TVD Live: Monument Presents DDm, a Benefit for STAR TRACK, at DC9, 3/21

It was sometime around the middle of DDm’s very short [6-7 songs] setlist, when he took a moment to explain the ideas and reasoning behind one of his newest songs, “Fake Girls.”

“Scripted dramas…are a thing of the past.”

Now, he prompted this comment by asking the attendants of the show to simply shout-out the name of a current, popular reality-television program to prove his argument—which was to say that even our concept of reality is now nothing more than faux-drama orchestrated behind the scene by producers.

Which isn’t necessarily a new thought. Sure, we’d love to believe that the once-ostentatious Ozzy Osbourne is now just a brain dead Ward Cleaver and that Kris Kardashian isn’t, plainly put, the Devil incarnate, proving that even the unassuming viewers have a suspension of disbelief.

The point was this: DDm is sick of the people crying “reality” and not making with the realism. So when he took the tiny stage of DC9 with his giant personality, he made it his mission to do the exact opposite. Having DC legend Sean Peoples backing him with a laptop, DDm came out sporting a modest black workout sweatshirt, shorts, and tuxedo shoes, giving the air of  a “simple guy from Baltimore” with a slight flamboyant touch.

Within his brief set, DDm found it necessary to cut Peoples off, telling him to pause the beat, either to re-iterate a certain lyric, let us know that “that blonde chick, she over,” or make sure that the audience was still feeling what he brought. It felt more like an intimate evening with the young rapper as he regaled us in an open-biographical forum that included, as the first openly gay rapper out of Baltimore, his struggle with religion and sexuality, having grown up in a strict Baptist church. And since he lives with his mother, Diane, who still pays his cell phone bills, he decided to write a song specifically for her, lovingly titled “Diane.”

Outside of the dirtiest rendition of “Fuck You” I’ve ever heard, the main highlight of the evening was the awareness brought on by DDm and sponsor, Monument Music and Arts, for the STAR TRACK program. STAR TRACK [Special Teens At Risk—Together Reaching Access, Care, and Knowledge], from the University of Maryland Medical Center, has been offering comprehensive and thorough care and support to at-risk and HIV positive teens in and around Baltimore city since 1989. STAR TRACK promotes healthier lifestyles and alternatives that help reduce risky sexual behavior.

Overall, nothing especially new was being said or heard, but if minimalism were the key to realism, then DDm had it in spades. Yet, that may not have been the point of the live performance as a whole. Maybe it was just to look into one’s life and struggles, stories to be told completely and utterly unscripted.

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