Interview with Beloved Daud, rap artist, music producer and community activist.
Today we talk to Atlanta-based artist, Beloved Daud. Coming from very humble beginnings, Beloved Daud was able to turn his life around through determination and a strong desire to stay spiritually conscious. Today his mission is to show the youth what they’re culture is. His recently released album, Mind Culture Forever under the record label Mind Culture is a message to empower the youth and show them that there is an escape route to everything they may be going through.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the music that you do?
I started doing music when I was around 18. I was into the world of music at first, the ‘fast food’ music that didn’t have anything to offer, didn’t have much substance. Of course, I started from the same background that many brothers have, going through hardships, with a single mother, lacking resources, things like that. So I resorted to the streets, did a little bit of that, accepted all the affliction that comes with that type of industry and continued to do the music. One day a brother told me about the secret society which I had never heard of, and after some research, I kind of pulled me back from the industry. So I quit music altogether, and never thought I’ll step back to it. I moved to the more spiritual aspect of life, and going through that spirituality, getting educated, self-educating myself, reading books, finding out who I am as a person, who my people are and what distinguishes my culture from others, of course, I ran into the truth. And I’ve been in the truth for seven years. The Most High gave me this content that I’m writing, and inspired that through what I was learning. So I’m just giving back what was given to me freely. What I have learned is, even with a GPS, you have to type the location where you are going, but then you have to start from the location that you are in. You can’t start in the middle of the road. If my destination is heaven or paradise, then I have to start somewhere to learn how to respect where I’m going. So I offer an escape route for those who can relate to my humble beginnings, and I give them a way to get out of their situation.
What is the meaning of your stage name, Beloved Daud?
Going through this search, I identified myself with the Hebrew people. So I do associate myself with the Israelites. I took the word Daud, which is King David’s name in Hebrew. It only means Beloved Son of the Most High. So I’m Beloved Beloved, Son of the Most High.
Is the album, Mind Culture Forever your first?
Yes, this is the first album that I put out on this side of the road.
Can you tell us about the message in it?
The message is to empower the youth, to show them that there is an alternative route other than the route that they go to escape their realities. They think that money may help them escape these realities or these hardships that they’re going through, but money is just a temporary fix. Everything that you buy in the store has an expiry date or is meant to break for someone to fix it, but you’re not aiming at that because you don’t want to end up back at the same spot you are at. So we need to seek something that cannot be destroyed, something that can keep on giving.
Who worked with you on this album? Who’s in your team?
I actually wrote and produced everything.
Can you tell us about your inspiration in hip hop? Which famous names inspire you?
I’m a Bob Marley fan, and when I was a kid, I loved Michael Jackson. I’m all for the oldies RnB, the Marvin Gaye type of stuff. I never intended to rap. I didn’t listen to rap until I was about 16. My uncle bought me my first rap tape for Christmas, and that was Snoop Dog’s Doggy Style. It was the first rap tape I ever heard. Other than that I never grew off of that.
Do you have any community centered projects to give back to the youth in the communities?
Yes. We have it in planning because right now we’re a new company that just came together as a collective. In the gang life, they work a lot with colors. Seeing that gang violence is so high these days, we have organized our organization also as a color coordination. This means you start off with a white shirt, which represents purity or your slate is wiped clean. And the brother who brought you in, his shirt becomes a little browner or a little more tanned, meaning that he has wiped the dirt off his brother and taken it upon himself. It also means he’s now fully responsible for that brother, for the improvement of that brother. So everybody you bring in, you receive a little more dirt on your shirt until you get to the black or pro level, which means now you have maybe a thirty-man crew. So we color coordinate and work with some stuff to talk to the higher ranking gang members. We can’t stop everything that’s happening in the community, but we can try to get those who don’t want it a neutral cover or something where they can walk the streets and not have to deal with the violence going on out there. So we’re working on ways to keep the youth away from that and provide centers and different avenues for refuge when they don’t have a way out. There is a way out, so we’re definitely working on that now. But we’re not trying to use any government funds, we’re actually trying to allow the people to help the people.
What should your fans expect from you in the coming year?
The expectations are many, so I can’t tell them what to expect. I know that it won’t be the same. I won’t be the same, and by this time next year, the things that I’m speaking to you about would’ve been implemented.