Atlanta's Deante’ Hitchcock Keeps Getting "Better"

Shirley Ju

Deante’ Hitchcock explains what it's like working with a J.I.D. and 6lack.

Deante’ Hitchcock has what most artists dream of: a Grammy nomination.

The Atlanta native gained much attention online from his weekly freestyle series titled New Atlanta Tuesday's back in 2016, proving his talents not only as an MC but as a recording artist.

Fast forward to last year, he was present for the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions, which resulted in a feature on “PTSD” alongside Omen, Mereba, and St. Beauty.

The 27-year-old is gaining fans daily, creating music that not only sounds good sonically, but creates a vibe for listeners all around the world.

He jokingly describes himself as “Mary Tae Blige, Poppa ForTae, Taeomi Campbell, B2Tae, all those thangs is me. I be rapping and s##t, I make words sound good together.”

Most recently, he released his new album titled BETTER, via Bystorm/RCA Records.

With additional guest appearances from Miguel, Young Nudy, and St. Beauty, the project hails his high-streaming singles "I Got Money Now” with J.I.D. and “How TF” with 6lack.

AllHipHop caught up with Deante’’ who was quarantined in his home in Atlanta, while the rest of the city opened back up. Read below as we discuss his new project, wanting a pizza shop after music, the best memory from the Dreamville sessions, and more!

AllHipHop: How does being from Atlanta influence you?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Atlanta has a lot of flavor, a lot of different styles. Music-wise a lot of people look at Atlanta as the trap scene, but we had hella folks before that. When Jeezy came out with the trap s##t, he was still spitting. We had 3 Stacks, Outkast, Kilo Ali, T.I., even the n##gas who came up with trap.

AllHipHop: And they’re still poppin’!

Deante’ Hitchcock: Exactly, Tip’s been running this s##t for a good decade and some change. We live a similar lifestyle because we all come from the same city. Growing up around the same places, seeing the same type of s##t, it's the Atlanta experience. That's why a lot of the people who come down here, stay. They stay! We have more insurance plans than damn near anywhere, besides LA. We’re getting a whole new influx of people so the flavor’s growing. We have a whole bunch of new influences. It's amazing being out here.

AllHipHop: When did you start dabbling into music?

Deante’ Hitchcock: I've been rapping since I was 12 years old. My uncle used to rap too, he put me in a group. My name used to be Dirty D, then I was Dirt Dolla. Bruh, I used to hate them names. [chuckles] Hated them. When I was 13 or 14, it was me, Dirty D, and Nasty Noonk. It was a group, we were kids. s##t happened, we got older. I wanted to do kid s##t, I wanted to go skating. I wanted to go chase girls, f##k around. The group s##t didn't really last too long. Eventually I started to get back into it though, that's how we got here today.

AllHipHop: At what point in your solo career did you realize that you could do music as a career?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Probably when I dropped out, for real. I went to college for 3 years, but I was doing music down there with one of my partners. Garfield used to record my videos, he’s still on the team now. Shout out Garfield. When I dropped out, I thought “okay, this s##t for real. This serious.” Before then, I could rap a little bit and play around with it. Once I left school, it was sink or swim. Mama gon’ kill me, you have to do something. You have to figure it out. It worked out though.

AllHipHop: Talk about linking with 6lack on your new single “How TF,” who’s also from the A.

Deante’ Hitchcock: That’s my dawg. We went on tour with him 2 years ago now. It was me, him, and Summer [Walker] at first, then Summer left halfway through the tour and Ari [Lennox] came on. End of 2018, it was crazy! We’re in there performing, the biggest crowd we had was 7000 people.

AllHipHop: Was that done in the studio?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Besides the St. Beauty joint on the album, I don't think any of them were in person. Crazy enough, me and Miguel still haven't even met each other face to face. We’re signed to the same label. We've talked for the last 2.5 years, but we haven't actually been in the same room ever. We've talked through IG, FaceTime, text, all that s##t. He showed a lot of love, we have a couple songs actually.

The same with Nudy. Me and Nudy hadn't met until we did the video for the song we have, “Attitude.” Alex came through from St. Beauty, she put her stuff down at the house. J.I.D. and 6lack, they sent theirs in as well.

AllHipHop: J.I.D. is hilarious.

Deante’ Hitchcock: He's a f##king a##hole. [laughs] I was texting that n##ga earlier. He’s cool as f##k man. I’m beating his ass at iPhone pool, so he’s been talking s##t. Bruh, he might be the most competitive motherf##ker I know. Easily.

AllHipHop: How did the Miguel feature on BETTER come about?

Deante’ Hitchcock: We knew we wanted him on the project. We tried to get something in, but the moment never really presented itself. He had sent some stuff. He sent a song called "Apartment 24,” it's unreleased. That’s the first thing we ever did together. I sent it back to him, got the verse in. I hit him, we got one of the higher ups at the label to hit him as well. Mark Pitts, the president of the urban department at RCA, sent him the record after I sent it to him. From there, it was a waiting game. He had sent one version back. Went back, put some more on it, sent another version back. We ended up with what we got today, which is fire.

AllHipHop: How’d he hear about you?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Because of the label s##t. When I got signed, I'm guessing people told him about a new signee to the label [RCA/Bystorm]. He hit me up from there like “yo bro I f##k with your music, let me in on some s##t.” Me and him were talking from there, chopping it up every chance we got.

AllHipHop: What was your reaction when he hit you up?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Bro, I was trippin'! He followed me first, then he liked one of my pictures. I’m like “what the f##k?” I showed my mama that s##t, she’s like “what the hell?” Then he hit me in the DM, I’m like “ohhhh s##t!” Man, a lot of folks can't say they got Miguel on their debut album. I’m one of them folks.

AllHipHop: How was touring with Ari? She's honestly so special.

Deante’ Hitchcock: She’s the sweetest person in the world, easily. She has the soul of a baby angel. She’s cool as f##k, she’s always been cool. I hate that all that internet s##t has been getting to her, she’s really a sweetheart.

AllHipHop: What’s your take on social media?

Deante’ Hitchcock: All that s##t’s weird. It's unnecessary evil. Without social media, I wouldn't have gotten signed. Without social media, we wouldn't be on Instagram live right now. But it's so much negativity on this s##t. People are hiding behind the computer screens, then you got an Avi of a cartoon or some s##t. You won't even want to show your face but you got the whole world at your fingertips. You could say anything or talk to anybody, it's weird. It's scary. I couldn't ever talk to anybody from Australia 10 years ago, at the click of the button. s##t’s wild.

AllHipHop: Your first tour was with Rapsody in 2016. What’d you learn from her?

Deante’ Hitchcock: My manager Chris was tour managing for Rapsody at the time. Man, stage performance and stage presence in general. She’s amazing! How to process certain s##t. She gave me a lot of game outside of music as well, personal s##t to deal with inside of all this. Meditation, little tips on how to keep my mind level in the midst of all this bulls##t. Because you know it gets weird, and I was real fresh into it. That’s my auntie!

AllHipHop: How’s it feel to be nominated for a f##king Grammy for ROTD3?

Deante’ Hitchcock: I got a certificate on the way in the mail, I'm finna put that b##ch on the fridge like a proud parent. That s##t’s amazing.

AllHipHop: I've heard a bunch of stories about Dreamville sessions. What was your fondest memory?

Deante’ Hitchcock: That s##t was like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Amazing as f##k. Going into it, nobody even knew who the f##k I was. Damn near nobody, except the folks from Atlanta. I had met Cole twice but everybody else who got called in, Saba, Smino, all the other guys, none of them knew me — but I knew them. I was a fan of their work. Going into it, I was known for the car freestyles for real. Anybody who saw me there, they’re like “oh s##t, you’re the guy who be rapping in the car!” I’m like “yup, that’s me.” I used to rap in the car, that's how I got signed.

AllHipHop: Would you ever think you’d get noticed from that?

Deante’ Hitchcock: F##k no. [laughs] Hell nah, but it worked out beautifully. The Dreamville s##t was magic. Imagine all your favorite rappers in there, trying to outrap the next man. The original version of “Down Bad” has 10 verses on it, maybe more than that. Deadass.

AllHipHop: Damn! Who makes the cut?

Deante’ Hitchcock: From my understanding, Ibe took all the songs at the end and chopped everything down to the best verses. Everything that he wanted on it there. There are versions of those songs with 20 plus people on there.

AllHipHop: How was it to have that one? You made it!

Deante’ Hitchcock: That s##t felt good, good as f##k man. A lot of us didn’t even know before that last week, they were sending us papers to sign. They sent us an email to let us know that we made the s##t. We had to sign off on the artwork and all that, it was fire.

AllHipHop: Who are your Top 5 artists in rotation?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Young Thug. Smino. Hall & Oats, been listening to them a lot. They’re old school from the 70’s. You ever heard “Maneater”? “She's a maaaaaneater!” They funky as f##k. They got a song called “Do What You Want, Be What You Are,” omg. Greatest s##t I ever heard in my life. I’ve been on that Drake heavy. A lot of folks aren’t f##king with it, but I like that s##t. That s##t hard as f##k.

AllHipHop: What songs you like?

Deante’ Hitchcock: S##t “Landed,” love that s##t. “D4L” because I'm an Atlanta n##ga. “Losses,” “Chicago Freestyle,” and “Deep Pockets.” Most of my s##t be about love, so I have to f##k with the R&B. Old school s##t, I’m on Christopher Williams, Anita Baker. I dig into Usher, Monica.

AllHipHop: Talk about why you named your album Better.

Deante’ Hitchcock: We have a series called Good, Better, Best. We did Good in 2016 I want to say, I’ve been getting my dates wrong. Better is this one and Best is going to be the last thing I ever do in my life. After Best, I'm out this b##ch.

AllHipHop: What are you going to do?

Deante’ Hitchcock: I might go and start a pizza shop or some s##t.

AllHipHop: Why do you want to just end your rap career?

Deante’ Hitchcock: When I started rapping, I didn't start rapping because I loved it. Because it was in me type s##t. I started because my uncle started. The competitiveness is what really drove me to even stay in this s##t. I wanted to rap better than the people around me. When I used to go to the studio, I was 12 years old, and there used to be 25-year-old n##gas in there. I have to outrap this grown ass man, I'm finna snap on your ass. That kept me wanting to do it more. It's really a competitive thing for me, but I have other s##t I want to do.

AllHipHop: Besides the pizza shop, what else?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Pizza shops. I used to dance, I want to own a dance studio. One of my homeboys are stepping into screenwriting, it's a lot. Trying to move around.

AllHipHop: You're totally okay with not making music after a certain point in your life?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Yeah. Truthfully, I came into this s##t thinking “this is my first year officially, then I got 10 years.” Then I want to be gone, 10 flat. It may get to that point, it may not, but I'm perfectly fine with that s##t. As long as I get my s##t off right quick, I'm cool.

AllHipHop: Is it because the industry is lowkey trash?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Nah, it’s so much s##t to do out here dawg. I do so much s##t. I’m not Deante’ Hitchcock the rapper. I rap, that's something I do. It's my job, but I do hella other s##t I want to do before I die.

I've been wanting to own a pizza shop since before I did anything with music.

AllHipHop: What is it about the pizza shop? Tell me this story.

Deante’ Hitchcock: I used to love pizza. As a kid, my mom used to take me to pizza shops. I have family in New York. Before my Nana passed, we went up there to visit her a couple times so I’d be able to meet her before she died. My mom used to pizza spots up there, I fell in love with that s##t. Pizza is delicious. New York pizza, the greatest f##king pizza I've had in my life. I want a shop. Since I was 5, I've wanted a pizza shop.

AllHipHop: Is that going to be in Atlanta?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Maybe, I don't know. I don't plan on living here for the rest of my life either. We'll see.

AllHipHop: Where do you want to go?

Deante’ Hitchcock: Overseas. Anywhere but here. It's wild here bro.

AllHipHop: For the fans, favorite song on the album?

Deante’ Hitchcock: That s##t changes everyday. Right now, “Attitude” with Nudy. Yes sir, he dropped a crazy verse on that motherf##ker. He sounds prolific on this b##ch, for real.


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