Dee-1 said his life changed in an interview that Sway Calloway conducted last fall, which the New Orleans-based rapper wrote about on track No. 6 of his 3’s Up EP that dropped on Tuesday titled “The Sway Interview.”
Sway heard the song for the first time on Tuesday, and legendary hip-hop journalist told Rapzilla what it meant to him.
“When my partner King Tech and I started, that’s all we really ever set out to do,” Sway said. “It wasn’t to become famous … It was really just to inspire folks and to try do it with a certain level of integrity.
“For him to write a song called “The Sway Interview,” yeah, man, that’s [really] dope. I think anybody would be honored to have a rapper who you respect write a song and you be at the premise of his creativity. Ain’t a lot of us getting those, man. That’s like a Grammy. That’s a Grammy for me.”
In October, Sway premiered Dee-1’s lead 3’s Up single, “Against Us,” on Sirius XM and interviewed him about how his Christian faith steers his mission as an artist. The interview got emotional, and it impacted not only listeners, but also Dee-1. He wrote “The Sway Interview” with time stamps that correlate with the video interview so fans can follow along with what he’s referencing.
In December, Dee-1 returned to Sway’s show to participate in his Doomsday Cypher, which also included Andy Mineo and MC Jin. Dee-1 claimed his life changed in his previous interview, and Sway noticed.
“[Dee-1] seemed very sure of himself, very confident, like he locked in,” Sway said. “You see a lot of artists trying to figure themselves out as they evolve. … When a rapper finally finds the sweet zone and they find their niche, you can see them excel in it.”
While Dee-1 may have still been figuring himself out before their October interview, Sway explained that Jay Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne are not the same artists today as they were when they started their careers either. They needed to find that zone, like Sway believes Kendrick Lamar and Drake are in right now — them and Dee-1.
“When you know your sweet spot, when you know your zone, it’s kind of like being Kobe Bryant in his prime or Michael Jordan,” Sway said. “You can’t tell them [anything] because they know who they are, what they want to do and how they can go about doing it. … I feel like that’s where Dee-1 is as an artist. He’s comfortable with what his mission is as an artist. Once you do that, once you agree with yourself, you’re just going to start escalating. You’re going to be confident and secure in everything you write and do because you know it’s within in you.
Warning: Explicit content. Skip to 7:34 for Dee-1’s interview and performance.