Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
In 2007 I became co-owner of DaSouth.com with my business partner Bobby “Tre9” Herring. The site made its first appearance online in May 2001, and not many years afterwards fell completely off the map. DaSouth.com re-launched to critical acclaim on November 4, 2008. It’s been six long years since my first involvement. Let me give you some brief background on how my involvement as co-owner and this re-launch all started, as well as what the future holds.
I own a marketing and design company called Bezworks, and in 2006 I did some web development and branding work for Tre9. Based off of that positive business experience he approached me again in September of 2007 about building a website for the new DaSouth.com. The former owner of DaSouth.com – Richard “s/ave” Douglas – had given Tre9 ownership of the site. I told Tre I would build the site for $1,000, so he quickly orchestrated a benefit concert with a few other artists to raise the money. He came back my way and paid me to do the job. I was impressed by how the artists joined together to raise the money for the site. I saw that as a labor of love, laying a great foundation for the site.
The DaSouth.com I was supposed to build is not what you see today. As I was working on the site, I began to see a bigger vision for it – something that I believe had not yet taken place within Christian Hip Hop – a 24-hour, up to the minute, online Christian Hip Hop news media outlet utilizing the power of social media. It was then that I pitched an offer to Tre about partnering. I told him my vision, he saw it, and that’s when I became co-owner.
It took a whole year to plan and develop the new DaSouth.com. We had several launch dates, but we kept pushing them back because we weren’t quite ready. People were anticipating the launch though. We had been successful in creating lots of buzz about it. We finally decided to launch on Election Day. Our campaign was “We Want You,” with an Uncle Sam character who wore a DaSouth.com chain. It was hot! We were telling people to vote and to visit DaSouth.com on November 4, 2008.
It has been six long years, and for me it has been a great ride. DaSouth.com achieved a lot of things over those years, and I couldn’t even begin to list all that God did through us. We certainly did more than anyone expected – even ourselves. Those who have been with us since day one know the story. But one thing is for sure, God used DaSouth.com to expand this genre. For a long time it was very one-dimensional, only focusing on a handful of artists and labels. But we were a true reflection of the genre, showing music lovers that there was a whole body of us. We loved supporting the under dogs. We loved helping artists who had no platform or voice.
DaSouth.com is here to stay, but unfortunately I’m not. Yesterday I turned 38 years of age, and the saying goes “with age comes wisdom.” I believe it has proven true in my life. Yes, I’m stepping down from DaSouth.com completely.
I’m sure the obvious question is “Why Zee?” Well, that’s a very loaded question. It would take a whole article to list my reasons. I will say this though… Tre and I are best of friends and business partners, so that has nothing to do with this move. He will actually continue running the site as its sole owner. He has ideas and a vision for the site, and I wish him the best in his endeavors. Please continue to support him and DaSouth.com.
In a nutshell, the real answer to that question is that I simply no longer have the kind passion for Christian Hip Hop that would allow me to continue supporting it in the capacity in which I have. It’s bigger than music, money, recognition, exclusives, benefits and all that can come with running such a site. Like my friend Wade-O says, “It’s ministry.” I desire to see much more real fruit from the things I’m involved in. And when you’re on the inside, you potentially have a much clearer and real picture than those on the outisde (the fans, site visitors, etc).
This decision didn’t just happen over night. This is something I’ve chewed on for almost two years now. Sometimes you have to be sure about a decision before you make it. You don’t always let go of something without first making sure you did everything you were supposed to do. And for me, it was about focusing and highlighting more of the ministry aspects of this genre. Yet, the industry aspects and all that comes with it is all we would encounter.
First and foremost I would like to thank Tre9. You are truly my brother from another mother! I could not have asked for a better business partner and friend. Thank you for being an example for other artists on what it means to use this art form for ministry purposes. I know that DaSouth.com will be in great hands with you at the wheel. You and I have been through a lot with DaSouth.com – definitely more good than bad. Hopefully God has something else for you and I to partner on for his glory!
Thank you to the DaSouth.com staff… And that means anyone who has ever volunteered over the years – past and present! Y’all are second to none! DaSouth.com would not be anything without you. You are DaSouth.com!
I would like to thank everyone who supported me over the years. Even as recent as a few weeks ago. There are some great people in this world, and this genre. Because of you I know that there is still hope for it. I don’t want to begin listing names, because I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out by mistake. But the number of friends I’ve made over these past six years has been amazing! A pure blessing!
Thank you to all of the media outlets out there, especially those with a kingdom agenda. You realize that this is not a competition, but about expanding his kingdom. Where would this genre be today if we all joined forces?
Thank you to all of the labels, artists, DJs’s and execs out there who operate in love, integrity and make great music. Continue to strive for excellence in all that you do. Remain faithful, and God will continue to use you mightily. Of that I have no doubt.
Signing off. I love you all.
Aziz “Zee” Peregrino-Brimah
Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you. – Unknown