Mouchee Deeki relaunches his rap career
By Ron Wynn
Transplanted Louisiana rapper and current Indiana resident Mouchee Deeki acknowledges that he's now revived and refreshed, anxious to once again pursue his fortunes in the ultra-competitive Hip-Hop world. Deeki, whose current release "The Compound Effect," showcases his fondness for both music and lyrics that examine and illuminate the human condition in general and the state of Black America in particular, says he had grown weary a couple of years ago of what he was hearing in the genre that was such a key sound in his early life..
"I came up as a fan of Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One and people who were both entertainers and also willing to speak truth to power," Deeki said this week during an interview. "I was hearing a lot of more commercial rap on the radio and wasn't really feeling it. But then I started thinking that it was time to get off the sidelines and get involved again. There were things I wanted to say, things that were happening around me, and I wanted to express my thoughts and ideas. I began really hearing the music and feeling it again and knew it was time to get back out there and put it out front."
There aren't many contemporary rappers who can reference South Louisiana dance halls, reggae, jazz, blues, gospel, plantations, country living and mechanical engineering as well as political and social philosophy and link them all into a seamless lyrical vision, but that ability is what makes Deeki such a unique figure. A onetime bassist and college-educated engineer, he's also a wordsmith whose technique balances verbal dexterity, a host of cultural references and an ability to either flow with the beat, complement it or even work off it.
His foundation in both instrumental music and the spoken word scene have also proven beneficial in polishing his craft. In explaining his songwriting process, Deeke doesn't necessarily start either with the beat or a written idea. "A lot of times it really is a mood or an inspiration," he added. "There are times when I'll come up with an idea and then really try to think about what kind of beat would best extend it. Then other tines I'll hear a really dynamic melody and think, wow, what kind of story will work best with this. It really is a case of everything kind of coming together at once with a lot of songs."
Still, there's another element that fuels Deeki's drive, and that's independence. "If there's one thing that I know and learned from the time I wasn't performing was I didn't want to just make songs or cut records to do what everybody else was doing," he continued. "I knew there were things I wanted to say, and the lessons that I picked up from all the people that I've always admired is that it's important for you to take control of your music and always make the music that you believe in because otherwise you can't really make anyone else believe in it if you don't."
"Master P, for example. I've seen him keep going, make music, get into sports management, do all kinds of things because he had a vision and a concept and he was always in control. So that's what I want to do from this point forth musically, pursue a vision that combines artistry and excellence."
He's had his company LougaMusic, for almost eight years, and issued two other discs prior to "The Compound Effect." Both "Bidness" and "Fa True" paved the way for the mature, engaging and often powerful performances and lyrical eloquence consistently displayed on "The Compound Effect," which debuted this past November. It's the best showcase yet for Deeki's two best attributes. These are a profound sense of cultural awareness and community uplift, coupled with a clever, often striking sense of humor.
"Jim Crow's Back" featuring Mz Tiff E" combines a strong message with some poignant asides about identity and one's search for fulfillment in a society that often denies Blacks even basic rights. "Meditation Revelation" also speaks to the desire for improvement and justice, as well as "The Upside." But there's a competitive side to Deeki as well, and that comes across in the combative "Rappers Out Here," where he throws down the gauntlet to any one willing to engage in some good-natured exchanges. However, he also offers some advice to those whose skills don't equal their bravado.
But Deeki's also smart enough to avoid being labeled. When asked if he views himself more of a "conscious than commercial rapper," he answers this way: "I'd rather consider myself a skilled rapper with a message and an individual style. For me, the greatest thing about rap has always been that there were so many ways to tell a story. I think sometimes people get too concerned with a label or an image and not concerned enough with the craft and the quality of what they're doing. I think if I put out there the words and beats in the right way, that people will get the message and they'll enjoy it. I don't see it as one way or the other. More as a total process."
Deeki's also got ambitions beyond his own career, which he certainly wants to see really take off this year. "I would love to eventually do some outside productions and work with other artists. I'd like to see some of my compositions done by other artists. I'm always interested in what someone else might bring to my music, or what I might have to say about someone else's music. But the most important thing for me now is to make sure that the music I make really says the things I want and the message is clear and people get to hear it. I am confident enough to feel that if things are right musically, everything else will work out fine."