D. Smiley has been a fixture on the Denton hip-hop scene for several years by now, an endeavor that created his record label, production company, hip-hop crew and merchandising outlet, MacBroadz Music.
When he booked a show at Andy’s Bar for Friday night, he started building a big event that would let out-of-towners share the spotlight with neophyte rappers who are nurturing their beats and their rhymes.
“I feel like everybody on this show is different, artist for artist,” said Smiley, a University of North Texas student. “I like to be able to help people whenever I can.”
Smiley and his MacBroadz crew — Dallas artists Rick Blaine and P.A.T. — have stacked the bill with known North Texas rappers Pudge, B. Dogg and HyperUppercut, as well as San Marcos artist David Shabani. Houston hip-hop artist CLV joins Smiley for the show.
A network of Texas hip-hop hustlers makes it possible for Denton artists to gig all over the state, and Smiley said he returns those favors when he books local gigs. He met Shabani in 2007 at a party.
“I was a freshman at UNT, and he’d quit doing music for a while,” Smiley said. “He’d just dropped a big project when we met, and he asked me to critique it. I don’t like to critique other people’s music because a lot of times, they don’t understand that you’re giving constructive criticism. They just think you don’t like it. So I told him I didn’t do that.”
After they met, Smiley said he was onto a project and had a collaboration in mind for Shabani. He pitched it and the artist declined on account of a mistaken notion that D. Smiley wasn’t into his sound.
“I said, ‘Nah, you got it all wrong here,’” he said.
They haven’t made music together yet, but Smiley wanted to put Shabani on a show.
Smiley is still performing music from his second album, Revelations, which came out earlier this year, as well as some unreleased material.
“On Friday, I’ll do my latest track, ‘Smoke One,’ with CLV,” he said.
“Smoke One’” is a shout-out to doubters who kill an artist’s buzz by offering nothing but nay-saying. The track opens with the flick of a lighter and a short cough from the fresh herb getting passed around during the track.
“It’s not just about smoking. It’s about the people who doubted you, but then they come back around when you’re doing well for yourself,” Smiley said. “The woodworkers, you know? We’re smoking one for them because we feel sorry for them.”
Smiley doesn’t list cars, women or wealth in his verse. He writes music about his experiences and ambitions.
The song is every bit as relaxed as Smiley is as he pushes MacBroadz — the company he and friends named one night when laughing about all the items you could change by putting a “Mc” or “Mac” in front of the word — like McDonald’s does. Smiley said they got a kick out of tagging “broadz” (that’s “beer” for those not schooled in hip-hop lingo) with the prefix.
MacBroadz is the umbrella for the crew of rappers who work and perform together as well as a brand. Each member retains his identity as a solo artist, but is able to make music together and work with other members on their projects. Smiley markets the company through garb — ball caps, shirts and the like.
Merchandise gives an artist something to give or sell to audiences, and it whets appetites for more live sets.
“The live shows are definitely important,” Smiley said. “But you need the merch if you’re going to perform. People have been supportive, and that’s a blessing for sure.”
— Lucinda Breeding
CHRISTMAS ON LOCUST ST.
• What: “Christmas on Locust St.: A Hip-Hop Holiday Show” with @AmoriYay, DJ Master Dave, HyperUppercut, B. Dogg, Aeronotique, Nova, Pudge, Rick Blaine, P.A.T., D. Smiley and David Shabani
• When: 10 p.m. Friday; doors open at 9 p.m.
• Where: Andy’s Bar, 122 N. Locust St.
• Details: Cover is $8 for ages 21 and older; $10 for ages 18 to 20. Get a $3 discount with two canned food items for the North Texas Food Bank.
• On the Web: Listen to D. Smiley’s “Smoke One” at http://bit.ly/11X1BGZ