When Dee-1 received a phone call about being on this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards cypher, the New Orleans emcee says he ran around excitedly. According to Dee, this was a dream come true. 

“In order to prepare for it, I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish with this cypher,” he says in an interview with XXL. “I was torn between what I thought I should do and what I thought would generally impress people. So it came down to me realizing that it shouldn’t be taking me multiple days to write 16 bars, when it normally takes me 15 minutes. The fact that I’m overthinking this and putting so much thought into it isn’t good. Don’t get me wrong. My verse is still great. Everybody who heard it thought so, but that stuff really put me in a a dark place. This might sound weird but after that whole experience, I was depressed. I felt like you could want something for so long and then when you get it, you overthink it.”

Dee-1 says he’s received praise for his verse, but he says he could have done a better job. 

“I could have done my mission and my brand more justice,” he explains. “So yeah, that was my experience with it. For me to be feeling that way and not talk about it would be fake. I used that state that it put me in to really help me get in touch with my mission, my brand, and to what my calling truly is. Honestly, the cypher was a turning point in my career. That was the lowest low I felt in a long time and I’ve bounced off of that low to work on going from good to great. Greatness is for the rare few and that’s what I’m aiming for. I’m hungry.” 

Despite saying he had to pray to get himself out of that dark space, Dee says he wouldn’t change anything about the experience and that he is grateful for what the opportunity gave him. 

Watch Dee-1’s cypher here.

Earlier this year, Dee-1 explained why he turned down a contract with Cash Money. Before this, the emcee received support from Sallie Mae regarding his recent mixtape, Free Lunch And Sallie Mae.

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