It’s true. Last weekend a DJ saved all of our lives. On Saturday night, just when the nationwide quarantine seemed to be making many people restless and stressed, hip-hop icon DJ D-Nice answered the call and spun an epic 10-hour live set on Instagram that will forever go down in the internet history books as one of the greatest digital parties of all time. Michelle Obama was there. Will Smith slid through. And the list goes one. Oprah bought a round of drinks. Janet Jackson and Ava Duvernay stopped by to dance. Even presidential hopefuls like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders couldn’t resist getting in on the fun. Close to 100,000 clubgoers came together that night to dance, sing and feel good together at #clubquarantine, a party that began with D-Nice spinning for a couple hundred fans and close friends just days before and quickly catapulted into the most-talked about party of the weekend. It was a spiritual moment.
By Sunday morning, everyone—and we mean everyone—was talking about the legendary hip-hop DJ, producer, rapper and beatboxer who began his career in the mid 1980s as a member of iconic hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions. D-Nice, who’s also a well-known photographer and proud #girldad to daughters Ashli and Dylan, joined hosts Charli Penn and Cori Murray for an intimate interview with ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! Podcast to discuss his now-famous digital party and what he wants his legacy to be.
For starters, despite already having a legendary career in the business, D-Nice says he believes that a new chapter in his story has begun.
“It’s so funny how life works, man. Like, I had a two-book deal offer with a major publisher, and about a month ago, I turned it down because I didn’t think that my story was there yet,” D-Nice reveals. “I was like, it’s not there. Yes, I deejay all of these great events, and I played Inaugural Ball and I’ve played in the White House, but that was someone else’s story. That wasn’t my story. I mean, it’s partially my story, because I was deejaying there—but what happened on Saturday is my story. And it’s really about how you can just do something from your heart. And if you do it genuinely and you’re true and true to yourself, people will embrace it.”
And, embrace it they did. After D-Nice got some rest, he was back at it again on Sunday night, spinning another hours-long set for the return fans and all of the newcomers who’d suffered major FOMO from missing out on Saturday’s good vibes. At one point in time on Sunday evening, more than 140,000 people were listening to D-Nice spin. Not only did he feel the love this weekend, he’s always felt the support from the community, the industry and his fans.
“People have always embraced me, throughout this entire journey,” he tells ESSENCE. “From my rap days, my beatboxing days, to when I lost everything. And then in my web-development days and in my photographer days. Then I started deejaying. I’ve literally worn all of these hats and just tried. I’ve always done what I love.”
Listen to D-Nice’s entire Yes, Girl! podcast interview above or anywhere you listen to podcasts.