The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
avatar for D-Nice


For an artist, the hardest skill to master is the ability to transcend, be it the era that created them, the work that defined them, or even the fame that elevated them. However, those who are successful are rewarded with a title that can only be earned: legend. 

Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, with a multi-decade music career that has taken him from the Apollo to the Singapore, and seemingly everywhere in-between, can proudly say he’s earned it. 

To understand why D-Nice has had global impact you need to know where he began—the Bronx. At just 16 years old, D-Nice was a founding member of the iconic ‘80s rap group, Boogie Down Productions. By 1990, he had a Billboard number one single off his self-produced debut album, “Call Me D-Nice,” and had produced the Stop the Violence Movement’s “Self-Destruction,” but as the landscape of Hip-Hop, and New York itself, began to shift, D-Nice recognized the need to transcend. 

A proven talent behind the turntables, D-Nice sought a creative outlet in famed downtown clubs such as Lotus and Table 50. The venues where pioneering DJs, like Mark Ronson and Q-Tip, were blending old school tracks and dance classics with the latest rock soon became his home away from home, and it wasn’t long before he was making a name for himself with a deejaying style that set him apart from all others. Suddenly, the MC from uptown was the hottest DJ downtown—and around the world; heard in places like Cannes, Singapore, South Africa, and Miami. 

Not one to rest on his laurels, D-Nice discovered he not only possessed an ear for a mix, but an eye for capturing stunning images as well. Strapped with a Leica camera, from his expanding collection, he began documenting his life and travels through the lens of his camera. A visit to D-Nice.com can yield a portrait of Dave Chappelle or John Legend, as easily as an artful street scene of Brooklyn. Music and photography became two expressions of the ever-expanding BrandNice. 

Consistent grade-A creativity has awarded D-Nice the trust of the biggest and best––mammoth networks (ESPN, MTV, VH1, BET), spirit leaders (Hennessy signed him as a brand DJ in 2009), and even the leaders of the free world (former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden). Delivering signature sets featuring classic R&B and hip hop, D-Nice has spun private parties, President Barack Obama’s 2012 inaugural ball, Oscar galas, the Super Bowl, Essence Music Festival and countless broadcast specials. As a long-standing steward of music and culture, D-Nice was appointed to the Leadership Council of the Recording Academy’s newly formed Black Music Collective. He is also a member of the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, D-Nice’s “Club Quarantine” party on Instagram Live attracted over 100,000 simultaneous viewers including prominent celebrities ranging from Rihanna, J.Lo and Lenny Kravitz to Oprah, Michelle Obama and soon to be President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Uniting global communities through music, D-Nice catalyzed new possibilities for the power of the DJ in the era of social media and this unprecedented crisis. Leveraging his Club Quarantine platform in service of others, D-Nice supported numerous social justice, civic and humanitarian efforts and raised awareness about health and wellness protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. For his vital contributions to music, culture and society, D-Nice was awarded the 2020 Webby Artist of the Year in the Special Achievement category, a LEVEL “Best Man of  2020” Award, a 2020 BET Hip Hop Award for Best DJ of the Year, a 2020 BET Shine A Light Award and the 2021 Entertainer of the Year Award at the NAACP Image Awards. He has been featured in countless publications and outlets including, but not limited to, GQ, The New Yorker, O Magazine, The New York Times, People, W Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, PBS, OWN, BET, NPR and CBS.