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Deadlee's Rap
A Latino RAPPER? MEET DEADLEE, A HOMIE WHO’S BREAKING BARRIERS IN HIP HOP.
By qvStaff Roldán

DeadleeAT FIRST GLANCE, you might think that rapper Deadlee is just like any other rapper. Like his peers, he’s tough and masculine, and he sings about the harsh reality called life, but where other rappers rap about being with girls, Deadlee doesn’t. He is QV—and he brings that side of his life to the forefront in his music and performances.

How did you get into rapping? I had a little rap group before with my buddies, and we’d rap at house parties. But they weren’t taking it seriously—so one day, I looked into one of the music rags and found a guy who would do some beats for me. It just went from there. I’d listen to other rapper’s records, and think, “Sh*t! I have better stories to tell.” So then I hooked up with this producer, and at first, I wasn’t going to go into any of the QV crap, but he kind of brought it out of me. He said, “Just go ahead and do whatever you want, man.”

So what can people expect to hear in your music? Reality. I talk about my reality. For some people, that’s a trip. I’ll put in my rap stuff about sex with guys, and I’ll also talk about serious stuff like a QV marathoner who has HIV, and he’s kind of running for the race—and he’s running for his life. It’s controversial for some people.

So you weren’t going talk about your QV side at first? No. Like on my (first) CD, I didn’t put a song called “Homo Thug” on there. I’m kind of pissed off that I didn’t do that, but I’ll put it on my second CD. That song is like a coming out kind of thing. It just tells the homo thugs to be honest with themselves and sh*t.

Are there any rappers who you’ve admired? I’ve always liked Easy-E. I guess Easy-E and Tupac. He (Tupac) always talked truthfully about where he came from—that was his reality. That just gave me hope to tell my reality. It’s a lot different from his, I think, but I can explain my side. And Eminem, too, even though people dog the boy. But he’s telling new stories and being honest to where he’s at. So I can’t really dog the guy for that. I think he’s kind of growing, too. He might have said some QV stuff, but that’s where he came from, and I think he just has to be educated. It’s like I come from a whole different place and I need to educate people about my reality which is totally different from his.

What was coming out like for you? Kinda rough. All my cousins are real macho, and a QV person is laughed at and called names like “maricón” and “faggot” and “joto.” When they see someone who’s QV, they just automatically laugh. I’ve never been the sissy type so when they found out about me, it was a shock for them. My cousins have never asked me if I’m QV. It’s like they know, but it’s one of those things that in our culture, you still have to be quiet about. That was kind of rough. It’s just kind of a trip because my cousins might have six kids with six different girls, and that’s alright. But when I was in a relationship for six years with the same dude, I couldn’t say anything about it. That bugged me. There was all this sh*t pent up inside me, so I had to just start rapping about it. If you keep it all trapped inside of you—it just kind of holds you back. I’m not wearing a rainbow flag or any of that, either. I’m not about that. It’s just being true, like if someone asks me about a guy I’m seeing, it’s being forthright and saying, “Yeah, this is my boyfriend.”

What do QV people think of you? How have they reacted? I’ve got some QV fans out there, but in general, not to be stereotypical, a lot of the QV population is more interested in the female singers like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Paulina—and all that stuff. They haven’t embraced hip hop as much.

And what about straight audiences? Have you performed for them? Yeah. I did play in front of one real straight crowd, and for some reason, I got more props there than I did at any of my other shows (with a QV audience). I don’t know what it is. I think I kind of scare some (QV) people. They’re still a little intimidated by the rap scene. Even though I’m coming out QV, I still think they’re kind of intimidated.

It feels like you’ve really started something by bringing QVs into Hip Hop. What are your goals? Where do you want to take your art? I think just to the mainstream. I want everyone to see that there’s more to QV people than the stereotype. Especially in the Latin culture, you see a QV person on TV, you just want to laugh at the QV dude. My homeboy always watches this novela and there are two QV dudes on there and they’re always just so feminine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they’re basically clowns to be laughed at. So I want to show that there are all kinds of us out there. I think there are people out there who are ready for that.

What do other rappers think of you? Have you performed in front of them, or even with them? Well, I just did this showcase with 30 different rappers, and it was kind of a trip because a lot of them were cool with me before they saw my set. We were talking and stuff, and I didn’t mention my sexuality or anything. Then after I did my set...man, they treated me completely different. Before my set, they looked at me in the eye, but afterwards, they just looked down at the ground.

Did you talk to them afterwards? No, but I should have.

What would you have told them? I probably would have been rude. I guess I still have some growing up to do, but I get defensive. I think they got offended because during my performance, there was another dude touching me. But you see guys and girls doing that all the time, and they ain’t saying nothin’ about that. I’m like whatever, man. It’s the new world.

What advice can you give to a QV guy interested in being a rapper? I would just tell them to be strong and remember who you are. If people don’t like it, then tell ‘em to f*ck off. Just be true to yourself. There’s this one boy who raps and who I’ve been talking to, and he tells me that the stuff I rap about is the same thing that he thinks about. He raps about it, but he doesn’t know if he’s got the courage to get it out there. I just tell him to be true to himself—and be proud of who he is.

For more information on Deadlee including how to get his CD, visit www.deadlee.com!

 
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