The Break Presents: Dax
By Dax's own admission, hip-hop was just background music for his hoop dreams. Before he began a career as a rapper, the artist, born Daniel Nwosu Jr., was balling his way to a Division 1 basketball scholarship at the University of Montana. Now, millions of YouTube views later, the Ottawa, Ontario rhymer is fully enveloped by life as a burgeoning rap star.
Born to Nigerian immigrant parents, Dax, who delivered a freestyle for XXL last fall, remembers the first time rap entered his personal equation. It happened one day as he decided to write up a poem as he rode on a bus with his basketball team in 2016. After impressing one of his teammates with the poem, Dax realized he had a knack for putting words together.
Back in 2017, he began seriously releasing and promoting music via his SoundCloud account, dropping projects like 2pac Reincarnation Vol 2: By Dax, It's Different Now and just last month, I'll Say It for You. The latter project includes "Dear God," a 2019 track on which the 25-year-old rattles off a barrage of questions for God as he contemplates the existence of both himself and the world at large. The video for the song, which he released last year and features Dax playing the role of Jesus bearing the cross, has been viewed over 17 million times.
With aggressively earnest raps and a passion to continue building upon what he's created to date, Dax is showing no signs of slowing up.
Get to know Dax in this week's edition of The Break.
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
I grew up listening to: "For me, it's tough because my whole childhood was basketball...there was a phase where I was listening to Tupac. I was listening to that as I was working on my game. But music was always a background to narrate my life at that time. Honestly, I was never super big on rap. I really started listening to rap when Drake got onto the scene. Drake is from Canada, so that was when I really started listening to rap. [I listened to] 50 Cent, whatever was on the radio at the time. I just couldn't relate to a lot of it. Lil Wayne. 'Fireman' was a crazy song."
My style’s been compared to: "I've been compared to a lot of different guys. They'll compare me to Tech N9ne, they'll compare me to Eminem. Some people compare me to Tupac [Shakur]. They'll compare me to Hopsin."
I’m going to blow up because: "Relatability. I've always had this thing where people say I say what people are thinking. That's why I'm calling my project I'll Say It for You. I think I do a great job of just speaking what other people feel. They can relate to it. My music is for everybody. "
What’s your most slept-on song, and why? "'Dear God.' I think it's gonna get the recognition it deserves...I don't think [the song] will ever be recreated. The combination of the words, the way I said the words, acting out the whole video, just the culmination of all that. I can't see anyone recreating that. At least not right now. I think it stands alone."
My standout moments to date have been: "When my dad said he was proud of me. Growing up, it was always a struggle in terms of what I was doing, when I was doing basketball that wasn't it. So my dad came to the first show and said, 'Man, I'm proud of you,' and all that stuff. My dad's job was in America and I was living in Canada, so it was no personal, it was just the job and both parents immigrating from Nigeria... it was [nothing] personal...
"That was less than a year ago. It was my first time touring, somewhere in Pennsylvania. I played basketball for 10 years of my life. He's been to one game. I played basketball, I played in college and everything, he's been to one game. This is my second event he came to... this was the first moment as a grown man my dad saw me doing something. That's my most standout moment, for sure."
Most people don’t know: "I'm left-handed."
I’m going to be the next: "Dax. I'm gonna be the next person to make a large impact on the world."
"She Cheated Again"
"Book of Revelations"
I'll Say It for You
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