D-Smooth, J Scratch, and DJ Buck on the Cover of "Droppin Smooth Lyrics"
Danny "D-Smooth" Sykes grew up as a basketball player and Emcee on the South Side of Providence. He founded the group The Ferocious Two and pressed the first record by a single Emcee in Rhode Island, "Dropping' Smooth Lyrics," produced by DJ Buck. Here, he reminisces about growing up on the South Side in the midst of hip hop culture and shares his experiences in the music industry.
Listen to D-Smooth’s story.
Follow our interview notes to go explore his story more deeply.
What was your first experience with hip hop? [0:00]
The look, language, and feeling of hip hop culture [1:55]
- Lee Jeans
- Gazelle Glasses
- “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie (YouTube)
The start of Ferocious Two [4:22]
- Partner + Writer Brooksy B
- Defbeat Daryl – beatboxer
- First song? “Check This Out”
- The Original Human Beatbox by Dougy Fresh (YouTube)
Being from the South Side of Providence and dissing The Magical Four [6:50]
- The Magical Four
- The Skee Boys (spelling)
The love of hip hop and keeping it real [9:15]
- Def Jam Recordings (Wikipedia)
Living in Providence and Rhode Island [12:00]
On being a tall guy [13:00]
Going solo and record deals [15:23]
The compromises of the business and having no regrets [22:30]
The education and influence of hip hop [24:35]
“I’ve seen a lot” [27:02]
Racism, Federal Hill, and regionalism in Providence [29:25]
Hip hop today [30:34]
Favorite Rappers [32:20]
- #1 Jay-Z
- 50 Cent
- Rick Ross