We had the good fortune of connecting with Dionte Hall and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dionte, why did you pursue a creative career?
I didn’t talk much as a kid; I never felt like I was really free to express myself, and I would basically keep everything bottled up. Music was always my escape, I could always find a song that perfectly described exactly how I was feeling at the time. I think when I was 18 or 19 it clicked that I could use hip hop as a vehicle to express myself as well. I would write these rhymes and nobody would hear them but my close friends and some family. It wasn’t until much later and after a whole bunch of reassurance that I decided that I would release some music and see what happened. I’ve received so much positive feedback regarding my music since I’ve started and it’s really encouraged me to embrace being a rapper. If I can encourage one person that feels bottled up to express themselves or even just be an artist that they can relate to, then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved my dreams.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a lyrical artist from Roanoke, virginia. I think what sets me apart is being able to make music that sounds great while also being respected lyrically and getting my message across. I love that I’m able to be vulnerable in my music but also have the versatility to just be good at rapping. I’m always the most excited when someone reaches out to me because they heard my music, those emails, DMs, comments, etc. Really encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing. I’d say the biggest hurdle I’ve faced is that I had to build my confidence before I was willing to share my art with anyone. I felt like even as a child when you tell someone you want to rap, they say “well, what’s your plan b”, and even more so when you’re 30. I’ve learned to focus less on what I’m doing and more on why I’m doing it. If something is in line with my why, then even if I don’t achieve at the level I want, I still feel fulfilled.
I want people to understand that hip hop is not a monolith, and that there’s no wrong or right way to express yourself. Each part of it is unique and important from mumble rap to conscious and whatever may be in between.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my favorite places to eat are Granny’s Grill, Cheesesteak factory, Screaming Vegan, and Ike’s kitchen, so we would have to go to all of those places to eat. If there is a soul sessions, or soul serenity event, which are both open mic poetry groups that I am affiliated with, then we would attend those for good vibes and great poetry. There are also a few murals that I would want them to see such as the “end racism now” mural downtown, the Nipsey Hussel mural, or graffiti alley to name a few. Last we would have to go to the Roanoke star at night just because it’s amazing to see the city lit up at night from that angle.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out my mom, Christa Roseboro, for doing her best to turn three boys into men. My grandmother, Dr. Essie Jeanette Manns for always being there to support my mother and us. My uncle Great, for being the masculine presence that we needed. My brothers, DeVaughn and Darius Hall, for letting me test out all of my music on their ears and encouraging me to pursue my dreams. Special thanks to Juice Smith, and Bryan “Harvest blaque” Hancock for providing me with opportunities to share my art. Macklyn Mosley, for connecting me with some great artists for a music project in my city. Dylan Dent, Eugene Woodz, Jalen Small for letting me be apart of their projects even though I had a very limited catalog. Big thanks to Renard Davis Jr. For being patient and engineering my first project. And a big shout out to anyone that has sent me encouragement and positivity since I’ve been on my personal music journey.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_ayo_taye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TayeTheTruth

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UC-_7w9Al2tdTt5y8fC6MxnA

Other: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/tayethetruth/broken-king

Image Credits
Snap Krackle Pop photography, Macklyn Mosley, Mark Anyhony Rainey jr., Christopher Flood

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.