Meet Jean D’eau, an Atlanta native who’s bringing a fresh, new wave of southern lyricism to hip hop and rap. The 26-year old artist is set to become one of Atlanta’s breakout stars, as he is receiving rave reviews on his debut project “Who is Jean D’eau?”. The album clocked over 20,000 hits its first week on MyMixtapez, while hit song, “See You Win” featuring Ralo, landed on ATL’s Top 20 hottest records chart in March. His musical sound/style has been described as a hybrid of T.I.’s southern accent, a flow like Meek Mill with a Drake-like melody, making him extremely versatile. His label, Mu’min Muzik, has signed and teamed up with fellow Atlanta Muslim Rapper Ralo and his label, Famerica Records, as they are currently on tour. Being on the road with the Famerica team has allowed Jean D’eau to reach a larger audience and grow his brand all over the world, continuing to push his brand and music. In an interview with the rapper, I got the opportunity to get insight on his start in the game, debut project/music, the state of rap today, and more.
Music runs through D’eau’s blood, as he remembers always rapping and singing growing up. He started out freestyling with his homeboy, Terrance, on Marta, at school, or wherever they could make a beat. It became a recreational thing for him until he fell into some trouble and got locked up. “I was only 16 when I caught my case so I basically grew up in prison. I served 10 years so you can imagine a lot of my subject matter is based on those experiences.” While incarcerated, Deau began writing his own music and started taking rap as something he could seriously pursue once he wasn’t behind bars. He knew another wrong decision could land him right back in jail, so he decided to take his talents and experiences and dive into the world of music.
Once released from jail in August of 2013, he took the songs he wrote in jail and instantly began recording every day what is now his debut album “Who is Jean D’eau”. Planning to drop it in 2014, he held off on the decision for a few reasons. “This album was really four years in the making”, he stated. “I wanted to drop the project in 2014, but at that point, I was just rapping and wanted to release something to get my name out there. I didn’t understand the budgeting and marketing and money side of it all yet.” He knew with no real traction or money to push the album full force, it would be pointless and failure wasn’t an option, so D’eau put it hold. After working to get money right to position himself for success, the rapper picked the best 13 songs from his catalog that best reflected his style and the rest is history.
His musical influences range from Outkast, T.I. and UGK to artists such as Three 6 Mafia and Playa Fly. He feels like he is bringing actual bars and lyricism back to Atlanta rap. “I know Atlanta is kind of on the mumble rap wave, but I know I’ve put together something that’s fresh and new that is still currently with this age of rap.”
While D’eau incorporates his life experiences of being in jail and growing up on the streets of Atlanta throughout his music and album, the Muslim artist also heavily includes his religious faith in his songs. “I definitely make references to Islam in my music like in “Atlanta Stand” and “Pray”. Some references people may not get or know, but I’m just rapping about what I know and what I want prevalent in my music.” His connection with fellow Muslim and Atlanta artist, Ralo, became an interesting storyline in our talk as well. The two both have a common backstory, growing up in Atlanta, doing jail time, and finding inspiration in music. He remembers having a mutual friend that took them to the Bluff one day where Ralo was recording a music video and they hit it off from there. Ever since, he’s had a helping hand in catapulting Deau’s career.
Jean D’eau is an independent artist, flourishing under his label Mu’min Muzik along with a partnership signing with Ralo and Famerica Records. The two have been on tour together since 2015 and the rapper has learned and experienced quite a lot on the journey. “You gotta get out of your hometown and put yourself out there,” he conveyed. “Being on the road is key and has definitely helped me gain fanship and grow my fan base. Being on the road, you’re able to touch and be around your fans and that personal relationship is important.”
So what’s next for Jean D’eau? Well, he is going to continue touring and continue to push his debut album “Who is Jean D’eau”. He feels like it is a timeless piece that will be cemented as a classic and remembered for years to come. He’s also open to work with anyone willing to work with him, but is confident in his ability to hold his own, as he wants to be remembered for his originality in his music. D’eau also revealed that merchandise is on the way, so keep up with his website (whoisjeandeau.com) for alerts, updates, and release dates. Lastly, he wanted to shout out all the independent artist chasing their dreams. “It’s hard, but it’s possible. One song can change your life.”
For more on Jean D’eau, his music, brand, and upcoming events/news follow his social media pages and visit his website at www.whoisjeandeau.com. Check out his hit single “By The Code” below too.