At the age of eighteen, Chris Ervin has accomplished more than some two and even three times his age. A lyrical master, he has reinvented himself as Dj Downsouth and has been creating a buzz for himself for years now. First introduced to Conversations Book Club Founder Cyrus A. Webb in 2006, the two quickly became friends and started to work together.
We are now pleased to announce that Webb has chosen Dj Downsouth to serve as host for the 1st "Hiphop & Books" Rally that will take place in Jackson, MS on Saturday, April 26, 2008. The event will kick off the 25-state tour that will take Conversations Book Club and its literary partner TRU Publishing across the country promoting literacy among lovers of hiphop and R&B. Below you will find a profile of the young man who is making his mark in the literary and music industries.
Dj Down South
* Hometown: Petaluma, CA
* What attracted you to music?
Since I was young I have been exposed to music. From Oldies/Soul to Gangsta Rap, I have always found Hip-Hop/Rap interesting. Something about Rap drew me to it like a magnet. From the first time I heard the sounds of Run DMC, ODB, Big Pun, 2Pac, Eazy E, Sir Mix-a-lot, Will Smith, TLC, and Boyz-2-Men its taken all of my listening time. In 1999 I started writing rhymes, and in 2002 I dropped my first mixtape.
* Do you remember the first rap song you connected with?
Yeah, my first song was really simple it was called A Day in the Life. It was basically my daily routine where I go, who I see, what I do. In all honesty it didn’t turn out 100% but it was a good start and I have come a long way since then.
* What do you think of the music coming out of the South right now?
The music that is coming out of the south is not what it used to be in the days of Soulja Slim, Big Moe, and Z-Ro but south music is selling commercially with sounds such as Lil Wayne, T.I., and Soulja Boy its not the best the south can put out but its Rap. I am not a fan of Soulja Boy or T.I. but they are doing what they love and you have to respect anyone who goes for it like that.
* You are not only a recording artist but a poet as well. Do you either one easier?
They are the same to me, I bring poetry into my music as much as I can.
* Many say that music is colorblind. Being a white rapper, do you feel as though you have to be that much more better to get respect?
When I was young I was told African Americans and White people are the same and if you respect them the same way you would anybody else then yes music would be colorblind. Respect for respect, race does not play a roll in music unless you make it an issue and believe me, I am not one to play the race card.
* You are hosting the 1st Hip-hop & Books event that has ever taken place in the country. Why do you think it is important that the hip-hop community encourages reading among its listeners?
Reading expands your vocabulary and opens the doors of creativity. Education is what will determine the rest of your life. It is a proven fact...Read more, Learn more, Earn more money.
* Do you think it is true that people don't enjoy reading or do you think it is all about matching them up with the right book?
People do not read or listen to what they are not interested in. So, it is defiantly in the right book for them.
* What are you most looking forward to at the rally that will take place in Jackson, MS on Saturday, April 26, 2008?
Meeting new people and just feeling all the positive vibes music and books together creates.
* If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Ice Cube, ever since I was young I have listened to him. From his songs with NWA to Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It. I have a lot of respect for him.
* Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
I am currently working on a mixtape with my group Tru Platinum entitled Young, Gutta, and Gifted. Also a demo to send to labels with my other group Project X entitled The Takeover.
* How can our readers find out more information about you?
You can go to my personal myspace page that I personally update at http://www.myspace.com/djdownsouth
. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org