For four years, he modeled for Sean John, but he was rapping to himself every time he had a spare minute. Living in New York City and working for the biggest urban fashion line around, Dolla was often surrounded by some of the power players in the music industry. On the scene, looking for his time to shine, Dolla ended up meeting Akon. After rapping for the mini-mogul, he signed him to his Konvict Muzik label.
The deal was official in May 2007 and Dolla quit his job at Sean John. Led by his single, “Feelin’ Myself,” Dolla was quickly rising up the ladder of success. Due to the success of his debut single, he soon found himself involved in a feud with West Coast rapper, Mac Dre. Dre said he had recorded a song of the same name, which was actually older. Nothing ever came of the issue with the single and Dolla was happy with the free publicity.
Late in 2007, Dolla released his first official single, “Who The Fuck Is That?” to radio and the song would peak at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. He recorded with Konvict label-mate, T-Pain on the track. The chemistry shown on the track led to T-Pain signing Dolla in a joint-venture deal with his Nappy Boy label. With the large promotional machine behind him, in 2008, the video came.
Early in 2008, he revealed the title of his debut album to be A Dolla and a Dream. Promotion of the album continued with his next single, “I’m Fucked Up.” But, for some reason, none of the songs by Dolla could stay on the charts for long. In an effort to have him land that big single to make him into a household name, Akon and T-Pain decided to push his album back until an indefinite release date. In the meantime, he made an appearance in Ciara’s video.
Dolla proved free time was something he could not deal with. Living off of the advance money given to him by Konvict Muzik, Dolla was living in Atlanta, Georgia. Not only was Dolla living the good life, but he was famous within the city. Because “gangsta” is what is “in” with the hip hop community, Dolla often traveled with a gun. Every night, Dolla would hit the club scene and his gun was never too far away from him. On October 20, 2008, this landed him in jail.
Upon getting out of jail, Akon set him up in Los Angeles to start recording A Dolla and a Dream and he demanded Dolla to stay out of trouble. To make sure he was on task, Akon would drop in on him from time-to-time. From October 2008 until May 2009, Dolla remained on task, limiting his trips to the club. But, after being held up in the studio for weeks at the time, Akon would allow him to go have some fun.
On May 18, 2009, Dolla was taking a break from his album, which was coming together quite nicely. Having the day off, Dolla spent the day shopping in Beverly Hills. Along with a couple of friends, he was waiting for the valet to bring his car around. Sadly, he would never see his car come around the corner because he was shot at 3:10 pm. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the rising rapper did not make it and the talent he had was never properly shown.
It has been one year since Dolla departed the earth sooner than expected. His murderer was revealed to be Aubrey Louis Berry. The man had an altercation with Dolla and his crew in Atlanta days before Dolla’s October 20 arrest. However, a little over a year since his death, Berry has been released from jail with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The light sentence and release on Berry’s behalf has shocked quite a bit of people.
Konvict Muzik released A Dolla and a Dream late last year and the album was met with mildly positive reviews.