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Dee-1 was so touched by a few young boys he met drumming for money on Bourbon Street in his New Orleans hometown, he recruited them to tell their story in his new music video for “I Don’t Wanna Let You Down” featuring Cyrus Deshield.
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Much like the Christian rapper himself, the kids’ story was complex in nature, yet very simple: They’re doing everything they have to do to provide for their families during hard times as best as they can. The boys – who were likely under the age of 15 – were using the money they earned drumming on the street to help their mothers pay their bills because, as one kid noted, “I don’t have a job right now; I’m too young.”
For Dee-1, outside of his home life, he talked about the struggle balancing his spiritual beliefs with his rap career: “People all around me getting famous/ They say I need to switch lanes, but I don’t wanna let you down/ I’ma get what’s ever meant for me/ Until the day, you come and send for me/ I’m battling Goliaths everyday/ I pray you hear me when I say I don’t wanna let you down.”
The song comes from his debut album Slingshot David, which is full of references to the Bible’s recount of David who took down the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. Dee-1 once told Billboard, “It’s your talent, your gift, your passion. Hip-hop is my slingshot. I’m literally using hip-hop to change the world in a way that I feel like I was called to do so.”
The visual for “I Don’t Wanna Let You Down” is surely an example of his “slingshot” theme!