“I approach music from a realist standpoint. I’m not going to tell you why I’m larger than life or superhuman as much as why I am human and that I do have my flaws. I’m not going to give you this façade that only exists when I’m on stage. I’m Dan everyday whether working at my day job or on the mic. ”
These are the thoughts of Florence, South Carolina native and emcee, Daniel Johnson. It’s a far cry from the fictionalized/embellished tales of drug lords and pimps you currently hear on the radio. And with the current state of affairs in Hip Hop and in the world in general, Dan Johns’ (Daniel Johnson’s rap moniker) dose of reality is so necessary right now. It’s not often you find an emcee whose sole goal in making music is not to make large stacks of money or become famous, but just to make a connection with the fans based off of the music they create and the life experiences they share with them. Dan Johns is that guy.
Dan Johns’ Hip Hop career started off modestly. Inspired by arguably the greatest emcee of all time, Rakim, Dan Johns put together a make-shift studio in his room to record demo tapes in his spare time. At the time, he was just making music purely for the love of the art form passing them off to friends so they could have something to bump in their cars. Eventually this method of circulation lead to his tape landing in the hands of a mutual friend who’d put his demo in the possession of William Washington, a budding label owner. Under William’s tutelage Dan Johns would become the flagship rapper for Peach Phuzz Records. There, he would transform from exclusively a freestyle-spitter to an artist well-versed in song formats and beat production.
His next major move was going off to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Morehouse College. It was there he’d have the opportunity to improve his craft battling emcees from all over the nation. This exposure to various styles increased his hunger to improve and grow and he did…vastly. At Morehouse College, Dan Johns ripped through countless spitters while hitting up every open mic he could to get his name buzzing. At the same time, he’d travel back and forth to South Carolina on the weekends to record. Dan Johns ran into a gift and a curse when his mentor, William Washington, would go on to pursue a production career putting an end to Peach Phuzz Records. This forced him to create his own imprint, Magnum Opus Records (aka Mag-O), another milestone in his career.
Upon conquering numerous statewide freestyle competitions in South Carolina, Dan Johns decided it was time to improve his song-writing ability so he wouldn’t be pigeon-holed as a battle-rapper. But life dealt him a serious blow taking him to his lowest point ever when his, then, fiancé passed. This was a major turning point in his career as his focus would shift from trying to impress listeners with style and wordiness to genuinely trying to affect them with his life through music. It’s this passion that he rocks on his sleeve that garnered respect from fans and peers alike. Dan Johns’ released The Book of Daniel, Yesterday’s Redemption, In the Face of Danger and Tech Files (with Alone) to critical acclaim which lead to shows with the likes of Brand Nubian, KRS-1, Masta Ace, Little Brother, Supastition, Chaundon and many others. His work has been lauded on several Hip Hop sites and blogs including XXLMag.com, HipHopDX.com, RapReviews.com and more. His mixtape, Rebirth of a Dying Breed, embodies who he is as an artist: passionate, gifted with the flow and more everyday man than Superman. Expect his name to be ringing bells in the Hip Hop community for a long time.
“I’m not the next anybody/I’m the first of my kind”