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Check Out Cedric Des’ Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cedric Des.

Hi Cedric, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
First, you must know that I come from very humble beginnings. I was born in Germany and moved to Inglewood, CA when I was a little over one year old. After Inglewood, it was Chicago. And after my mother left my father, it was North Carolina where I would remain for all of my grade school years. Growing up without my father in my life in the environments we lived in was rough. What I mean by rough is that it was lonely, fearful, and shameful. I watched my mother struggle to provide for my brother and me. We literally would eat oodles and noodles, also known as Top Ramen for the rest of the world, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days. I watched my neighborhoods tear itself to pieces. Whether it was witnessing fights or lack of property upkeep, we saw it all. I saw the women in my life consistently and repeatedly suffer physical, verbal, and mental abuse at men’s hands. Like, everything a child shouldn’t experience, I did. All while trying to figure out who I was and wondering if I’ll make it to see adulthood.

So, I genuinely believe the God of the universe gave me the resiliency I needed to continue living and pursuing a better life for myself. So, in high school, I saw an opportunity to make that better life via the military. I joined before my 18th birthday, and my first day in Bootcamp was New Year’s day 2005. I knew I wasn’t going to do military long term; I just needed the opportunity to get out of the hood. Little did I know, it would bring me back to California. I couldn’t have been more thankful for this, as I’d always wanted to find my way back. I got out of the military in 2010 at the age of 23, and that’s when I began the process of getting back to my first love: art and music. I received my associate’s at Mira Costa Community College and transferred to San Diego State University to pursue a Bachelors in Art. I’m a few classes shy of that goal. While attending SDSU, I was able to start acquiring clients in design, photography, and filmmaking. Haha. I had to get to it early because I already had mouths to feed. And as of 2019, I’ve been able to give birth to the art medium I’m most passionate about… music!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Right, so as I mentioned earlier, nothing about the road that I’ve traveled has been easy. You feel me? My childhood wasn’t easy, and it was highly competitive. You had to be the best at whatever you did! If you were a hooper, you had to be the best hooper. If you were a rapper, you had to be the best rapper. If dealing what your thing, you had to be the kingpin. Anything less, and people treated you like you were less than human. So, when I was young, I quickly understood love based on performance. If you perform well, your family and hood will love you well. Building a life as an adult has also been littered with trials. Nothing was given to me. I’ve had to pray, believe, and work for everything that my family owns. However, just because it wasn’t easy doesn’t mean it hasn’t been enjoyable. I believe that everything worthwhile is an uphill battle. We have a different view from the top of a mountain that we’ve climbed. So even though life has been hard in just about every way possible, I still found joy and continue to find joy in the growth and building process.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Yeah, so the best way to describe what I do is; creative professional. Haha. In this field, it’s tough to make it just doing one thing, especially with the cost of living and available talent in the area. My bread and butter right now is coming from design, photography, and filmmaking. Since 2019 I’ve been able to start performing and earning money as a hip-hop/soul artist. But you know, 2020 kind of shut that down. I’m very much looking forward to getting back on the road. So like most artists should’ve been doing, I’ve been writing like crazy. Haha. Now, I’m finally gearing up to release my debut album in the fall and will begin releasing singles every month starting April 2. I’m very proud of this body of work. What I love the most about it because it’s genuine and authentic to who I am. Many of the songs I display a vulnerability that certainly uncommon of me, but I also think unusual to today’s hip-hop music.

What does success mean to you?
I define success as receiving emotional, spiritual, and of course, monetary value from your efforts. In an ideal situation, that value is enough to bring peace, joy, and contentment to your life. So for me, success with my art, whether design, film, or music, means that it adds value to my emotional and spiritual state. I always want my work to be in line with what I stand for as a person. Secondly, I fully expect to be compensated for living and providing for my family and building generational wealth. And though my true peace and joy come from God, I think a part of that is a human purposefully being. I believe God gives me the ability to make decisions that bring more peace and joy to my life. Does this make sense? Haha.

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Image Credits:

Cedric Des, Bradley Dunn, Kevin Barth

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