Born into poverty to a single mother in Jamaica, Dwayne Whyte and his family moved to the Bronx, NY at the tender age of two in search of a better life. With no father figure in his household, Dwayne witnessed his mother manage working excessive hours at multiple jobs to provide for his family. In 1994, Dwayne and his mother moved to Baltimore, MD. He found the mean streets at an early age, and became consumed by the life. While his mother worked at night, he was roaming the street corners selling drugs and hustling anything he could get his hands on. Once Dwayne's mother became aware of his new found hobby, she decided to move her family back to the Bronx to keep him from the Baltimore street life.
While back in the Bronx, Dwayne became even more drawn to the streets; this is where he found rap. What started out as free-styling for fun would eventually become the ground work for the artist now known as Graffix. Although his talents were unmistakable, Graffix did not take his craft seriously at first. In fact, Graffix did not start writing rhymes until his then favorite artist, 2pac was killed. He felt that the hip hop scene was becoming too much of a cliche with gimmick songs being mistaken for real hip hop masterpieces. At this point Graffix knew exactly what he wanted to do with his talent. Unluckily for him, he faced another obstacle in life. Graffix and his family became homeless and were forced to move from shelter to shelter in New York City. At the age of eighteen, Graffix moved back to Baltimore on his own, to begin a new life. He started working a regular 9 to 5 job and also began making music. While Graffix juggled with work and rap, he still remained drawn to the streets. As a result, he was arrested numerous times, although he managed to escape long term imprisonment. Around the same period Graffix was introduced to Sluggerz Entertainment, LLC by a close friend. He was asked to audition on the spot. After he finished spitting some of his verses and freestyles, he was offered a contract the same day.
With a glimpse of musical success Graffix took to the streets to celebrate with friends. Unfortunately, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time when police made a bust at his hangout spot. Due to his previous troubles with the law, he was sentenced to 18 month at the Baltimore County Detention Center. During his stay at the jail, Graffix had a revelation to turn his life around. He remained productive by attending classes, writing rhymes and songs, and doing anything positive to take his mind off his confinement.
Having learned the harsh reality of having his freedom taken away, Graffix is now ready for the world to witness his impeccable talent. As noted by Al Shipley of the Baltimore City Paper, Graffix's material is competent and we find ourselves nodding to his beat. He is also an engaging and quick-witted performer. To sum up this prolific artist's life long struggles, Graffix simply said "I fell in a deep gutter, and was not able to climb up until I touched the bottom, referring to his incarceration. And now, every positive step I take will only help me climb out of the gutter.
On the Grind
When he's not blazing the stage at local Baltimore clubs like The Ottobar, The Black Hole, Bedrock, or The 5 Seasons, Graffix is always writing, recording in the studio, and listening to new music. I am a big music fan, he says. I like good music. I enjoy hearing an artist spit something hot to motivate me to come up with something hotter. Graffix is gearing up for his upcoming mixtape Slugfest Episode 2, followed by a video for a single to be released early 2009.