While Deon Wilson was visiting family in March in his home state of South Carolina, his musical ambitions weighed heavily on his mind. For the first time in six years, he had a new record written, recorded and mixed — but he wasn’t sure what to do with it, if anything at all.
Between 2007 and 2013, the Colorado Springs underground rapper, who performs under the name Milogic, had released three records and three EPs. After suffering a bumpy few years in the music industry, trusting others to build his success for him and ultimately going nowhere professionally, he’d shifted his focus from his career to raising his three children.
Outside of a string of singles, he’d sat out most of the 2010s and hadn’t released a major project since his 2013 EP, The Mighty Mixtape. Now, Wilson wasn’t sure anyone wanted to hear his new music.
Luckily for him, that trip home helped him clear his head and gain focus. The result: Wilson’s new LP, Primate Philosophy, a project as much about him rediscovering his mojo as a rapper as it is about him attempting to make sense of the senselessness that is 2019.
Less focused on his signature tongue-twisting rhymes of the past, he uses his lyrics to deliver hard-earned wisdom with the rest of the world. From encouraging younger generations and emerging rappers to stand tall in the face of adversity on “Stay Strong” to reminding the world of his place in the Colorado underground hip-hop scene on “Timbo’s Theme,” Wilson’s new record is smooth, thoughtful and timely.
“[Releasing a new album] felt amazing, to be honest with you,” says Wilson. “I’ve always, always been doing music, ever since I was thirteen. I love doing shows, and it felt rejuvenating.
“At first I didn’t know how it was going to be taken — me coming back and not doing what I normally do [stylistically],” he says. “But just being able to drop information from what’s going on with me to the people — I was a little concerned about that, but I felt it was time to do it.”
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During his visit, Wilson shared the new project with his parents, and ultimately decided he was ready to share it with the world.
“[The visit] centered me,” he explains. “It actually put me in a place where I just finished the album, just finished mixing it, and then I sat there with my parents, and they were proud of me. It just was like, ‘Yeah, this is what it’s all about.’”
Now back in Colorado Springs, he’s at peace with the career decisions he’s made: “When the time comes, I’m going to put out music based on what’s going on and how I feel, and I don’t have to wait on anybody, because it’s my own thing.”
He’s also focusing on a much smaller audience: his family.
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“The people that I care about the most got the most out of this album," he notes. "That’s how I want it to be moving forward. From this point, it’s like when I make music, I’m going to make it; if people mess with it, cool. Either way, I know there’s people out there that are going to find something from it. Hopefully it enhances their life, and hopefully they can share it with someone else.”
No stranger to the chaos, uncertainty and excitement surrounding a new album, Wilson found writing and recording Primate Philosophy to be enlightening. He has a new perspective on his own music, and how he might proceed moving forward as a rapper devoted to making meaningful hip-hop.
Looking back on his career, Wilson acknowledges that his chance at hip-hop stardom has probably passed. But all things considered, he’s in great shape: He’s capable of writing, recording and producing his own music, and he has zero regrets about choosing fatherhood over all else.
“I don’t think my music would be as good if it wasn’t for my family, to be honest with you. They love me, they’re always letting me know my music’s good, they repeat my lyrics around the house,” he says. “Sometimes it’s like all right, all right, I know the lyrics to my songs, thank you very much. But obviously if they’re singing it, it impacted them. A lot of love has made it easy to write.”