Hardin follows his dream as a rapper, poet

Hardin follows his dream as a rapper, poet

Devin Hardin is making his name in the studio as a rapper. He is now working with his own group that is making appearances at venues in the metroplex and recently made their own cd.

Students are drooling while others are trying to finish up homework and others are actively listening as Mr. David Womack goes through the list of daily announcements. Shortly after, a voice much different from Womack’s, echoes over the intercom rapping off lyrics to the school to bring awareness to poetry club.

But Devin Hardin’s rhymes didn’t begin with the club’s newly found attention.

“As a child, Devin hated to perform in front of a crowd,” Devin’s mom Deidre Hardin said. “In pre-K he would always cover his ears and start crying about the kids being too loud and his dad or I would have to get him out of the program!”

It wasn’t until 7th grade in which Devin began to develop his love for public speaking when he entered an oratorical contest and won second place his first time trying.

“It’s really not hard anymore. I think the only challenge that I really put on myself is to get better with everything that I do because I don’t really want to write a poem or write a rap and do the same thing over again, and still have the same feel,” Devin said, “It’s just like a pet peeve of mine to do something and not go to the full extent.”

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Devin has transitioned into a new life here in Texas after leaving his former accomplishments behind. However the move has not stopped him from doing what he cares about. Even though his mother continues to struggle with SLE Lupus and congestive heart failure, Devin is determined to push ahead.

“I dreaded taking him from his childhood friends, but Devin has seen my health struggle and knows our family’s faith in positive outcomes and has never been hindrance,” Mrs. Hardin said. “The move to Texas has been a total blessing to all of us and Devin is flourishing more here in Texas. I attribute that characteristic to never fearing change.”

Despite this move, Devin focuses on being an up and coming rapper while trying to get gigs. In fact he and his partners Avery Bledsoe and Candice Jones work together in the group “War of Wordz” performing at venues such as Kwanzaa Fest in Dallas and the House of Blues. Their manager, Teddy Lewis, or “T-Spoon” believes that the group has the potential to be as successful as Jay-Z.

“Devin Hardin has the ability to be the next great poet in the rap game. The last great poet was Tupac,” Lewis said, “I’ve had to teach Devin about the shadiness of the music industry. Success in the music industry is 90% business and 10% talent.”

Even with these statistics in mind, the group that Devin is apart of, “War of Wordz” has managed to work under Team 1200 Entertainment which consists of Dallas, Texas’ most requested DJ, Steve Nice, and business partners DJ T-Spoon and Ken Columbus. But the business aspect of it is not all that is on Devin’s mind.

“My real focus is mainly to get my message out because rapping is not something I do just for attention,” Devin said. “I just rap because it’s something I love to do. When you do something to just get a pat on the back, then it’s fake. I have to have a purpose behind my rap.”

Devin, who met one of his partners, Bledsoe at The Parks in the Woods Recreation Center while showcasing his talent, has worked since then to create “something of substance” for his first album with the group. Lewis said, however, that the biggest challenge so far with the album is getting the sound out of the group that is needed for the songs to be successful.

“I needed them to understand that their voices, energy level, and styles needed to match the track,” Lewis said “They needed to see the recording process as a marriage of their skills with the track in order to have a smooth flowing sound.”

Mrs. Hardin said that she and her husband have taught Devin that temptation bangs on your door everyday, but a real opportunity only knocks once, and yet she is still surprised at how far he has come.

“I’m still amazed at Devin’s insight, so I can’t honestly say where he gets most of his insight. I tell all my children to be aware of their surroundings and read the signs in all situations,” Mrs. Hardin said. “The music that’s out isn’t uplifting and Devin enlightens me everyday with his lyrics!”

Influenced by artists like Big Sean, Kid Cudi, Mickey Factz and Kanye West, Devin says he wants to revolutionize the way music is made. In fact, the group as a whole is working to redefine the stereotypical sound of Hip-Hop and R&B.

“I think what is really missing is the true essence of an artist,” Devin said. “I know music has a major impact on the youth, in my society, and just seeing that a lot of people spend so much time listening to nonsense makes me want to change that whole perspective.”

Mrs. Hardin said she is proud that Devin’s dream is not a dream deferred. She admitted that he is a life long learner and only he will decide when his dream has been fulfilled.

“I am most proud of the quality of work he does at such a young age,” Mrs. Hardin said. “Finding one’s gifts and sharing it with the world is everyone’s wish. So he’s a great example for his siblings and is already a star in his family’s eyes.”