"They can't throw you a bone so you only catch feelings. Until the throne was overthrown, you felt it was appealing. It had you focused in the zone, so consumed with killing. Now you're calling this place home even though there ain't no ceiling. Just a dog on his leash...a monster, a beast. You fought for the peace but all you got was a speech. Tuck your tail between your legs and howl the night away. Still repping the flag as the fox lives to kill another day." “Fox and Hound” by D1 Columbus’ own rapper/singer Chris Dickerson won the 2013 Most Improved Artist award at this year’s Ohio Hip Hop Awards Show (OHHA). Dickerson used to be known as Distinct 1 when he was a rapper, but people started calling him D1 and it stuck. The 29-year-old won the award “…for most improved all around - music, image, marketing, live performances, etc. The nomination process is partially chosen by fans and the Ohio Hip Hop Award panel, but the actual voting process is all done by the fans,” D1 told the Free Press. “It feels good to win,” he said, “I’ve been doing music for 14 years, tried rapping for 12 years, switched to singing two years ago and got an award, which was a bit surprising!” D1 lives in north Columbus and attended Dublin Scioto High School. He supports himself with production and mixing work for other musicians. He excels in progressive soul and alternative music, but his production involves hip hop-style drums plus sampling production sounds to make his projects feel like a huge movie score. His songwriting is rooted in hip hop and he enjoys word play and cleverness when it comes to the independent music scene. "The Fox and Hound" is one of those songs. “On the surface, the song is about being controlled by a higher power – being held captive by someone, but you remain loyal to them because you think it's for the greater good,” D1 explained, “The song is one big metaphor for the war in Iraq. George Bush is ‘the fox’ and the soldiers are ‘the hounds’ – trained to fight but tricked into a war we shouldn't have been in.” Some highlight lyrics from the song are: "They call you a dog, so you bark at them. But you can't bite the hand that feeds you, so you dart past them. Aiming for your target, but you can't start to sharp your teeth really are until you start attackin’." Raised listening to Pink Floyd and the Beatles, D1now gets his musical inspiration “anywhere I can find it – relationships, movies, television and art, even from other peoples music. I feel it is important to have music built on real life experiences because it connects to the audience on an entirely different level.” The OHHA was hosted in Cleveland at the end of September this year. The awards show began in 2007 and honors “…our state’s rappers, DJs, break dancers, graffiti artists, promoters, managers, singers, record labels and media outlets for their contributions to our growing music scene,” according to their website The Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference showcase was held in Columbus in 2012. To be considered for an OHHA award, an artist is nominated by their fans on the OHHA website between May 1 and July 1. Artists submit a press kit and are evaluated on their “…retail sales, radio spins, performances/touring, mixtape placements, online presence and overall artist visibility.” Each year in June, the Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference hosts a talent showcase in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Sandusky and Youngstown. The top five winners from across the state win a performance slot at the main event of the Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference. Fans and supporters vote online for their favorite artists in a large number of categories to determine the winners. Past OHHA awards winners include world-renowned hip hop producer J Rawls, 2011 winner of the OHHA Best Rap Album and 2012 winner of the OHHA Lifetime Achievement Award. J Rawls is a native of Columbus’s southeast side who got his big break as the producer of Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s hit Brown Skin Lady and Yo Yeah from the Black Star Album. He has also worked with the Beastie Boys. In addition, Bad Boy Record's Machine Gun Kelly of Cleveland participated in the 2009 Ohio Hip Hop Awards Summer Showcase Tour, and said it was the key to taking his career to the next level. D1’s current projects are Soul Blue and Political Love Story. Two years ago, he moved to New York for a year to finish working on his Soul Blue album. He had known Elite from middle school and linked up with him there. Elite brought D1 into Cole's circle and introduced him around, particularly to Voli, Omen and his current guitar player Jorge Gavidia. D1 co-produced Copyright’s Beetle Project titled: “Carbon Copy’s Phony Art Pub Scam” (a play on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”), MHz, Demari Faust, and he has engineered many albums for other local artists. D1’s manager, Denise Walls, owner/founder of The Deepest Entertainment in Columbus, ( said of her client, “We can expect more music – his very first music video for ‘Greyhound Love’ will be shot at the end of this month.” D1 headlined at Skully’s in Columbus this summer. He described the show: “Copywrite and Catalyst opened for me. We had Dommy Styles [Power 107.5] DJ all night. There were contests that the crowd participated in for money, CD's and posters. We actually had special lighting planned out for my set...basically a lot of things that you don't see at typical local shows. I think that makes it more special for the fans.” D1’s Soul Blue album will be on iTunes as a re-release deluxe edition with clothing and other merchandise in the near future. He is collaborating with another local hot talent from Columbus, Young Wise from Cocky Club Entertainment on an album entitled Chasing Karma which should be out by the end of the year. Their first single is available on D1’s website called “Dreamers.” ---------------------------------- Del P is a singer/songwriter /performer/manager/producer at his own label “Six 1 FO Records & Publishing.”