If you don’t pay close enough attention, you might be tempted to place Bomani Armah (Darel Hancock, aka D’mite or G-Mike) in the “profane” category, but you would be mistaken. This guy is truly a principled hip hop artist. He’s not afraid to use strong language, but it’s always for a point.
D’mite insists that he is not a rapper at all, but a poet with a hip hop sensibility. In fact, he’s so insistent that he also sometimes goes by “Notarapper.” (Although when you get down to it, what is rap but a form of poetry?) Unquestionably though, he’s not your average hip hop artist. He’s an intellectual who wants to change the world for the better – one who also has a wonderful sense of humor and knows how to get his point across.
I discovered him on TheSixtyOne thanks to “Read a Book.” The song came out in 2007 and was featured in a video on BET, but it was new to me. I found it hilarious and still do. He uses the words “nigga” and “mothafuckah” plenty of times, but it’s all for a good purpose – a litany of good habits anyone should be smart enough to be doing already – but you know plenty of people aren’t.
Check out his music and see if you don’t agree. D’mite’s music is available for purchase, streaming and freed download on Bandcamp (which is great for me, since it’s easy to embed the songs). Lots of good material there that should convince you that hip hop can indeed operate on a higher plane than the gangsta rap of Dr. Dre or even the party music of The Pharcyde.
Last time I checked I couldn’t find the original edit of “Read a Book” available for download. The Bandcamp version is a “clean” radio-friendly edit (which defeats the purpose in my opinion). Fortunately, you can hear the song on YouTube via the video that ran on BET.