We had the good fortune of connecting with Dee ‘lilD’ Porter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dee, what matters most to you?
I live by the phrase, “The how doesn’t matter.” For me, it means that if you want something, focus all of your energy on getting it. Have complete tunnel vision, see no other option for yourself. No matter how out of reach it may seem, if it’s yours, the “how” doesn’t matter. Just know it will happen. So keep working like you know that it will.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been an on-air personality since 2005. I won radio freestyle contests In 12th grade, and when I got to college, the night jock who did the contests asked me to be his cohost. I knew nothing about radio; I just wanted to be a rapper. I was so bad, there were rumors that I must’ve been sleeping with the jock to get on. When I was rapping, I was super confident. But being on air was completely different. I was very timid, unsure of myself…just uncomfortable. I didn’t have thick skin so every critique I heard brought me to tears. Then one day, my co-host struck a nerve and I snapped on him on air, and I’ve been the quick-witted, smart-mouthed, hilarious lilD ever since. You always hear from jump, “radio doesn’t love you back.” And it’s true. I’ve been VERY poor, homeless, ridiculed, underpaid, overworked, disregarded…and this was just at one of the 5 stations I’ve worked at. This is an industry where you have to use it, the way it uses you. I’m the jock; I’m bringing attention to the radio station. So let me use the radio station to bring attention to myself so I can stay booked, because if I get fired, the rent is still due on the 1st. The biggest lesson I learned the hard way, is to know who you are; otherwise, the people will tell you, and you’ll believe them. Sometimes jocks get so caught up in their “personality” that they forget they’re a person first. If your validation comes from Instagram likes and ratings, you’ll forever depend on something other than yourself for your happiness. That’s a slippery slope, especially in this business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, we’re going to Diner of Dallas for breakfast. It’s super affordable, and you get the biggest portions ever. Then we’d go to Reunion Tower. You can see most of the city from that far up, and also there is an interactive map that gives you history lessons about different areas of the city. Recipe Oak Cliff will provide lunch. They’re a black-owned vegan spot here. We would have to go to Deep Ellum to kick it at the bars and get lots of food: everything from donuts to margaritas and it’s all delicious. (As you can see, I’m a foodie.) We also have to go to For Oak Cliff, this amazing nonprofit here that does exactly what its title says: the provide resources for the neighborhood of Oak Cliff. And there’s an amazing mural of Nipsey Hussle down there. Oh and Lifestyle Nailz in Grapevine for mani/pedis. It’s an entire experience in there, and it’s also black-owned of course. We would have to go to South Dallas Cafe, because if you don’t, did you really come to Dallas? If this was pre-Covid, I’m sure there would be something going on at the American Airlines Center, where the Dallas Mavs play, and we could check that out. But my favorite place to go, is Arbor Hills Nature Reserve. It’s a huge park with multiple trails to run or walk; lots of places to just sit and watch the stream flow; and the best meditation I’ve ever had.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few people who I routinely thank for helping me be where I am today. My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Osborne, who immediately realized how smart I was, but also how depressed I was. She always encouraged me and never let me get down. She genuinely loved me, and it helped get me through elementary school.. We still talk to this day. Charlamagne The God has given me so many gems in the last 10 years. He’s part of the reason I’m so comfortable being myself, and I don’t let people’s words affect me. He once said to me, “why fit in when you’re a standout?” I had just gone natural, before it was popular, and was feeling the pressure of conforming. It’s because of him still being willing to respond to a text and answer questions, that I will always reach back and help other jocks. He wrote the foreword to my book and all I had to do was ask. That’s real.
Shutter King Images, One of Sixx