"Don't be into church, having one foot in, one foot out. I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to come to church and be all nice-y-nice, and then [also be] doing all that [sinful] stuff again. The worst thing that can ever happen is to get to hell and ask, "Wow, how did I get here?"




by Dan MacIntosh for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com

Ever heard of Deezer D? Don't worry, that one stumped me too. A better question is: Do you know that guy who plays Nurse Malik McGrath on the hit TV drama "ER?"

Ahof course you do.

What you may not know about {{Deezer D}}, though, is that he's also a rapper who has just released the positive hip hop album ==Livin Up In A Down World== on his own label called Prazem/N*SOUL.

At a recent album release party-which included such high profile guests as {{Carman}}, Noah Wiley and Gary Busey -- friends and business associates gathered to help launch Deezer's recording career. From the stage this night, Deezer D promised to make only authentic rap, and not the cheesy kind.

For Deezer--a long time rap aficionado--the term "cheesy" describes products that are classless and cheap. "When I wasn't saved," says Deezer "I listened to nothing but rap all the time."

Christian friends knew this, and tried to get him to listen to rap music made by believers. But Deezer was unimpressed.

"They'd say, 'Here's some good old Christian rap. It's nice and clean.'"

"I heard it, and it was: (Deezer goes into his MC Dumb Guy voice) 'Jesus is good/Jesus ain't bad/Jesus is something that you never had.' People thought this was amazing," says Deezer, amazed himself at their amazement, "just because they were saying Jesus. But just because you're rapping about Jesus, doesn't mean you can rap, and that your music is good. [Similarly], just because you're a Christian and you're preaching, doesn't make you a great preacher."

Even before he heard this music, though, he noticed its deficiencies--especially in its simplistic packaging.

"I remember looking at an album cover one time, and it had [only] one sheet in it." In his mind, he was comparing this to the standard booklets found in most CD packages. "And I thought, this is so cheap."

When Deezer became a Christian, he set out to up the standard for rap music made by Christians.

"When I became a Christian, the first thing I thought about was people who were not saved. If they saw this [poorly packaged product], they'd be ragging on it all the time. They'd be looking at this, and saying this is weak."

Deezer D has focused upon presenting the best possible packaging, music and lyrics for this first album. Lyrically, there's much more to Deezer D's songs than those trite "Jesus is good" chants he'd first heard. Deezer writes realistically about the world, but from a Christian's perspective.

"I write stuff that people can relate to," he says. "But I let you know that Jesus Christ is running my life. Not everything I rap about is biblical, in the sense that I'm not trying to be Mr. Scripture in all my songs."

Oddly enough, Deezer D has drawn more inspiration from R&B and gospel performers, than from his fellow rappers.

"I've learned from artists like {{Fred Hammond}}, {{Kirk Franklin}} and {{Hezekiah Walker}}; they're doing kind of an R&B flavor of what I'm want to do in rap."

Deezer D--who financed this project himself--believes in putting out the very best for God.

"If we're going to be doing it for God," he says "let's do it on God's level. Snoop Dog, Eazy-E. and all these other rappers saved up drug money to get the best. Now, we've got the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords: How you gonna play Him cheap, man?"

Contrary to many of his fellow actors-actors who have also give the music business a try--Deezer D is no Johnny-come-lately when it comes to making music. He may be best known for his acting, but music has always been in his blood.

"The music thing came so natural. It actually came first, but I got paid as an actor first."

It certainly can't be easy to live the Christian life in Hollywood, but Deezer D is succeeding at it. Before he was saved, though, Deezer D had seen his share Christian hypocrites, and he knew he didn't want to become like these people.

"What turned be off, before I got saved, were people who said they were Christians, but they wouldn't live the Christian lifestyle."

When Deezer D was convicted about the wrong direction his lifestyle was taking him, he quit his old sinful ways cold turkey. "I had to cut everything out," he recalls. "I had to represent right away. I couldn't build up to it, like most Christians who say, (Deezer slips back into his MC Dumb Guy voice) 'Well, it took me some time' On the set [of "ER"], I couldn't do that."

"I would have faked it, if I had to," he admits. "But the truth of the matter is that God took care of that right away. He made sure I was representing. I tried to be an attraction, instead of a promotion."

Deezer D is able to commit so completely to his walk for Christ, because he knows well where he's come from. When he was a sinner, he sinned all-out.

"I was the slime of slime, and the king of dirt. I figured [before Christianity] I was going to hell anyway. If you're going to go to hell, go to hell in a limo."

When he became a Christian, he gave himself completely over to God, just as had previously given himself over to sin. "Don't be into church, having one foot in, one foot out. I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to come to church and be all nice-y-nice, and then [also be] doing all that [sinful] stuff again. The worst thing that can ever happen is to get to hell and ask, "Wow, how did I get here?"

{{Deezer D}} came to Christ after hear a message from Minister Tim Storey. Not coincidentally, everything in Deezer's life had seemed to come to a head right about this time: His girlfriend had broken up with him, his car had been impounded and he had nothing to else to do on this Saturday night.

"Would you like to go to church?" asked his roommate. After agreeing to go, Deezer was surprised by what he heard. "He was backing stuff up with scripture," recalls Deezer D "and I'd never heard that before. He was applying scriptures to your everyday life. He also talked about the struggles he'd been through, and where he'd come from."


"Every time he said something [about his past], I'd say, 'but look how he is now?' That's when I knew it was a real God. I got saved right then and there. I came home and threw away all the dirty magazines and videos. That very night, I got delivered from everything."


Now, if anybody asks you who {{Deezer D}} is, you can answer by saying he is not only an actor and a musician, but also--and most importantly-he's a dedicated man of God.

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To the hip hop culture Deezer D is best know for his role as Chris Rock's sidekick, Stab Master Arson, in the film "CB-4" or as one of the Jam Boys in "Fear Of A Black Hat" as well as Damon Wayan's crony in "The Great White Hype." To families across America, Deezer D is identified as Nurse Malik McGrath on NBC's number one award winning series, "ER", presently in his third season with the show.

Now rap music lovers are hearing about a fresh new vibe on the horizon of their favorite radio station, by an artist named Deezer D. Wittingly combining the ambience of hip hop with an uncompromising message of poritivity, actor/rapper Deezer D is rapidly emerging as the pioneer of an intrinsic craving within rap music: a beat you can listen to and the lyrics worth living for.

The new album ==Livin Up In A Down World==, is produced by Chris Gunn (King Shon & The SS Mob, T-Bone, Ice Cube, and more) and is a perfect blend of G-Funk R&B rap which is sure to bring both young and old, soul and hip hop listeners out to support Deezer D.

The South Central Los Angeles native is not only a rising rap artist, but Deezer is a motivational speaker and counselor to recovering alcoholics while maintaining his role as a regular on ER. Moreover, Deezer D is active at his local church in West Covina, CA where his rap opportunities all began. Deezer has strong relationships with Miles McPherson and Tim Story with whom he is often called upon to tour with.

Recently acting in the new Carman video will also raise new awareness of Deezer D's talent to the Christian market.