“The beat is my canvas and I get to paint my best version of a masterpiece…”
When D-Eazy takes the mic, the pictures he creates come from real life. His brand of hip-hop doesn’t cover up the pain or disguise danger with slick, empty rhymes. But there’s hope along with heartache in his lyrics. High times, hard lessons, romance and redemption are all part of his vision. Whatever the mood or message, D-Eazy delivers the word straight, with style, swagger, and no apologies.
A rising star on the New Mexico hip hop scene, D-Eazy updates gangsta rap with honesty, confidence and a strong dose of faith. “My goal is to keep my lyrics positive, now more than ever,” he says. “I do that by showing that when we’re ready for change, we can evolve and turn negative situations into positive ones.” He keeps his point of view on street level: “A lot of rappers put down people who don’t make a lot of money or live the lifestyles they do. The message I’m trying to get across is that there are a lot of people struggling just to make it through one more day…”
D-Eazy’s work combines old school rap influences with elements of R&B and alternative rock (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park). His natural flow and razor-sharp rhyme sense tap into a lifetime’s worth of experiences.
Born Desmond Robinson, D-Eazy grew up in Moreno Valley, a community just south of Los Angeles. He credits his third-grade teacher with encouraging him to develop his natural talents as a poet. By his early teens, he was using his writing to help escape the harsh reality of the streets. Emulating role models like Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and LL Cool J, he channeled what he saw and experienced into rap lyrics that rang true and cut deep.
After moving to northern New Mexico in 2001, D-Eazy considered putting his writing and performing aside in favor of pursuing a more mainstream career. Fortunately, he was encouraged to keep making music by local talents Sand-Nauti and JD. Together, the three of them formed Topp Clique, a rap trio managed by Adam Lujan and Juan “Bigg Q” Montoya. D-Eazy recorded a pair of independent CDs with the group, The Main Event, and Re-Loaded.
Along the way, D-Eazy drew upon his new home for inspiration as his work continued to develop. “Although I was born and raised in California, I believe New Mexico has had the most influence on my music,” he says. “I try to add Spanish influence to give it a local twist. But more than anything, I try to focus in on the street lifestyle that I’ve experienced since moving here.”
After Topp Clique parted ways in 2003, Bigg Q and D-Eazy started the Mic Check Entertainment label, which released D-Eazy’s debut solo album Ebonix. The two of them continued to work together via Undefined Records before parting ways amiably in 2008. By that time, Bigg Q had introduced D-Eazy to Alejandro Gomez, CEO of Albuquerque’s Crank It Up Production$. This new association helped kick D-Eazy’s career into high gear, starting with his participation in the multi-artist mixtape Street Akademikz (also featuring Villin G) in 2009.
“Crank It Up Production$ has done so much more than just develop my music,” D-Eazy says. “They really expanded my mind musically and gave me dimension. I feel like I walked into my Crank It Up contact as a ‘gangsta rap artist’ and then became simply an ‘artist.’ They showed me how to look outside the box while giving me room to be myself.”
Picking up his solo career, D-Eazy recorded Street Lingo (2010) with the help of such hip-hop heavyweights as Young Buck, Crooked I, TQ and Willy Northpole. He next appeared on the 2011 mixtape Street Hustle (a collaboration with Albuquerque radio personality DJ 12 Tribe) before releasing another solo album, 2012’s I Am the Streetz. The local music community took notice, nominating D-Eazy for Male Hip Hop Artist of the Year at the 2011 New Mexico Hip Hop Music Awards.
D-Eazy earned his success thanks to the strength of his message and the style of his delivery. From the uncompromising defiance of “So Many” to the soft-lit romance of “Comin’ Home 2 U” and the streetwise honesty of “Livin 4 2Day,” his music can veer from angry to healing in a single tune. Whether he’s opening up his heart (“Up Up & Away), surviving a breakup (“Ghost”) or hustling just to stay alive (“Wrongful Livin,’” “24”), he remains true to himself and his artistry. Gospel-influenced songs like “The Resurrection” reflect his deeply-grounded faith.
2016 finds D-Eazy working on a 3-part album with executive producer Alejandro Gomez, mix engineer Phil and tracking engineer Edgar Rivera at Stepbridge Studios in Santa Fe. D-Eazy finds himself crediting his new sound to the Phil, who has elevated this newfound sound to new peaks with his keen ear and creativity. This 60-song project will feature production from Nitti Beats, Fingazz, Halo Hitz, Lil Pat and Lee Major (FKA The Inkredibles) as well as guest artists like DJ Paul (of Three6Mafia), JR Castro, Lil Eazy and YMTK. “There’s a little bit of everything on this album,” he says. “I do EDM, Alternative, R&B, we touch on a variety of subjects, we address issues, we party, we smoke – it’s all there.”
In addition to the above, D-Eazy is part owner of G-Style Recordz with close friends Patron and Bigg Q. Besides pursuing his own career as an artist; he contributes hooks and verses to the songs of other artists.
What sustains him is his connection to his fans: “I get feedback from people who come from similar situations. They feel like my music is on their level. Not everyone wants to hear how big you’re doing it – some people want to be hearing about hope. I give both sides, but I definitely try to inspire hope and be a voice for people in the hood worldwide.”
D-Eazy has taken the time to learn his craft, perfect his rhymes and build the team to help him compete in hip-hop’s big leagues. He’s aimed high but never forgotten his early days on the streets. His music is a portrait of life as he’s lived it: sometimes brutal, often beautiful, and always guided by inspiration.
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