(Saturday, May 2; Congo Square Stage, 12:15)
Dee-1 is a New Orleans hip-hop artist who came out with his first full-length album on Mardi Gras day of this year. Here is what he had to say about making it to Jazz Fest and his new album:
WYAT: What does it mean for you to make it into Jazz Fest this year?
Dee-1: It puts a smile on my face because Jazz Fest is my favorite time of year. It’s always great weather in the city, and it’s always right around my mom’s birthday. Also, I’m a lot more accomplished [now] than I was this time last year. I have a lot to talk about on stage, a lot of new energy to pull from.
WYAT: How did you come up with more Mission Vision?
Dee-1: It’s a culmination of a lot of years of needing to identify what it is that I do and put it into words. Mission Vision describes my lifestyle, so I just put my lifestyle into words. Mission Vision consists of three universal principles; I think that it’s something that people can relate to.
WYAT: Why do you think it is important to preach Mission Vision?
Dee-1: I think we have a lack of that in hip-hop. Whether you listen to commercial radio, or what is mostly promoted by mainstream, hip-hop that has a lot of negative messages. We need people who are bold out there who are bold with their positivity. And I am definitely one of those people.
WYAT: How does it feel touring the US with your new album?
Dee-1: It feels great. This is my first headlining tour. It’s a big step up for me. [As a headliner] I get to make sure the fan experience is tailor-made the way I would like them to receive, taking ownership over the experience that the fan will receive. It’s exciting. I’m really enjoying it and I’m making sure that each one of these fans knows and understands how much I appreciate them.
WYAT: How did it feel writing your album?
Dee-1: [It is] an honest compilation of life stories. Very honest. I just put it all together, in terms of track selection, it felt like a bunch of honesty. It’s kind of meant to be my thesis statement.