Well in this edition of "Where Are They Now" we're going to profile rapper D-Nice.
Derrick "D-Nice" Jones began his career in the mid 80's where his friendship with the late DJ Scott La Rock would eventually lead him to joining Boogie Down Productions (BDP). Through his skills in "beatboxing" D-Nice earned the nickname "The Human TR-808." As a teenager Scott La Rock mentored D-Nice and he was allowed to hone his skills along side Hip Hop great KRS-One. However, tragedy struck the group as Scott La Rock was struck down by gunfire while attempting to defuse a threat that was made on D-Nice by some locals in the Highbridge Projects. After this tragedy D-Nice would go on the become BDP's DJ.
However, D-Nice's musical realm would eventually expand into production. After Scott La Rock's death and another tragic death of a teenager at a BDP and Public Enemy concert Krs-One felt empowered to form the "Stop The Violence Movement." The song "Self Destruction" was actually produced by D-Nice and Krs-One. The Self Destruction single was released in 1989, with all the proceeds being donated to the National Urban League. The song featured some of the Biggest Names in East Coast hip hop at the time including: Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One, D-Nice, and Ms. Melodie), Stetsasonic, Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, and Public Enemy. The Stop the Violence Movement would go on to influence the creation of "We're All in the Same Gang" which was the West Coast version of Self Destruction.
After BDP's "Edutainment" album D-Nice went on to leave BDP to go solo, but always maintained an affiliation with the group. In 1990, D-Nice realeased his first solo album entitled "Call Me D-Nice" on Jive Records. The album was produced entirely by D-Nice himself, but the album's most successful single shared the same title as the album "Call Me D-Nice." The song sampled an organ from The Turtle's "Buzz Saw." The album went on to achieve RIAA certification: Gold status and topped out at #75 on the Us Billboard chart and #12 on the R&B/Hip Hop Chart. Other Singles from the album included "Crumbs on the Table" and "Glory." Glory and the video for the song was about the story of the the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. The title of the song was the same as the 1989 Movie "Glory." Although the video for the song uses footage from the film "Glory," I wasn't able to find this song from D-Nice on the official movie soundtrack.
D-Nice's 2nd album was entitled "To Tha Rescue." This album would eventually be D-Nice's final studio album. Although it also achieved Gold status, To Tha Rescue was not as acclaimed as his previous release. However, it did reach #137 on the Billboard 200 and #27 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Chart. The album featured singles "25 Ta Life," "Time to Flow," and "To Tha Rescue."
Unfortunately, after 2 fairly successful rap albums D-Nice's career as a rapper ended. There is no evidence detailing why "To Tha Rescue" was D-Nice's last album. Although unlike like what many may have thought, D-Nice did not fade away into the rap abyss filled with other retired and one hit wonder rappers. After doing some production work with artists such as Kid Rock, Nuttin Nyce, and High-Five, D-Nice did take a hiatus from the rap game. But in the late 90's he would used his influence in the Music Business to capitalize on the "dot-com" era and become an entrepreneur. In 2000, he first partnered with a New York based web development firm Boom Digital to help them become the first black-owned interactive firm to exceed $1 Million in billings. Digital Boom produced websites for names such as Aaliyah, Queen Pen, and Reebok. D-Nice would later go on to form his own company United Camps where he serviced such high profile clients as Universal Music Group, J-Records, Arista Records, and Violater Management.
In 2003, D-Nice decided to make his triumphant return to music, more specifically to Djing. He began to throw weekly parties where he would send E-Mail blasts featuring song lists and photography, which had been a long time passion of his. Well people began to take notice and his parties and photography gained more popularity. Eventually, D-Nice turned into a triple threat working as a web developer, photographer, and DJ. His photography would land work from talents such as Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Gravvy, Lil Scrappy, Major League Baseball and G-Unit/Reebok. As a DJ he has performed for events sponsored by Star Jones, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Kid Rock, Counting Crows, and P.Diddy. Also, he has added corporate events to his resume for companies such as Sports Illustrated, Mac Cosmetics, Sean Jean, Adidas, Brand Jordan, Rolling Stones Magazine, Moet, Pepsi, and Paramount Pictures. Soon D-Nice plans on furthering his career behind the lense by transitioning to filmwork.
But what story would be complete without a little Love? As far as personal life, well D-Nice is presently engaged to Actress Melinda Williams. She is best known for her role as Bird in the TV series "Soul Food." Also, she has starred in such films as Sunset Park, A thin Line Between Love and Hate, High School High, The Wood, Idlewild, Daddy's Little Girls, and First Sunday. The two have known each other since she was 18 years old and have been dating since 2005. They were engaged last November and plan to wed next month (August) in Atlanta, GA.
For more information on what's new with D-Nice including parties, albums, and events check out his website and myspace page below.