Dee-1’s “Jason Geter” gives new meaning to the old phrase, “I got a dollar and a dream.” The track was written about his hook-or-crook journey to get signed by T.I.’s manager and record label business partner (over a crisp sample of Coldplay’s “Trouble”). “Jason Geter” tells the fast-paced tale of Dee-1 befriending cute girls, interstate traveling to perform at countless open-mic gigs, crashing his whip, and spending a night in the hospital—all in the hopes of getting his once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Geter.
The MC’s tightly wound verses have the narrative “struggle story” feel of Kanye West’s “Through the Wire,” but with the Southern bounce of the 29-year-old rapper’s New Orleans twang. It’s the real hustle behind the glitz, and he detangles his story with cleverness and clarity. Dee-1’s signing to RCA Records in late 2013, after a four-year indie grind, may be proof positive that the hard work and never-quit attitude of this former schoolteacher actually paid off.
As Dee 1 tells it, all that glitters is not gold—sometimes what glitters is the light through our fingers as we reach beyond ourselves for a far-away dream, revealing strength and resilience we never knew we had in the process. Maybe the journey really is the destination. In the MC’s own words: “I hope this video motivates someone who has a dream to get up off their butt and go chase it!”