Daniel Laurent
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"Healing power"

DL and Tek.MP at a hip-hop memorial in Dorchester
By MATTHEW M. BURKE
February 27, 2006 6:58:39 PM

Saturday night at the IBEW Hall on Freeport Street in Dorchester, Cekret Society’s Tek.MP found himself in an unfamiliar situation. Instead of a crowd of excited partygoers, he had an audience made up of mourners. These people knew him not as Tek but simply as Tyrone from State Street, a close friend and co-worker of Stacey Nestor. In December, two days after her 30th birthday, Nestor was diagnosed with an aggressive form of colorectal cancer, and the family had rushed a benefit concert into production. But Nestor passed away before it came to fruition, and on Saturday, Tek was in Dorchester to say goodbye the only way he knew how: through hip-hop.

So often, the mainstream media cite hip-hop music and its attendant culture as being harsh, violent, and uncompromising. Hip-hop deaths make the headlines only when they’re garish and sensational. Last Saturday, there was a lesson to be learned from a tribute to a girl who lived a good life, loved hip-hop, and died far too soon.

Pictures of Stacey in happier times invited people into the hall. The mood was somber. A couple hundred of Stacey’s closest friends and family members were in attendance. As a DJ spun Top 40 hip-hop, family members spoke about Stacey and the positive impact she’d had on their lives. Tek told fellow Boston rapper DL (a/k/a Daniel Laurent) that he’d lost his father and his uncle to cancer recently. Then Tek gingerly picked up the microphone, started to move to the beat, and, with DL at his side, tactfully put his tribute into high gear. He performed “Main Squeeze,” one of the hottest tracks off Top Cekret Mixtape (Cekret Society Records). “Let’s party for a minute, for Stacey,” he said. He seemed almost in a trance, ripping into a song that’s a touching tribute to his better half.

Tek and DL came center stage for a rendition of their “Headlines.” Then DL addressed the crowd, telling us he’d written a song for the event — in fact, he’d written it only three hours ago. It was called “Answers,” and he asked Tek to sit next to him on the corner of the stage while he performed it. “Looking at the world for some answers,” he rapped while Tek got the crowd to clap along with him. “Stare at the sky/Look at the ground but nobody answers/Got a million questions, I need some answers/What goes around comes back ’roun.” For a moment, people in the crowd smiled. By the end of the night, they’d raised $11,000 toward the Nestor family’s medical bills.



- MATTHEW M. BURKE, Boston Phoenix


"Hip-hop hopefuls"

Hip-hop hopefuls
Boston's eclectic rap stars
By MATTHEW M. BURKE

Already it appears 2007 will be a big year for Boston hip-hop, since a number of pivotal releases are in the making. Some of the best local artists are beginning to broaden their approach, providing something for fans of everything from hardcore to old-school rap. Here are a few reasons to be hopeful.

Daniel Laurent, “Whole World”
This track is a departure from the upbeat and oft political commentary that fans are used to from Daniel Laurent (a/k/a DL): the rapper conjures Nas-like anger and frustration and then sets it against trumpet arrangements that sound suited to a movie score. The track also features earth-shaking bass drums and crisp snares that bode well for his mixtape STILL Can’t Get a Break, which is due in April.

http://www.thephoenix.com/article_ektid34491.aspx
- MATTHEW M. BURKE, Boston Phoenix


"Suppression Album Review"

Coming straight out of Boston, Massacheusetts is DL (Daniel Laurent) with his debut album The Suppression. DL first came to the attention of listeners in the U.S. with his tribute to Boston, MASSterpiece (The Anthem), which sampled the theme song of the legendary TV show Cheers. The album plays out almost like the soundtrack to DL's life, beginning with the soulful intro Town Meeting 2, where he shouts out to the Boston hip-hop scene, as well as the audience. Also check out the dramatic Last Request for examples of his storytelling prowess.


Although the album has some more ‘underground’ leanings on tracks like the battle-ready Back & 4th, which features RipShop, and the socially-minded Headlines, featuring Cekret Society, it is hard to catergorise the album. This works in its favour and DL even states at one point that, he's not a conscious rapper, he's just a rapper with something to say. Unlike some of his counterparts, he is able to fashion tracks that have a universal sound that appeal to not just hardcore fans but passing listeners as well. The best example of this is the funky Lounge Song. The album also highlights the talents of other lesser known artists including emcees Jake The Snake, Illin' P, Lyrical and The Foundation, as well as beat-smiths Mr. Peter Parker, DJ Liphted, Chaos & Order, Dark Figures Entertainment and Milkman.

Key tracks that you should look out for are the heart-felt Lovin You, the cinematic Contagious Revisited and the Illin' P-featuring No Sunshine. The album also comes with a bonus DVD, that despite its low-budget production adds another dimension to the music, providing footage from live performances, radio appearances, recording sessions and freestyle sessions. Overall, The Suppression is an excellent release that you should pick up. Check out www.daniellaurent.com and www.dl-central.com for more info.

Self Made Entertainment

By DJ Hazard
- DJ Hazard , Planet Urban.com


"One voice against rap's violent spin"

One voice against rap's violent spin
By Matthew M. Burke, Globe Correspondent | December 18, 2005

When some of Boston's best hip-hop artists perform tonight at the Milky Way, Daniel Laurent will step outside the rap stereotype: He plans to donate the proceeds to charity and is offering a discount on admission to anyone who brings a toy or a book.

But Laurent also plans to tweak his set list and talk about the murders of four young men in Dorchester last week, three of them rappers.

''It was in my community. If I don't address it, who will?" he said last week.

In a world where rap lyrics often evoke violence, materialism, and disrespect for women, Laurent prefers using lyrics to inspire. His message condemns deadbeat dads, cheating spouses, crooked politicians, helplessness, and the institution of poverty while exalting self-determination, education, and hope.

Laurent, who performs as rapper DL, organized the fund-raiser in Jamaica Plain to benefit the Home for Little Wanderers and give 100 homeless Boston kids a nicer holiday. He says his life experiences, both tragedy and triumph, made him want to help.

''Kids are always of importance," Laurent said. ''Maybe more so to me now, being a dad. I know that when kids go back to school and the teacher asks what did they get for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and the kids who got pencils and socks scrunch down in their seats while the kids who got Xboxes brag, is a horrible feeling."

The program lists Hot 97.7-FM's Mr. Peter Parker as host and features 7L and Esoteric, RipShop, RDaFact, Jake the Snake, and Golden Brown. Parker considers Laurent distinct from most rappers. ''He's true to himself," Parker said. ''He has ulterior motives to be positive."

Laurent, 24, a medical administrator for a Chestnut Hill dermatologist, has two daughters, Legacy Monet, 2, and Latayven, 8. His company name, Self Made Entertainment, speaks for itself. Daniel Laurent is a self-made man.

His debut album, ''Can't Get a Break," has received airplay locally and acclaim from fans, who made the single ''Massterpiece," which covers the ''Cheers" theme, the number one requested song on Emerson College's 88.9 WERS for over a year, according to Kevin Dingle, a.k.a. DJ Kerosene, who hosted the successful hip-hop show ''88.9 at Night."

Dingle called ''Massterpiece" the ''one and only most legendary hip-hop song of the last two years." Laurent has performed with Kool Keith and Royce DA 5'9" and his second album, ''The Suppression," is due out in February.

Through it all, in the tradition of the form, he has made from a fairly tough background the music that animates him.

While his father struggled with drugs and his mother was imprisoned for fraud when he was 14, he had to work full time, along with some hustling on the side, while attending school. ''I love [my parents] with all my heart," Laurent said. ''Their choices allowed me to see what most others seek out of fascination and entertainment." He graduated from Boston Community Academy with honors.

At 18, living in Dorchester, he seemed to be in the clear. No more conversations with prostitutes and con men. No more hustling. Then one morning, he woke up feeling as if he couldn't breathe. His fiancee, Patrice, was attending school in Atlanta, and Laurent had an inkling that she was in trouble. She didn't answer his call. The clock read 8 a.m.

That was the time, he learned later, that Patrice was shot to death by a friend who had gone berserk. Her murder ''completely shattered everything," Laurent said.

Once again, he had to pick himself up and get back to living.

He went to New York City for college and, after sending photos to several casting agencies, started getting auditions. His first big break was the lead role in an antismoking commercial for the Department of Public Health. Laurent went on to be Martin Lawrence's stand-in for the film ''What's the Worst That Could Happen?" He also acted in a Sarah Jessica Parker film, ''State and Main." Laurent feels that Patrice ''had a hand in that." He has also done commercials and modeling, all without an agent or a manager.

His most successful role was playing Jamal in a 2001 indie film and Sundance favorite, ''Lift." It was originally a Showtime mainstay but has since gone on to heavy rotation on BET, Laurent said.

After 9/11, Laurent said, he felt he needed to regroup; he left New York and quit school. He went to the only place that had ever seemed like home: Boston.

Tonight at the Milky Way, Daniel Laurent will be introduced to the crowd. Laurent will rap about his experiences, about life; he will rap about loved ones who couldn't be there for the show. He will rap about the streets, about hope. For the kids.

- Matthew M. Burke, Boston Globe


"Various Online Quotes"


"DL added intelligent lyricism to the dynamic live sound of Velvet Stylus..." Marty Caballero, Bostonrap.com (Home page) 6/20/06

"...The evening's rap highlights came from Roxbury's DL, who was joined by the live band Velvet Stylus for his single 'Contagious,' and from revolutionary holistic hip-hoppers Foundation Movement...." Chris Faraone, The Boston Herald 6/19/06

"...Whoever missed DL's set last night missed the Self Made/Commonwealth socrates at his best...he opened up with "Headlinez" feat yours truly and Lord Linz...we literally RAN from our parking spot. through the doors and onto the stage just as the song began!!! I luv this job. The highlight of the performance had to be "Contagious" performed w/ the live band, and the Middle East fukn EXPLODED when the band dropped... and DL spit 48 bars of fury through the heavy guitar riffs...classic sh*#!!!" - Tek.MP from Cekret Society

"Boston MVP award goes to DL. Beastmode son!!!. He had me totally confused and what he was doing and he came out and KILLED IT!! For those who missed it, I'm sorry." - Edu Leedz, Leedz Edutainment - Listed below


Discography

STILL Can't Get A Break-Self Made Ent 2007
Playtimes Over- RipShop, Commonwealth Recs 2007
Boston State of Mind- Commonwealth Records 2006
MASS Destruction Vol. 3- DJ Illegal 2006
Boston Mind State- Smash and Grab Ent 2006
The Suppression – DL, Self Made Ent 2006
Top Cekret Vol 1.- Cekret Society, CS Records 2005
Back to School Vol. 3 – TD3 Productions 2005
MASS Destruction Hosted by DL – DJ Illegal 2005
MASS Destruction Vol. 2- DJ Illegal 2005
MASS Movementz - Edu Leedz Entertainment 2005
Where U At?- DJ Cisco 2005
Signed Vs. Unsigned Vol. 2- Hood Rich Ent 2005
The Antidote 2005 – Natural Born Spitters 2005
Virtuoso presents Big Bang (Big Bang Records) 2005
Red Buggy Eye Vol. 2 –DJ T-Lawson 2004
Best of the Bean Vol. 2 –J. Saki 2004
Can't Get A Break – DL (Self Made Ent) 2004

Photos

Bio

DL made a name for himself on the New England Hip-Hop scene with his hit single “MASSterpiece (The Anthem)” (also called simply “The Cheers Song”) In the song, DL metaphorically travels Boston’s streets, subways, and popular nightspots with an ultimate tribute to his hometown. It was the lead single on J. Saki’s Best of the Bean Vol. 2 mixtape and it gained massive response during Wildboy’s Best of the Bean show on prominent radio station Hot 97.7FM.
He garnered consistent rotation on commercial, college, and satellite radio stations, including Boston’s JAM’N 94.5, HOT 97.7, WERS 88.9 and WSBF 88.1 South Carolina, WNYU New York, and WRFG 89.3 Atlanta. It quickly became the single with the heaviest rotation by any local or national artist in WERS 88.9 history! He’s appeared on more than ten mixtapes and earned copious media praise.

Producing tracks at home, he assembled Hot or Not; designed to get himself heard and get honest critique. The emails poured in. This resulted in an expanding network and the consistent growth of a wide fan base. In the summer of 2004, DL debuted Can’t Get A Break at the esteemed Cambridge, MA venue The Middle East. It sold out at every subsequent show and met critical acclaim.

In 2005, DL re-released his debut with bonus tracks, exclusive remixes and a re-master of his hit “MASSterpiece (The Anthem).” From here, Self Made Entertainment emerged. The re-release sold thousands of copies locally. Responding to public demand, Self Made Entertainment persuaded retail relationships in New England and Los Angeles to carry the record. Among a plethora of reviews, articles, and a prominent radio presence, DL won the 2005 Outstanding Achievement in Song Writing award from the Songwriters Resource Network for his smash single “Contagious.” His success landed him opportunities to open for national artists including Royce da 5’9, Devin tha Dude, and Joe Budden, to name a few.

In recognition of his accomplishments, DL was a five-category nominee for the Mass Industry Committee Hip-Hop Awards 2006. In addition to his music, He has co-starred in "Lift", which won an Urban World Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. The Hart-Sharp (Boys Don't Cry)/ BET Pictures/ Showtime Networks film is critically-acclaimed and is in video stores/online retailers nation wide.

To see DL's new commercial for OurStage.com, log onto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_YxivXZVkI