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Monday August 15th

Diversions

Q&A with Defacto Thezpian

Defacto Thezpian (Raheem Royal) is a rapping act. He’s also an actor that raps — pretty well actually.

Staff writer Mballa Mendouga spoke to the humorous rapper about his interesting stage name, his coining of the word ‘schnozy,’ his debut album Adolescent Thoughts and the release party Friday night at The Pinhook in Durham. The show is $5 and open to the public, with local rappers The Koolest, Azon Blaze, SkyBlew and Thezpian’s mentor, The Real Laww opening.

Album Release show

Time: 10 p.m Friday
Location: The Pinhook, 117 W. Main St., Durham
Info: www.thepinhook.com

Diversions: You have an interesting stage name. How did you choose it?

Defacto Thezpian: Well it’s funny you ask. I was in Nepal — no, not really. I would say back in my junior year of high school, Hillside High School, Durham, N.C.

A lot of people around me were saying the word ‘real’ a lot. And me and my cousin DeKyan Dennis were trying to find a parody — well not a parody of it, but more so just trying to find another way of saying real without actually saying the word ‘real.’

So, one night we were up talking, laughing and all that and stuff, and she looked up synonyms for the word ‘real.’ One of them was ‘tangible,’ and the other was ‘de facto.’ Of course, if you use it in the right context, it would mean real.

I was like, “I’ve never heard of that word before,” and by then I had switched my rap name in high school to ‘Thespian’ but on my Facebook it said, ‘Defacto Thezpian,’ because I just liked the way it sounded.

By the beginning of my senior year I’d decided, you know what? ‘Defacto Thezpian’ sounds real catchy, we might need to keep that. Thespian of course meaning actor, the last name of the first recorded actor … I can’t remember, maybe Roman or Greek or — somewhere. Anyway, I put a “z” in it to make it look sexy and “de facto” of course meaning “real.” Therefore, my name literally means “real actor.”

Dive: You’re releasing your first album, Adolescent Thoughts soon. Why did you choose to release an album and not a mixtape?

DT: Well, I’ve been doing mixtapes since I was a freshman. Of course I didn’t really take it seriously until I got out of high school. I just feel like the mixtape game is really played out. And through experience of being in a band, and being a musician, you see that people have more respect for the title of an album than for a mixtape.

Dive: Schnozy. You say that a lot. What does that mean exactly?

DT: I guess the most accurate definition of schnozy, would be, “cool.” But it’s one of those words kind of like ‘de facto.’ Depending on the context you use it in, it determines what it could mean.

Dive: So, you essentially made up a word?

DT: That is a made up word. Yes. S-C-H-N-O-Z-Y. And actually I have a song for it on my album. A song to get people into the ways of schnoz.

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