Divine (full name Divine Allah, born May 23 in Newport, Rhode Island), is an up-and-coming African-American Hip-Hop emcee/rapper (urban poet) hailing from and representing Brooklyn, New York City and Fort Greene, Brooklyn (coincidentally, Fort Greene is named after American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island). He is often compared to, reputed and regarded as the real/official second coming of Rakim, one of the most influential emcees/rappers in Hip-Hop history, much in the same way Nas has; but also being compared to Nas as well. Ironically, Divine exudes similarities to both Rakim and Nas in his music, as well as his voice. Divine's voice ranges from the deep nasal baritone of Rakim to the soft spokeness of Nas; however consistently leaning more toward the sound and feel of Rakim. Also, much like Rakim Divine has a revolutionary emceeing/rapping style; which is smooth and fluid, seemingly effortless, and uses remarkably complex rhyming schemes, involving internal-rhymes and sophisticated metaphors and punch-lines, while wittingly altering pronunciation of and uniquely merging common to uncommon words, and showcasing an advanced and extensive vocabulary; all while also having double, and sometimes even triple meanings simultaneously, much in the same way Rakim has, did, and does; yet keeping and maintaining his own uniqueness and originality. However, it remains the general consensus that almost all modern MCs have been influenced in some way by Rakim's rapping technique.
Divine's music is designed for the masses, but tailor-made especially for this present day Hip-Hop generation. With thought provoking lyricism, he combines a universal worldwide view and knowledge of self with social and political awareness, deep spiritual consciousness, cultural elements, personal life experiences, and raw urban realities, into a thick and superb style of story telling and rhyming. Growing up in the streets of the ghetto in poverty, with no parental guidance, is what gave Divine his social and political awareness, but not until he became a victim of the penal system did this awareness totally crystalize and deepen. In 1992, while in prison, he received "knowledge of self" when he was introduced to and absorbed in the Nation Of Gods & Earths (formerly the Five Percent Nation Of Islam), and it's teachings, and took on the full righteous name/attribute of Divine Lord Magnetic Allah. His incarceration was the catalyst that sparked, created, and shaped his spiritual and conscious persona and the positive essence of his poetics. With over ten albums (presently unreleased) to his catalog and over ten years experience in creating urban music, it can be reasoned he's not yet signed to a major label only because he was locked away. Divine presents the rarity of an artist with a complete package and star quality. His ghetto and street life savvy, and the seven plus years he's spent locked in Federal prison, gives him the real-life story and authenticity that most so-called hardcore Hip-Hop/Rap artists only claim to have lived.
Divine is a highly charismatic M.C. of great talent and artistry. His music and rhymes are not only clever, creative, and witty, but also very unpredictable and highly intellectual and intelligent. As an artist he's able to mix, blend, and balance his street knowledge and experience with his spiritually-conscious intellect, intelligence, and intuitiveness so well; he creates and gives himself an enigmatic and uncanny mystique and universal appeal, and leaves any listener with a sense of connection and/or understanding. Divine's lyrics are versatile and razor sharp, which enables him to cut through and penetrate the mind state of any listener regardless of their age or degree of consciousness; keeping them in a perpetual state of anticipation for him to drop the next line, next verse, next single, or next album. His live show performance is deeply concentrated and visually serious, highly magnetic and stimulating, methodically precise and executed, and awe inspiring; enabling him to strongly captivate any viewer or audience, giving him total mastery and complete control over the individual or crowd. There's no doubt that this M.C. (Master Controller), Divine Allah, will be one of the most influential, dynamic, and phenomenal artists to emerge in this day and time...finally, The Wait Is Over!!!.
In 1993, while still incarcerated in Ashland, KY, he un-officially signed to Supreme Records, an independent record company based in New York City, which was to become his recording home upon his release. He eventually was able to record an entire cassette album entitled, Critical, in 1995 through a music program while incarcerated in Atlanta, GA. Though of mediocre production quality, the cassette album was able to clearly showcase the budding talent of this new positive and conscious emcee who was constantly being compared to Rakim and Nas immediately upon first listen, and receiving unanimous praise for his lyrical ability. So much so, that in 1997, the then Supreme Records' President Ra Saleem was able to get a copy of the cassette to renowned industry veteran producer DJ Eddie F (of Heavy D fame) who said of Divine, "He's going to be a superstar..."
After serving nearly seven years in Federal prison, Divine was finally released in June of 1998 to home confinement. After being on home confinement for four months, on the same day of his release from home confinement, on October, 16 1998; Divine had his first real performance ever in New York City that same night at the renowned Club Speed in a Supreme Records' Showcase. The show was well received, and Divine was able to meet and exchange contacts with renowned producer and DJ Marley Marl who was the featured DJ for the night's showcase. Divine began performing regularly throughout New York City, notably Justin's (Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' restaurant), and New England; and released his first single, Outta Sight, produced by Tommy "T.O." Oliveira (Jaheim producer). Unfortunately, Divine's promising career was abruptly halted and put on hold when he was re-incarcerated for a probation violation, and re-sentenced to Federal prison for two and a half more years.
In 2000/2001 while incarcerated in Fairton, NJ Divine met Jamaican crime/druglord Vivian "Dave" Blake (of the notorious Shower Posse) who took a liking to him, and told Divine of his son Duane Blake's (author of Shower Posse) interest in starting an independent recording company and connected the two. In May of 2001 Divine was released to a halfway house in Boston, MA for six months. He immediately contacted a new company based there named New Music Deal, Inc. (http://newmusicdeal.com at the time) he had found out about while incarcerated, who were promising artists an unprecedant deal in percentage share on profits from their music, so he submitted material to them for review. Upon review of the material, Divine was immediately offered a deal to sign with the company and release a full-length album, only having to present the company with the master recording. So while still in the halfway house Divine immediately began seeking out producers for his new album and a studio to record it.
After a chance meeting with two young aspiring rappers that he met while working at CVS (they had came into the store looking for black and white film for bio picture shots), he was able to secure a studio and production team through their connections. They happened to be working on their own project being produced by Mystical Dylemma, a local production duo consisting of Mike Alberti (at the time a Berklee School of Music student) and Dale Harper. After a formal meeting, Mystical Dylemma decided to take on Divine's project to produce and record a master recording to turn in to New Musical Deal, Inc. They immediately went to work on Divine's new album entitled, The Wait Is Over. With the studio, set up in an apartment, literally being around the corner from the halfway house; Divine was able to continually get beats, write the rhymes, and as time permitted, go and record the songs in limited two hour recording sessions.