Posted February 8, 2013 by BlackIce in UnSigned Artist

Joey Davis, better known by his rap alias Da Docta, pens a verse at his kitchen table after being named Lip-It’s Artist of the Week. (THE COURIER)
Joey Davis, better known by his rap alias Da Docta, began his rap career at an early age, when he was in elementary school.

“I’ve been rapping ever since I can remember,” he said. “I can remember rapping back in the third grade. I was writing raps in the classroom.”

It wasn’t until last week that he began receiving recognition for his music, as he was named Lip-It Lip Balm’s Prime Time Artist of the Week for his rap song “Chevy Down.” The path to get there, however, was filled with obstacles that have helped shape both his music and his persona. Davis, from Pine Bluff, grew up in a tough environment.

“Pine Bluff, it was a life experience,” he said. “It was hard. There was always fighting.”

He told the story of a time when a man began shooting at him. When he walked up to him and wrestled the gun out of his hand, the gun went off. It wasn’t until afterward, when he wiped at his forehead and saw blood, that he looked down at his hand. One of his ring fingers had been shot off.

“I just saw my finger hanging there,” he said. “When your adrenaline’s pumping, you don’t feel stuff like that.”

But while he had to endure such acts of violence growing up, his experiences helped him to appreciate life and not to fret about the small things.

“I see things in a different light,” he said. “People always stress out about simple things. Things can always be worse than what they are. People get stressed out, and I’m just like, ‘Why does that even bother you?’”

He can also thank Pine Bluff for his nickname. His rap name growing up was Felix, but in seventh grade, kids started calling him Doc, in reference to Bugs Bunny.

“I think it was because of my teeth,” he said, pointing to his two front teeth. “I have two buck teeth up front. I think that’s the reason.” The name stuck, and eventually Davis lengthened the name to Da Docta. While he likes several different genres of music, especially old rhythm and blues and funk, he is allured to rap because rapping comes easier to him than singing.

“Rap is what I do. I wish I could sing but I can’t,” he said. “I like it because I can do it. There’s a lyrical flow to rap. Some people who think they can rap sound corny. It’s really not based upon your judgment whether you can rap or not. Because everyone thinks they can, or people who think they can really believe they can and want to fight about it.”

But Davis hardly ever gets upset, although he credits that more to his laid back attitude.

“I don’t even get mad,” he said. “I’m always smiling. Everybody has problems. Some people’s problems are worse than yours.”

The subject matter of his music varies widely — he’s rapped about break-ups, partying, cars, and hard times — and is normally dictated by the beat he hears for the song.

“Every song I do is different. It just depends on the beat that I have,” he said. “I hear this beat, and I have an idea for that beat. So I’m really not on the same topic all the time.” Davis is passionate about his music, which oftentimes causes him to be over-analytical about his work.

“You want it to sound like you want it to sound, but you can’t get it to sound like that,” he said. “You want it to sound this way, but you aren’t ever satisfied. So you’re just steady working on it, you’re just never satisfied with where you want it to be at.”

“I hear too much, I hear problems in everything I do,” he said. “A girl told me, ‘I didn’t even notice that until you pointed it out.’” But despite the frustrations of being a perfectionist, Davis isn’t going to stop making music anytime soon.

“The music ain’t going to stop,” he said. “I might slow down, but the music won’t stop. I might be 60 years old, but I’ll still be doing music.”

Davis is on Facebook under the name “Da Docta,” and his Twitter account is @dadoctamusic.

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