NOI and the utilization of it in his music:
A lot of my ideas in my music originate from the teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I always incorporated knowledge of self, through the NOI in my music, but I also have things I struggle with, so I want to be as honest as possible in the music. The Minister started out as a big influence in my music, but now his spirit has grown within me as an artist. I want to wake us up and get us to be more positive in life.
On singles (N- In Mecca, Ben Simmons, Baby Daddy Song), projects (N- In Mecca), and the motivation to continue making quality music:
Life experiences keep me motivated to deliver great music. My new album is talking about the realities of life versus the dream. When people see the cover, they'll see me as a superhero, but I also got arrested. This is the goal of the forces that be. To see us down and out. So, this album is about the temptation of money and the crime element of it. It's a lot of metaphors and connotations on this new project. But, everything is always in the music. I realized that I must focus on making great music. If people like it, then that's cool, but I can't worry about what other's think about my music at all. At the end of the day, it’s art, whether people like it or not.