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The best kept secret in music


"DL Spotlights Hub Hip Hop"

DL is Boston hip-hop's watchdog and conscience.

When we neededan MC to write the quintessential hometown anthem over the "Cheers'' theme, he came through with "MASSterpiece.''

And when The Western Front in Cambridge banned rap shows, he organized peaceful protests.

But last weekend DL popped his boldest move yet to stimulate the local scene: He made a music video.

DL released his first CD, "Can't Get a Break,'' on his own nickel last year. One of the album's major themes was the struggle of local artists to extend their following beyond New England. Thousands of caller requests and a record deal later, it's clear DL earned his break. Not only from audiences that caught "MASSterpiece'' onradio, but from Commonwealth Records president Dru Garrity.

DL's video for his song ``Mirror'' was shot last weekend in Roxbury and Cambridge. It's the second in a three-part series commissioned byGarrity, who's also signed Andover MC Mic Stylz and Roslindale street champ Slaine. Garrity said he wants to go beyond discs and vinyl to get Boston's top artists the exposure they deserve.

Commercial outlets such as BET and MTV are out of touch with indie hip-hop, but today there is another venue for music videos by aspiring artists.

"The Internet plays a big factor,'' Garrity said. "You don't have to have a million-dollar label to make videos and put them online.''

And it works. Commonwealth's first video, Mic Stylz's "Bringin' It Back'' featuring Esoteric, has seen more than 40,000 downloads.

DL is ripe for theattention he'll get from putting a face to his rhymes. He weaves thoughtful messages through his lyrics, addressing everyone from casual rap fans to street lifers. For that reason, singles from his last album got played on Boston's college radio stations, as well as JAM'N 94.5, HOT 97.7 and XM satellite radio.

"Mirror'' reflects DL's full spectrum: from roughneck to lover and punch-line rapper to storyteller.

"The song shows things you do that are out of character and how you realize when it's too late,'' he said.

DL cheats on his girlfriend in the first part of the video, grapples with road rage in the second and brings it to a close by flipping conscious hood rhymes.

For the setting for the video's last scene, DL chose Massive Records, a hip-hop friendly outpost on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. With help from Boston-based director Matt Workman and his crew, the basement store on the fringe of Harvard Square became a one-day movie set. Models kissed the cameras, gold chains got polished and DL's crew made cameos.

In the flick, DL sits on a leather sofa lamping like a kingpin, while customers queue outside to buy his product.

"It could be interpreted like I'm selling drugs,'' he said, |"but I'm selling my music.''

Beyond the Internet, Garrity is also trying to get Commonwealth productions played on Fuse, the somewhat adventurous cable TV music-video network. But even if the video only bumps on DVD, underground and online, it represents another step forward for Boston hip-hop.

"Rappers can't just have great records on the radio anymore,'' Mic Stylz said. "The game is changing, and you need the right promotional tools to get by.'' - The Boston Herald

"Boatloads of Talent"

Rapper Renaissance If local artists like Dre Robinson, Termanology, and Natural Born Spitters have anything to say about it, Boston is about to earn some overdue respect on the national hip-hop scene. And you can hear them first.
By Matthew Burke, Globe Correspondent | August 17, 2005

Talk to local hip-hop aficionados, and they’ll tell you Boston is home to some of the best underground hip-hop artists in the nation. Artists like Dre Robinson and Slaine may not have the name recognition of high-profile local acts like the Perceptionists, and they may be all but unknown to mainstream audiences, but they’re steadily honing their chops and building audiences for their material. This up-and-coming group of rappers is at the leading edge of what one local performer, DL, calls Boston’s ‘‘new hip-hop renaissance.’’ They don’t have major-label recording or distribution deals, but they’ve worked with national stars like Mobb Deep, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, DJ Lethal from House of Pain, Terror Squad, and others. Their stuff is getting played on both commercial and college radio, and local listeners are buying their CDs. It all adds up to a collective profile that’s becoming larger and more sharply defined. During the next two weeks, Bostonians can see these emerging artists up close at a series of shows around town. Check them out, and you can say you saw them when.

DL, Dre Robinson, and Natural Born Spitters, with special guests Lyrical, and IroQ & John Doe

Sunday, Milky Way Lounge

DL hails from Roxbury and has had a lot of recent airplay on college radio stations around New England. His song ‘‘Massterpiece,’’ which samples the ‘‘Cheers’’ theme, has been the No. 1 requested song on WERS, the Emerson College station, over the past year, according to Kevin Dingle, a station DJ who hosts a hip-hop show under the name Kerosene. DL’s smooth delivery and catchy hooks are supported by inventive, head-bobbing beats, and his lyrics are considered part of the emerging ‘‘conscious’’ movement in hip-hop, one that forgoes prevailing hip-hop themes of violence, misogyny, and materialism. - Boston Globe


MASSterpiece (The Anthem) 12"-2003
Contagious 12"-2004
J. Saki Presents...Best of the Bean Vol.2-2004
Can't Get A Break-2004
NBS Presents The Antidote-2004
Mass Movements Vol. 1-2005
Virtuoso Big Bang Records-2005
Sophmore Album Early 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Anyone who has been to a DL show knows that he puts on an amazing performance and genuinely gets the crowd involved.
His two smash singles "MASSterpiece (The Anthem)" and "Contagious" have garnered substantial airplay on major, college and satellite radio stations. With his debut relase "Can't Get A Break" selling out at each venue, he is fast on his way to being the next big thing.
A recent ASCAP member, DL has written over 350 songs and has recorded over 100 to date. He has performed in around the New England area from The Strand Theatre in Dorchester to The Middle East in Cambridge to Justin's in New York City. DL recently won 1st place in the "Best of the Best" competition, in which 12-14 different Rap acts perform their best material and are judged on various criterias.
DL has made various apperances on local broadcast over the past few years and is constantly marketing and creating new ways to be heard and seen. Stay tuned...