Derez De’Shon is back with a vengeance, and you can feel it in each song on his new album titled Bigger Than Me. Following his last project Pain 3, the 20-track project serves as his yet another reminder that he holds absolutely nothing back when it comes to his music, wearing his heart on his sleeve every time he gets in the booth.
Dubbed the Godfather of Pain Music, Derez De’Shon exploded onto the scene with his viral track “Hardaway,” who’s official music video currently hails over 185 million views and counting. The song has since been certified Gold, as he disrupted the Billboard charts for the first time in his career.
When asked what his favorite songs off Bigger Than Me are, Derez lists “Sacrifices” where he’s talking to his kids, “Resurrection” because it’s Derez speaking on coming back after losing himself, and “Want To” because it was a whole new element for him to collaborate with a female artist.
AllHipHop spoke with Derez De’Shon virtually, who was posted in Memphis on his project release day. Read below as we discuss the new project, songwriting for Summer Walker, collaborating with Morray, love for cooking, and more!
AllHipHop: How are you? Where you located?
Derez De’Shon: I’m in Memphis. I’m good man, blessed. Happy. I’m down here for my Big Boogie’s birthday. He got a concert, I’m a go light them up for him. I’m happy all around. We just dropped an album, we going crazy. It’s been a minute. Had to let them know I ain’t went nowhere!
AllHipHop: Congratulations! I know you know release days are always super exciting for an artist.
Derez De’Shon: Yeah, it is. It’s like being at a hospital and a baby is born, you’re like ooooh!
AllHipHop: What does Bigger Than Me mean to you?
Derez De’Shon: Bigger Than Me is exactly what it says: it’s bigger than me. My whole career, I was blessed to have this talent and these abilities to make this type of music. Helping people out and making people comfortable with being them. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than anything I could ever imagine so I had to. It had to be done. It means everything to me that I’m that person people lean on to get over a rough day or get through a situation at home. Just feel better about their situation. This album is me saying: I got you. It’s bigger than my success, it’s bigger than the money. It’s bigger than the conglomerates, it’s bigger than all that. It’s a real purpose behind what I’m doing.
AllHipHop: This is your first project in two years, why so long? Were you working on it this entire time?
Derez De’Shon: I’ve been working the entire time: songwriting for different artists, all of that. I had to get my business straight. A lot of things shifted, a lot of things changed. I have a different team now. Shout out to Manny and Rocky from my management team, Alyssa, Redd and the rest of my team over at Venice, and Justin over at The Purple Agency. We’ve got a whole different situation going on now. I had to get a lot of my legal situation together, get out of bad contracts so I can do exactly what I’m doing today.
AllHipHop: I want to talk about the songwriting. You wrote on Summer Walker’s Bitter”? That’s legendary!
Derez De’Shon: It was legendary for me too, and I appreciate it. Shout out to London on da Track, shout out to Summer Walker. It was a blessing for me to even be there. London called me to the studio and said “ay bro, I need you to do this. You the one, I know you could put that real pain and heartfelt s### on there.” I’m like s###, let’s get it. We discussed certain things and I put that in my mind. I went in the booth and made it happen.
AllHipHop: Do you listen to Summer Walker?
Derez De’Shon: Yeah, I’m a huge of Summer’s. I ain’t going to lie to you, for me to even have the opportunity, I was like oh s###! What? N*gga I can’t wait to do this.
AllHipHop: Bigger Than Me, you go more R&B right?
Derez De’Shon: I don’t think I go more R&B, I just had a vibe. I do got a song on there that I consider R&B and it’s pretty different. I just wanted to try it out. I can write for other R&B artists, so I want to see what I can do myself. I’m a start doing more R&B records. I got a little voice and if I get vocal training, I could probably really get in there.
AllHipHop: I respect when artists get vocal training because that tells me you’re serious about your craft.
Derez De’Shon: Oh yeah, I definitely got to perfect it. Because I’m starting to get up there with Usher and them.
AllHipHop: How was it linking with Morray on “All Them Days”?
Derez De’Shon: Morray a real cool, down-to-earth genuine dude. I might have DMed him, because I was rocking with his sound” Quicksand.” I’m like bro hard. I DMed him “bro you fire,” he said “I appreciate that.” He gave me my flowers from the gate. He said “thank you man, it means to hear that from you.” I’m like wsup, you f### with it? We swapped numbers, we text. Even to this day, we check on each other on some family sh*t.
A lot of people in this industry, you can’t really f**ck with like that. It ain’t no love there. I can hit him like “hey, how you doing? I’m with the family.” He hit me on the same tip. It ain’t always gotta be rap, it’s really on some check on you sh*t. When we did the video, it was a ball of energy. Him, me, we full of that s###. It’s energy, we went hard. It came out dope, it’s a beautiful song. He got a beautiful voice. He could really song, and that’s exactly why I’m gonna take those same classes so I do exactly what he does. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot?
Derez De’Shon: It’s a part in my behind the scenes where we’re sitting in there with my shirt off. He’s telling me like “yeah you a big n*gga, you can walk around with your shirt off. I can see your tattoos on your skin, I can’t go out there bare-skinned.” [laughs] That’s one of the most memorable parts, it was funny. He’s like “yeah I can’t walk around, you bold. You a big bold n*gga, you walk around with your shirt off. You don’t care.” I’m like yeah!
AllHipHop: What were you going through with the trailer? Hear you talking about the industry.
Derez De’Shon: I was trying to get out of them contracts at this time. I’m having these conversations with people where I’m learning certain things I never knew, certain things that were hidden from me. Certain things they didn’t want me to know so certain things can go on without me knowing. I was going through that.
I was going through the fake relationships with the other artists, reaching out and not getting a response. Honestly, I felt like damn, this s### hard. I’m starting to understand now, people only f### with you when they got a reason to f### with you. All the genuine love you thought you had, that sh*t does not exist. I was noticing and becoming myself, stepping out into this new me. I was spitting, keeping it real. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than all that. It’s bigger than everything else.
AllHipHop: Talk about linking with Big Boogie and what it means to be out there in Memphis celebrating his birthday.
Derez De’Shon: I’ve been on Boogie for a minute, a long time. I can have genuine relationships with people, I ain’t gotta talk nothing about no music. But you can hit me like “bro wsup, you good? What you on?” And I’m a do the same. This particular moment, I’m like oh damn, you know what bro? I do got a song I want you to get on, this one of them ones! ‘Cause I don’t really do that type of music, the fun music. I’m like this might be one. I know bruh lit. When I say lit, I know Boogie can party. We gon’ be lit! When he did the verse, send it back ASAP. Bruh lit, let’s get it. Shot the video ASAP, now I’m in Memphis. About to push up on him and do our thing for his birthday.
AllHipHop: Talk about your passion for cooking.
Derez De’Shon: Oh man, I love cooking. I ain’t gonna lie to you, cooking is therapeutic for me too. Besides the shower or besides when I’m number two, that’s the only time I have to sit there and think, watch this and watch that. My mind is focused. Cooking is therapeutic, plus I love trying new stuff. I like watching YouTube, learning new meals, reading recipe books. I like to cook, I love cooking. Chef Derez De’Shon!
AllHipHop: What do you like to cook?
Derez De’Shon: Everything. I really love grilling though. I really love to grill, but I like cooking everything. I like challenging myself in my kitchen, like when I first learned how to make homemade stuffing. I challenge myself to cook a lot of homemade from scratch, like pizza. Just something to get my mind going and keep me thinking.
AllHipHop: Do you ever get sick of performing “Hardaway”?
Derez De’Shon: Uh, yeah. I won’t say I’m sick of it. I love it when I see people react to it and I know how it impacted their life, but I want them to be open-minded to the rest of everything. Don’t just stick me in this category. Pay attention, keep up. Stay online with me.
AllHipHop: One thing you want people to take away from Bigger Than Me?
Derez De’Shon: It’s bigger than you, simple. It’s people that depend on you, it’s people that look up to you. It’s people who need you, it’s people who you inspire. It’s people who admire you, you have to be that. You have to be you, don’t let nothing in this world break you to the point where you can’t be you. If being you costs you certain relationships, that’s fine. Maybe you didn’t need them. If being you costs you to be in different rooms then you used to be in, then maybe that’s where you need to be. But just know it’s bigger than you.
Don’t never get selfish to say hey man, f*ck all that. I’m on this. Nah, it’s bigger than you. You have to think about this sh*t like a child. Would you turn your back on your child? Nah, it’s bigger than you. You gotta go hard for that baby. You gotta make sure that baby eats, you gotta make sure that baby clothes. You gotta make sure that baby stays alive, make sure that baby’s strong. You gotta make sure that baby feels love. That’s what I want them to get out of Bigger Than Me: be you and be that person that people need.