Fighting to Struggle
Derick R. Valentine, known to many in the world of Hiphop music as "Da-1" (pronounced The One) is an emcee considered by those who have been fortunate enough to hear his work as, "The greatest talent the world has never heard." Born and raised on the north side of Omaha, Nebraska, Da-1 perfected his craft in an area that is not known for creating musical prodigies. A child of Rap music's golden age of the 80's & early 90's era, Da-1 found himself fascinated by the graphic tales of Gangster Raps pioneers such as NWA and The Geto Boys... while simultaneously in awe of the superb lyricism of artists such as Rakim, KRS One & Big Daddy Kane. With the disheartening reality that many his age, were unable to peak his interest artistically, Da-1 was forced to evaluate his ability by how his works compared to the works of those he admired. Starting at age 9, when he recorded his first freestyle rhyme, he has tirelessly continued to judge his abilities by what most feel is an unattainable standard. After leaving Omaha to join the military at age 17, Da-1 traveled the world pitting his abilities against individuals from every corner of the globe. Testing his skill in challenges of story telling, freestyle rhyming, battling and impromptu topics, he became known as one of very few "complete" emcees, receiving high praise from other artists who were not ashamed to lose a competition to someone of his ability. In 2002 after 15 years of honing his skills, Da-1 knew he was ready to take the music world by surprise. Learning from the lessons of Hiphop's pioneers, Derick knew the best course of action was to start his own independent record label, which he did in August 2002. Calling his imprint Fortune5 Records and coining the phrase, "The label by which other labels are measured", Da-1 the artist/emcee is dropped his debut album "Fighting to Struggle" on August 3rd, 2005. Although many have been impressed by his abilities, some speculate on how well "Fighting to Struggle" will be received by the heavily saturated, commercial oriented beast that Hiphop has become today. However, Da-1 the artist nor Derick the CEO are concerned. Knowing that Hiphop is at an impasse right now, Da-1 feels the time is right for someone to come along and lead Hiphop into a new era, furthering it's evolution. "The good" have tried, "the best" have passed away and Da-1 is all we've got... and all that's needed.