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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Payne

The Golden Mic Masters: Celebrating Hip Hop's 50-Year Reign

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Two local rappers are bringing shine and positivity to the City of Dayton, Ohio, while contributing to the changing community landscape through their significant presence in hip-hop and rap in film.

"Greedy" and Jason "DBKS" (Dayton's Best Kept Secret) are native Daytonians, emerging from marginalized communities. Having been raised in Dunbar Manor, Five Oaks Manor, and various other neighborhoods across the city, their paths crossed when Greedy was just 15 years old. Now both in their thirties, they have greatly elevated their hustle, and both artists are making major moves in their careers.

Greedy passionately expresses his thoughts on the current state of hip hop, highlighting the transformation into what is now referred to as rap. When he contemplates hip-hop, Greedy envisions influential figures like Nas and Biggie, as well as the art of freestyling.

While he admits to not delving too deeply into politics within his lyrics, Greedy firmly believes that his song, "Hard Times," provides valuable insights to uplift the community. The track addresses the setbacks endured by the community, particularly the lingering effects of the enslavement mindset. However, Greedy also emphasizes the positive shift happening as African Americans awaken, place their trust in God, and move forward with unwavering faith. Greedy acknowledges that the portrayal of black rappers has evolved over the years, and he believes it has changed for the better.

In contrast, Jason DBKS describes his own music as both political and often informative. He highlights his involvement in the world of film, which he characterizes as revolutionary. Serving as a powerful representation of government-related issues, his self-written and directed animated series titled "F&_$ Child Support," shines a light on the flaws within the child support system, viewed through the lens of Jason DBKS. He stated that his movie, "Got My Hustle Up," is another contribution that sheds light on the hip-hop community. According to Jason, "A person must get their hustle up!" He believes that his movies convey the thoughts of the community, and the music serves as a soundtrack that further explains the film.

With a Black Panther mindset, Jason DBKS believes that artists such as Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Tupac, not only influenced him, but have also helped shape hip-hop culture. Now, he is making his contribution to the culture, by bringing a new perspective to hip-hop, telling his real-life stories about a different era.

Jason believes that his music has created positivity and brought about overall change over the past 10 years. Both Jason and Greedy take responsibility for helping their community through the music. Jason mentions some events they have participated in for change. In 2019, he spoke at the KKK rally held in downtown Dayton. He took to the mic with positivity to speak out against the negativity from the hate group.

Greedy invested time with his grandmother to gain an understanding of the struggles facing the Dayton community. Having worked for the Northwest Priority Board, she taught him philanthropy at an early age. She taught him about neighborhood cleanup and community organizing by retrieving signatures to support initiatives for the betterment of the community. Greedy's understanding of his impact on the community and subsequent transformation has been a remarkable journey.

The city's towering skyscrapers reach towards the heavens, casting long shadows that conceal secrets waiting to be unraveled. Jason DBKS and Greedy both believe they are part of the hip-hop culture with bodies of work that represent strong positivity.

A 2017 New York Times report ranked Dayton, Ohio first in America in drug overdoses. Jason DBKS and Greedy share a song, "Dope House," which explains the current state of the Dayton’s drug overdose epidemic. The song provides an explanation and information about their experiences in dope houses, where fentanyl has devastated both drug dealers and addicts. Additionally, Jason DBKS says his new movie series, "Fentanyl," brings an awakening to the epidemic. Both artists insist that the movie does not intend to glorify drugs, but rather its purpose is to shed light on the atrocities and effects that come from the drug fentanyl. Greedy stars in the movie.

Greedy describes the deadliness of fentanyl, "'Russian Roulette." He says the drug is a deadly additive that, if touched, could kill. The 'Fentanyl' series is available on outlets like Tubi and popular social media sites, Twitter and Facebook.

Greedy and Jason DBKS believe that with what they are creating, they are the new faces of hip-hop! Both men believe, while reminiscing about hip hop and its transformative journey, that the genre has undergone significant changes. Greedy nostalgically mentions how, in the past, hip-hop artists had limited resources at their disposal. However, in today's world, an abundance of resources has empowered many artists to forge their own paths.

"The money game has evolved in hip hop, especially for those now labeled as rap artists," remarks Jason. He further claims that most hip-hop artists from the earlier eras harbor bitterness due to their lack of resources and their inability to adapt to the changing times. In contrast, the new age rappers enjoy a wealth of resources, enabling them to create grander avenues and achieve greater success.

Jason believes his ventures in film and music soundtracks, showcases his ability to conquer multiple domains and exemplifies the greater resources available to today’s rappers. Furthermore, Jason believes that collaborating with other artists not only enhances storytelling, but also adds an electrifying element to his work.

Jason has had the privilege of working alongside renowned artists such as "HotBoy Turk," "OJ the Juiceman," and "Busy Bone" of Bone Thugs In Harmony. In fact, Jason and Busy Bone have even collaborated on a song titled "You Can't Tell Me Nothing." As DBKS enthusiastically puts it, "Busy Bone is not only incredibly talented but is hilarious, and that's the homie!"

With their combined efforts, Greedy and Jason have revolutionized the hip-hop scene. They’re bringing substantial change by providing real-time information and shedding light on the struggles and stigmas that plague marginalized communities. Their dedication to their craft has carved a path for a more inclusive and empowering future in the world of hip hop.

In celebration of the 50 years of Hip-Hop, both Jason DBKS and Greedy shared their favorite DJs and top rappers. DJ SKNO (OG), DJ School Boi, and DJ Swift, are only a few that came to mind, which they admire. As for the top 5 rappers of all time, Greedy chooses Eminem, Lil Wayne, NBAYoungboy, Nas, and B.G, while Jason DBKS selects Busy Bone, Twista, Soldier Slim, and Lil Durk. Throughout the years, hip-hop has evolved into rap, and Greedy and Jason offer a fresh perspective by creating exciting music soundtracks and exploring the evolution of hip-hop in film.

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