Local rapper Dewey Binns has spent more than 15 years trying to perfect his craft, and shows no signs of stopping.
Aka Jesse McDermott, Binns was born in New Mexico, but ended up in Lawton via a baseball scholarship to Cameron University. Although he still lives in Lawton, Oklahoma City is his musical home.
“I kind of think of Dewey Binns as kind of a character I’ve created,” he said. “It’s definitely Oklahoma City-based, as far as music and performance.”
Having dabbled in the hip-hop genre since the mid-’90s, he only started to take it seriously after finishing college in 2005. At that time, he was a member of OKC group 8bit Cynics.
“That made it official,” he said. “I did it full-time for several years.”
While influenced early by Wu-Tang Clan and Outkast, it was lesser-known indie artists like El-P and Sage Francis who really helped him define his approach to music.
“I was really into Atmosphere and Rhymesayers, these types of artists,” Binns said. “It kind of helps me have an identity and influenced my music the most.”
He described his music as “conscious,” approached from a creative writing style, hoping to tell a story.
“I want to say something in a way that it hasn’t been said,” he said. “I’m really into wordplay and imagery.”
His long tenure and method in the music scene have attracted a widespread fan base.
“Another thing that’s kept me relevant and making good music: I can speak to a lot of different age brackets,” he said. “I can speak to a lot of different cultures and social groups.”