Black Men Smile™ Co-Director speaks his Truth



Devan Dmarcus


       I usually have a million thoughts that run through my mind on a daily, and I consider myself semi- productive if I can concisely communicate one of those ideas and turn it into some form of artistic expression. While contemplating my goals, and reflecting on a few conversations with Aina (pronounced I Know), my stream of consciousness lead me to think about hip hop, its role in society and my part in the bigger picture. Suddenly it dawned on me that my upcoming EP is scheduled for release in less than 1 week. Over the past few days I have had a little anxiety surrounding the May 5th release date and at some point, even considered going back into the studio to rerecord a few of the tracks. After fighting through some internal battles, I was reminded that this project is about INTENTION as opposed to ATTENTION.

           According to Aina I say some profound things during our private conversations.  She recommended that I get a voice recorder to capture the random thoughts that I have during our seemingly enlightened moments! As I searched for a sufficient voice recorder app on the IPad I couldn’t help but press play on my track list. What does it mean for me to release this music and what do I want to achieve by venturing down this road?

      After pondering for some time, answers came to me by way of a post that I saw on Instagram from Rico Wade. He spoke about the need for us to educate through music, and added that if we don’t, we run the risk of losing an entire generation. Subsequently, it made me think about The Dungeon Family, 3 Stacks, Big Boi, Sleepy Brown, Cee-lo, Big Rube, Goodie MO…. B and the positive impact that they had on me when I was a young boy in South Carolina. They were like big cousins who taught me how to ball or like my uncles who schooled me to the game through music. Rico’s post made me consider the possibilities of what I can do with FOREVA MY TRUTH and it brought me back to what Aina was saying regarding me writing a book to the sons, the fathers and the brothers of the world. I guess this album is like my book. It’s like recalling the last 28 years of my life from the perspective of the spectator, commentator and narrator.

      As I move closer to sharing the full story I hope that listeners gain a greater sense of what Hip Hop means to me. At its core, I think Hip Hop serves as a form of expression and education for a community that otherwise sees itself misrepresented and in many cases outright marginalized in popular society. It’s resistance music! It’s affirmation music! It’s representations of us and the things that we would like to see happen in our community and the things that we have seen as an effect to what’s present within our neighborhoods.  As an artist, I have a great responsibility to be mindful of the content that I put into the music, because there’s a little kid somewhere that’s kind of like me when I was growing up in Dillon, South Carolina. There’s a kid like me that gets it, and can understand what is being said. Furthermore, that kid can internalize it and duplicate it and manifest what is being spoken into them. To be truthful I guess I could more so synthesize it as opposed to overstand. Not until I got older was I able to fully grasp what was being said to me and decipher between what I should be doing and shouldn’t be doing, what is sustainable and what is not and what is conducive to my growth and what is temporarily harmful as well as in the long term. So, with this music I take on an inherent responsibility to create change, if not for my generation then maybe for the ones that come after me.


-Devan Dmarcus