Black Zheep DZ - Bio

Musical artist - Black Zheep DZ Musical artist - Black Zheep DZ


By the age of 11, Black Zheep's lyrical talent was apparent to everyone around him and the rhythm--well, that came naturally. Growing up with a Jamaican father, Zheep was bred in reggae, while siblings opened his ears to wordplay from rappers that included the Notorious B.I.G., Bone Thugs and the Hot Boys. His passion for music overlapped into dance early on, making him a fixture in Baltimore's popular club dancing scene, but that talent didn't distract him from the mic.

Zheep recorded his first material on home studio equipment and released those early projects under the name DZ. It was a West Coast trip and encounters with like-minded musicians that eventually inspired the name change to Black Zheep, and the 2012 mixtape 'Platinum 93.' His 'Zheep' album followed in 2013, and his fifth project, 'Refugee,' sponsored by Mishka NYC arrived in January, 2014.

The 21-year-old shows off his range of musical influences and willingness to experiment with melody on tracks like "Shoot First," which creeps into dark, murky territory, removed from the spacey synth and distorted vocals on "100s of Centuries," or the eerie instrumentals on "Whachu Sayin.'" Throughout 'Refugee' the bass-heavy tracks are seamlessly littered with Zheep's person tales or the "life stories," that take listeners beyond the experimental production. "I'm versatile and I like to keep people on the edge," Zheep says of his style. "They won't be able to categorize me. I like to try different things that will work for certain songs."

And it's not just the songs. His haunting black-lit visuals for "Shoot First" give a glimpse of the evolving aesthetic that makes it possible for him to cut trap records and just as easily lay down thoughtful tracks like "Shoot First." Zheep's full projects come together through collaborations with his Baltimore-based collective, the 7th Floor Villains, which includes fellow rappers Butch Dawson and Buffalo.

Zheep has performed over a 100 live shows across D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia and New York, recently opening for Schoolboy Q at Soundstage, in his hometown Baltimore at the end of April. "I like to communicate with the crowd and not just play music for them," he says. "I'm not up there just trying to rap some words. I want them to know that I'm really a musician."

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