Many in the aukdience joined Dee-1 on-stage, at his invitation
New Albany, Mississippi- Everybody there was glad they’d come.
Heavy rain a few hours before show time and threatened rain throughout the evening clearly hurt the turnout. But it didn’t rain while Shaunzy and Dee-1 were on stage Saturday night for the second free concert of the 2016 Levitt AMP Music Series in New Albany.
Shaunzy, born Shaun Vaughn, was the opening act at 7 pm. He is a 2014 graduate of New Albany High School and is currently studying film and marketing at Louisiana State University (LSU). He started recording music in his grandparents’ New Albany home when he was 15 years old, and has continued performing while a student. Many of his friends and former teachers were in the audience Saturday.
The featured act at 8 p.m. was New Orleans hip-hop artist David Augustine, Jr., whose stage name is Dee-1. A graduate of LSU, Dee-1 taught mathematics in a Baton Rouge public middle school after graduation. While teaching full-time was his day job, he performed as a hip-hop artist nights and weekends. He left teaching and has been performing full-time for the last six years.He has built a successful professional career on stage and as a recording artist performing Christian hip-hop music. The themes of his rap are built around traditional Christian values.
Friday night’s audience was about equally divided between people older than 18 and those under that age. Everyone seemed to enjoy Dee-1’s act. Many of the adults were surprised that they liked his version of rap music.
However, the act was directed at people under age 18, some as young five or six years. The under-18 part of the audience was captured by Dee-1 from the first song. They listened, clapped and danced as he rapped about developing good character traits, avoiding drugs and building successful lives.
Some had the chance to dance with Dee-1
A few of them danced with Dee-1 on the stage. Many stood near the stage during his entire act.
At the end of his show, Dee-1 invited the young audience to join him on stage for his final number, and many joined him as parents and grandparents took pictures with cell phones.
Dee-1’s music receives regular airplay on radio and MTV Jams. He was named the 2010 NOLA Underground hip-hop Artist of the Year.
Marcella and Her Lovers
Next Saturday night’s free Levitt AMP concert in New Albany’s Park-Along-the-River will feature Marcella & Her Lovers of Memphis. Marcella Simien is the daughter of two-time GRAMMY winner Terence Simien. Her act features elements of the music of her Creole heritage combined with those of Memphis soul music.
The warm-up act next Saturday night, June 18th, will be Hanna Star, an up-and-coming Memphis teen age singer. The free show starts at 7 p.m.