“Life was great,” he tells Rolling Stone of his touring career, calling from his Los Angeles home. “For it to abruptly end because of the lockdown, that was different. I don’t think any of us were expecting that, but my situation isn’t unique.”
The NYC native got his start in the late Eighties as a member of legendary hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions alongside KRS-One, producer Lee Smith, and the late Scott La Rock. The group became one of the most influential hip-hop groups of the late Eighties, blending politically minded lyrics with intense, confrontational themes that earned them massive critical praise. (The D-Nice-produced “Self-Destruction” in 1989, featuring KRS-One, Public Enemy, and Heavy D, among others, was a leading track in the movement against violence in the black community.) Before the group officially disbanded in 1992, D-Nice, whose real name is Derrick Jones, dropped two solo albums, including the successful Call Me D-Nice that spawned an underground classic in the title track. His less-successful follow-up, To Tha Rescue, was released a year later.