Who is Dee Black?
I am an artist, producer and CEO of Hisstory Music group. I’m passionate about ministry and music. There are so many words that could describe me, but the one word that resonates with me is integrity.
How did you come to know the Lord?
My wife invited me to a church service on New Year’s Eve 18 years ago. She wasn’t my wife at the time. I happened to be sick that day and couldn’t go out to do the usual drinking and partying. I figured I would go to church instead and from that day forward I never left. I began to change my life through the teaching of Gods word eventually becoming an ordained minister.
How did you get into rapping?
I had friends who were local rap celebrities. They started to grow in the mainstream rap scene and I was just hanging around. I always had the ability to write but I never took it seriously. I was the typical story. A drug dealer who could rap but wouldn’t leave the streets. One day in the studio I was asked to rap a verse and went into the booth. After I finished everyone encouraged me to pursue rapping. I started to rap with my friends locally and grew into an artist with my own following. Eventually I landed a major label deal that I walked away from after getting saved.
What Christian artists have influenced you the most during your career?
I have a wide range of Christian artists who have influenced me but the biggest were Kirk Franklin and Da Truth. I saw Kirk Franklinreach the unsaved crowd before I ever heard Christian rap. I saw the potential to be true to your faith and that people wanted hope through music. Da Truth showed me how dope you could be while rapping Christian content. The first time I heard his music I thought, wow he’s better than most of the secular rappers I knew.
Let’s talk about your label. What does Hisstory Music Group bring to the table?
Our goal at Hisstory is to remain true to the gospel message while creating High quality content. We will collaborate with, encourage and support our peers. We have an eclectic group of artist that vary in rap styles.
What’s next for you and your label Hisstory Music Group?
We just signed Atlanta artist Chris Elijah and plan to announce a new A&R and artist in July. We are currently working on a label project and will be releasing singles very soon. Our schedule is filled the rest of this year with music releases. Definitely stay tuned.
Who is Angeloh?
Angeloh is a young dude obsessed with loving life, God, people, and goodness hahaha! I am an everyday guy simply figuring out life as I live it. That being said, I am a music artist, visual artist, and “encourager”. My pursuit and expressions centre on life and godliness, touching on everyday human experiences and God-reflection.
How'd you get started with music?
I was born into music. My mum was a painter, sculptor and an amazing singer. My dad was a DJ. So my early years were filled with playlists of the elders in full swing, intermittent DJ scratches proceeding from the speakers in the living room of our apartment in mid-town Surulere, Lagos.
In my early teenage years, I explored more secular sounds and themes in my music. I spent a chunk of time living with a group of bachelors who were musical creatives at every level. We had singers, rappers, writers, a producer, and even budding A&R people in the circle. Those times were crucial to my formative years leading up to taking up music as a serious career path. Trust your boy to have soaked in the experience and wealth of variety.
I gave my life to Christ in 2012, after a myriad of alter calls hahahah. That season I decided to dedicate my music exclusively to communicating life through the eye of the Gospel (and by extension, scripture). I was not “called”, nor ordained with Goosebumps or pageantry – I decided, and stuck to my decision. Of course, there were ample times of second guesses, but thank God, and the pillars around me, we are still here.
How does your artistry reflect your relationship with God?
I like to consider myself to be a modern day cross between kings David and Solomon. I'm a psalmist of sorts. So as I interact with God, people, and myself,I put my thoughts, experiences and observations in my song. My hope being that whatever gems you come across though my work may minister to you in some way, to God's glory.
What’s the creative process like for you when making music?
First things first - have a rough rhythm and melodious vibe going off in my head. I make a beat if I don't have one. Then I dive in. My first goal is to mumble my way through my vocal rhythms, experimenting with a view to finding my preferred vibe. Then i build my theme or train of thought around those mumble verses and tweak till its done. The end. hahahaha.
Tell us about the new EP.
“LOVE CHILD” (adjective)
Meaning: A child born to out of wedlock (that is to parents who aren't married).
Basically, the EP documents my thoughts from my love and dating attempts over a couple years now. My heart-trip has shown me three things: Love is dope, love is deliberate and situationships suck! In ‘Love Child” I wear my heart on my sleeve, neatly woven with groovy and soulful Afropop vibes.
Consider it a mood board for every time we find new love and dive in whole heartedly; for every time chaos hits the ceiling and our constancy is tested; for every time we must stand with our lover no matter what; and for every time indecision, lust, and all forms of blurry lines mess up a potentially dope friendship.”
What is your goal as an Artist?
Influence the culture, inspiring it to strive towards a higher and better way to live - by faith, hope and love, all culminating in Christ Jesus, His kingdom and sound doctrine. I want to inspire people to connect with God, discover themselves at the core, embrace the gritty and profitable nature of the road to being made whole and sharing that new found love for others.
Who is Claudius?
Claudius is who I am, I wanted to stick with my actual name because thereʼs no difference on and off the stage. What I speak about in my music reflects the person I am in reality and thatʼs really who Claudius is.
We see that you are very transparent with your life on social media, what transpired in your life that led you to the Lord?
I am one of 10 biological children born to my parents. I was born in Liberia 1996 in the heat of a civil war which claimed the lives of many including my first brother who I never met. Days we didnʼt have to eat, but God still proved himself faithful keeping my siblings and I alive through several encounters with death and even seeing my little sister die when malaria had gone up to the brain doctors gave her up and technology wasnʼt that advanced back there, but I watched my mom pray as well as my father and God performed a miracle by bringing her back. This was just one of many things I witnessed and it helped strengthen my faith at a very young age. Seeing where Godʼs brought me from thereʼs no way I canʼt dedicate my life to him and since heʼs blessed me through music all I do must reflect his mercy and grace upon my life.
How'd you get started with music & how does your artistry reflect your relationship with God?
My father is a musician as well as my mother and sisters who sing. Both are pastors, but growing up in Liberia my older brothers and I first learned drums, but I watched my father play piano as well as my uncle and I gained interest and started playing when I was four. When I came to America 2002 I was 6 and my parents forced me in music school about 2 years later. I wasnʼt interested, but over time gained the passion and began playing in church age 9. Fast forward to the 6th grade my brothers and I with my cousin and some friends had a rap group from there I began rapping and making beats.
What’s the creative process like for you when making music?
My process for making music stems from first and foremost Prayer. Seeking God is the key, yes I listen to other artists and a ton of instrumentals, but before I even put out my first song I told God I want to be different. I said I want to relate to people and their situation all while staying true to myself. Sometimes I get an idea for a song before I make the beat other times I make the beat and then get an idea for a song. At most times I write the entire song right on the spot because when I start writing itʼs as if God is just speaking to me and I just keep writing before I know it I have a hook and two or more verses. I lay it down on the beat and always end up changing something whether itʼs the beat or lyrics I go over too many times to count. When I feel satisfied I get input from my brother whoʼs my engineer as well as other siblings and my parents. After all is said and done we put get the song out.
How has the response been from you releasing “Love Override”?
Iʼve received so many encouraging responses from Love Override especially a ton of people who never had a father and some who told me they never even had both parents and the song really hit home for them. That makes me feel that I did my job as the artist I asked God to be and he gets the glory through it. At the end of the day I can care less about views and plays as long as one person was able to relate and be uplifted through the message then the song manifested its purpose. But Iʼve gotten feedback from people Iʼve never spoken to in my life especially those who arenʼt even Christians which is huge because it shows Iʼm also bridging a gap in secular and Christian music to reach out to non believers without compromising.
What was the inspiration behind the song?
The inspiration behind the song came when I said to myself I want to tell a story but also not just sing it this time. God just immediately gave me the idea of a broken relationship between a son and father and it made a lot of sense because I have so many friends who grew up without a father figure. I made several beats and tried them out. They didnʼt seem right until I listened to Whitney Houston and loved a little musical run she did in a song and I said hmm this will go great in creating something emotional to help me tell this story. I then sampled her voice and loved the beat after adding some strings and other content I wrote the song that night and immediately hit up my videographer the following morning. This was in August right after releasing my pervious single Control and she already had an amazing idea for it after listening to the rough draft. I then hit up my boy who was initially to play the role and he loved the idea especially because it related to him which I didnʼt even plan. Unfortunately he couldnʼt make the shoot so I chose the young man in the video who ironically related to the song as well so God just worked it out perfectly and I was just glad that it was well received.
What is your goal as an Artist?
My goal as an artist is to definitely own my very own record label, but over all give back first to my parents for investing in me and then my country of origin(Liberia) and create opportunities for kids who donʼt have the opportunity that I was afforded. I want to feed the hungry back there and educate kids as well. My over all goal is to win souls for Christ through good and real music.