Everyone’s childhood is unique. Dre B. is no exception. Raised in the Midwest by a middle-class single mom, Dre was a lot to handle. “I was the type of kid who was always getting into something; too smart for my own good.” Nowadays Dre is dedicated to Gumbo-style Christian music, but this wasn’t always the case. It took some setbacks, life-changing news, and strong faith in God for him to realize his dreams. This is Dre B.’s story.
15 year old Andre was devoted to music. Rather than hittin’ the books, he was passing notes in class and writing rhymes with his peers. Alongside his friends Martel Carter and Jared White, he pursued his passion by forming the group Empire Clicc. Even though this group never made it big, Dre B. kept recording. As if it were meant to be, Dre came across XV, an unsigned local rapper at a barber shop. Dre and XV joined to record a multitude of tracks with Dre’s friend Jared. Known as a franchise, Dre B. decided to go for a name change. Inspired by the HBO show The Wire, Dre B. became Stringer Barksdale. At this time in his life, Andre was not serious about his music. When it came to layin’ down tracks, he was cool with writing a song and moving on, regardless of quality. Like most lukewarm-successful artists, Dre took some time off.
By 2011 Dre was psyched for a comeback. He dreamed for the first time of winning a Dove award. Unaware of the meaning of his dream, he ignored it. At the studio Dre B. recorded the most aggressive street song he could. After having some technical difficulties, Dre finally got to hear his song. Hearing his recording, he realized that the demonic tone to his music was terrifying. That night he had a reoccurring dream about winning a Dove award. This time, knowing it was a sign, Dre did his research. He found that the Dove award is an accolade from the Gospel Music Association of the United States. This award recognizes distinguished achievements in the Christian music industry. God was calling and Dre B. was ready to listen.
Prepared to break into Christian Hip Hop, Andre got suspended from his job. With his time off, Dre was able to figure out the message he wanted to share. He wrote and then recorded his entire EP. Unfortunately Dre’s trouble wasn’t over. Everything that could go wrong did. Andre was left jobless, trying to support his wife Monica, and their unborn baby girl Ava. Through his struggle, Dre looked to God. Knowing that God had a plan for him reassured him that he needed to focus on his music. With Monica pregnant, he knew that he needed to get it together for his little girl. “There were no more excuses. I had to get it in gear.”
Today Dre B. is all about using his music to touch others and sharing the message of the Lord. When talking about his fans, he calls them his “fam”. “I just want to be an artist who is never too big to talk to someone.” This is why Dre B. will always be approachable, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere, he promises he will always respond. His number one goal is to make an impact, to change someone’s life. “I want to reach the people who are searching for God, but just don’t know how to find Him. In the end, if I had been making music for 30 years and one person comes up to me and says my music changed them and helped them find Christ, then this is what I was supposed to do.”
Currently Andre is working towards his goals of being a good father and husband, and becoming stronger in the word. He adores his wife Monica, and his daughter Ava. Every day he dedicates his love for the Lord, his fam and life to help him create music that his fam will connect to.