Deitrick Haddon is a multi-faceted, award winning, creative juggernaut. As a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer, the Detroit native’s inspirational musical ministry has touched souls globally. The star of Oxygen network’s popular reality series Preachers of L.A also serves as executive producer of the Preachers franchise, and with the formation of DHVisions, a new partnership with eOne Entertainment, this son of a preacher is delving further into developing television and film projects while still delivering progressive gospel music that feeds the soul. Masterpiece, Detrick’s latest contemporary, uplifting and inspired body of work reflects his self-professed maturation toward his destiny of greatness. “I’m very clear on my past and I’m clear on where I am going in the future. I cannot afford but to walk in my truth. I was born in the church and groomed for the world and this generation.”
With an unorthodox approach in pushing past the confines of traditional religious paradigms, Deitrick has artfully sculpted his eighth solo album in a manner that reflects the true definition of a masterpiece. “I feel like I have a responsibility to use my pain as my platform, to stand up and to help others. That’s what this record is all about, paying it forward – helping people and pulling them out [of the wilderness].” Sonically, Masterpiece is akin to a thick, rich gumbo – a mélange of sounds that inspires and influences his songs. Everything from 90’s hip-hop and R&B from artists such as De La Soul, Heavy D and Blackstreet, to the true soul sounds of Sam Cooke, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway. “When you listen to the soul it inspires you to tap into what is in your soul and extract it out,” and Deitrick reached deep on Masterpiece.
That winter wilderness in Deitrick’s life has been previously documented and publicized. It’s not a period he shies away from, but he would rather reference that he was fortunate to pull through that period of time with “people coaching me,” noting reflectively. But in the end, “I had nothing else to lean on but God. My life story is in these songs – the good, the bad, the ugly, the mountain tops and the valleys, it’s all going to come together to become a masterpiece,” notes the self-aware singer.
The sixteen track tapestry of songs begins with “Masterpiece,” a synchronous hip-hop infused track about forgiveness of self, letting go and the redemptive grace of God. “The reality is we all go through seasons, and seasons change. This is the song that says you are going to hit those pitfalls and valleys, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to keep moving so God can keep writing the next chapter in our lives.” Further emphasizing his point with scripture – Romans 8:28, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Pastor Haddon acknowledges that his stormy, winter season was strengthened through his relationship with God and his support network.
On the other side of the storm, his support consists of his wife Dominique, daughters Destin Monet and Denver Monroe, with son Deitrick, Jr. Lovingly reflecting his love with the interlude “Work of Art,” his children and wife are his self-professed inspiration. With the “Play Time Is Over,” interlude featuring Deitrick’s mother Joyce Haddon, Deitrick is reflecting on the beginning of his masterpiece capturing the youthful innocence he smiles upon with his mother, the anchor before, during and after the storms of life.
“Be Like Jesus” is a funky, bouncy synthesized perspective of accountability with an old school feel that Deitrick describes as “churchy but edgy, yet in your face.” The song opens with a scenario about a woman drawing conclusions about Deitrick himself, and he, as the protagonist, turns it around to emphasize the imperfection of all people to extend less judgement and more grace with mercy to be more like Jesus. “I’m not trying to be like anybody else. When you follow after men at some point they will show their flaws, but if you follow the path that Jesus laid out, it teaches you to love everybody, to forgive, have long-suffering and patience with one another. It’s a never ending, constant journey to be like Him, but I’m up for the challenge.”
The anthemic and symbolic “Walls Are Coming Down” is reflective of Deitrick’s past and future. A bilingual delivery of Psalms 23 represents the ostentatious declaration of victory, “I decree I am headed to the promise land. My future is global and international and I cast down everything standing in my way. I bind everything that is not like God in my life.” Also included on Masterpiece, cruising along the international highway, the rhythmic, island-inspired “On the Way,” featuring DJ Nicholas and Sherwin Gardner. A fun-feeling song of praise for the Caribbean fans that love Deitrick, the song was well received on the island of Anguilla as soon as he played it for their radio station.
Inspired by a Lionel Richie song entitled “Jesus Is Love,” the soulful, adult contemporary groove with big chords, “Restore Me Again” is a progressive song of transparency. Its bold lyrics declare: “I’ve been ungrateful/I’ve been unthankful/ Yet you still find mercy for me/I’ve been unfaithful/ I strayed away but you never stopped believing in me/Lord I have fallen/Short of your glory/I refuse to let that be the end of my story.” As Detrick describes how this portion of the masterpiece was created, “it was just me, a piano and Jesus just pouring out my heart. When you go before God, you’ve got to keep it real and come correct.”
“Sinners (Saved by Grace)” is the maverick’s testimony aimed at religious zealots who are far removed from their own sins. “What comes from the heart, it will reach hearts. This song is me telling people what I’ve told some of the saints to do – I’ve been through it and I came out of it. You may still be there, but you can come out of it.” The first verse captures the essence completely, “I used to be that preacher /Telling people what to do/Judging everybody/Full of pride and self-consumed/Till one day I fell so hard/Lost my faith in God/I couldn’t even pray/ So I say no matter who you are/No matter what you’ve done/You’re never far from grace.” Deitrick is adamant that “every song, melody, lyric, beat is on purpose. I have an agenda and that is to reach people right where they are. Not perfect people, but people who are in real situations right now. A lot of churchy people won’t get it. The beat is too hard. But there is a generation that will get it.”
While the entire album represents Deitrick’s most beloved records out of the forty-plus songs written to create Masterpiece, his absolute favorite is – “Perfect Storm” as it personifies his testimony. The hook speaks to his vulnerability: “It was the perfect storm/That blew me in the right direction/You kept me from harm/When I didn’t know I was in danger/And Oh now I know why the winds had to blow/You were looking out for my soul/Thank you Lord for the perfect storm.” And with our tests becoming our testimony, it could not be any better articulated than by Deitrick acknowledging, “when God sends a storm, He sends it to set things in order. God knows how to blow everything out of place to put you in place. He’ll blow everything that is not supposed to be in your life away. God has allowed you to go through the storm so He can detach you from certain things. That’s what God had to do in my life. He had to blow some things away because I was in it. I was so connected. He said ‘I have to shift some things Deitrick, because you won’t shift yourself.’ He has to blow you out of where you are to get you where you need to be. Without the storms of my life, I would not have my children or my beautiful wife. I wouldn’t have the life, the music, the TV show.” Here’s where you can insert a drop mic emoji to let that sentiment resonate.
Another DHaddy favorite is “Running,” as it speaks to people right where they are. “I went to war with God. I’ve been preaching the word since I was eleven, and I thought there were certain benefits with that. And because he let me be exposed with the wrong doing that was in my life, I boxed with God. God allowed me to go through that season, and you’ve got to say yes and stop running from your calling because there are lives and souls at stake.”
As Deitrick’s visionary masterpiece is unfolding in music, television screens and movie theaters are being built in tandem. In partnership with Dr. Holly Carter’s Relevé Entertainment, their creative and business alliance in conjunction with eOne Entertainment, is propelling the energy and excitement behind DHVisions. “I appreciate the focus eOne is bringing. It is wonderful to have a team behind the vision. They get me, and they are on it and [the business is all] in one house. I was very deliberate about using my testimony and being transparent on the show [Preachers of LA]. I knew people had babies out of wedlock. I knew people were being judged and hurt by church people. I knew it, but now the TV will show people I’ve walked through it.” The manifestation of the vision is continuing with television and film projects in the development pipeline for 2016.
God’s beautiful woven masterpiece named Deitrick Haddon has masterfully aligned this moment in time on the journey, to solidify the foundation for the future of his family. “I am a fully grown man, more mature and more secure than ever. It took a minute for me to get solid in this place. I had to go through rejection because it brings you to a place where you know you have to draw that inspiration from within. I want people to know that things have changed for the better because Deitrick existed and he did it his way.” The legacy Deitrick is creating is ordained by God and manifested through his vision. “I want people to say he was original, bold, aggressive, and progressive. He paved the way.” And clearly, it’s going to continue to be a masterpiece.