MC, Label Exec
DA Smart was raised in the Robert Taylor homes; one of the toughest and poorest neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side. MC Rock introduced DA to the world of hip-hop and rap in the mid-eighties. The two, along with Kiddo would eventually form the group D.F.C. (Dynamic Force Crew) and DA quickly learned how to survive the street life by using his talents for music and storytelling, making him one of the most feared battle emcees of the early nineties. That gift of coming off the top eventually led to his signing with RCA Records. Unfortunately, as with many Chicago hip-hop acts at the time, his project was shelved as the music industry moved away from positive, thought-provoking hip-hop in favor of more “gangsta rap”. With the help of Wendy Day and the Rap Coalition, DA was able to exit his contract with RCA which allowed him to pursue the independent route. This eventually led to his pairing with producer The Legendary Traxster and his label C.W.A.L. (also home to Chicago legends Twista and Do or Die). Together, they created one of the best and most critically acclaimed street anthems of all-time in “Walk Wit Me”; a tale of what it’s like to live in Chicago amongst the pressure of gang culture.
For several years throughout the nineties, DA would precede Minister Louis Farrakhan at many Nation of Islam events which led to his participation in the Million Man March and subsequent associated music projects. His track “One in a Million” sold more than 10,000 copies that one day alone. He also appeared on the “One Million Strong” album where he was featured on the track “Where Ya At?” along with hip-hop heavyweights Ice-T, Ice Cube, Chuck D, RZA and more.
DA continues to record and be a role model to Chicago’s youth, instilling strength, wisdom and pride to the city’s poorest neighborhoods through his music and organizations like B.O.I. (Boys Of Islam). He founded his own label, Terror Records, in 2010 and shortly thereafter began his once-a-month Control the Mic events which helps to promote and cultivate up-and-coming emcees.
“One in a Million (Million Man March Theme)” (single, 1995)
“Walk Wit Me” (single, 1997)
Chi-Rock Nation, C.W.A.L., D.F.C. (Dynamic Force Crew), Terror Records