Many students at the University of Mississippi are attending with a goal or dream in mind. Arthur Dyer II, 19, is a freshman from Dallas who wants to become a rapper.
Dyer knew from the beginning he wanted to pursue a career in music. His father is a record producer, so at a young age, he was exposed to the music industry.
He first became interested in rapping when he was about 13. “My friends and I would always sort of bash each other on the bus rides home,” he said. “One day, this kid stood up and started talking trash, but he was rapping. He wasn’t just saying it plainly.”
After that bus ride, Dyer began to experiment with rap. A year later, he joined a “rap group” with friends.
“Basically, a couple of us were actually really into rapping, and the others joined because they were friends with us,” he said.
After a while, the group disbanded, but Dyer’s passion for rap had only just begun, and he began to work on his craft. Dyer soon realized rap was more than just a casual hobby. He wanted it to be his career. He later gave his first life performance.
“It was a very humble place to perform,” he said. “It was a local bar in Dallas, and they offered to pay something like five bucks for me to get on stage and rap a few songs.”
Although it was a small crowd with just a few people, it reinforced his drive to become a musician.
Dyer’s collegiate career began at a small community college in Texas. After a semester, he said, “It just didn’t feel right,” so he took the second semester off and became absorbed by music.
“I worked on my music a lot over that period, but I wanted to go back to school,” he said. “I’ve never wanted to be a burden to anyone. I didn’t just want to be at home making music and not furthering myself in other parts of my life, educationally speaking.”
Dyer also wanted a new experience away from his hometown, so he decided to attend Ole Miss. He had a few friends who were attending, and after visiting, he was hooked.
While Dyer is determined to become a success in the music industry, he also wants to make an impact in the classroom. His first love is music, but the African American studies major does not neglect his schoolwork.
“Education is very important to me,” he said. “I will always make time for music, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do my classwork too.”
It can be difficult at times to balance attending a university while pursuing a music career.
“I love music,” he said. “There might be times when I can’t focus on my music as much as I want to, but I’ll never stay away for long. I will make time.”
Friend Austin Artcher, a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, has known Dyer since they went to high school together in Dallas and currently lives with Dyer.
“Arthur (Dyer) is always working on his music whenever he can,” he said. “I’ll come into the house all the time, and I can hear him in his room working on beats or rapping his lines. When he has any free time, he uses it to work on his music.”
Artcher said Dyer has not let his grades slip even though he spends much of his spare time crafting music.
“He’s actually really good too,” Artcher said. “I think if he keeps it up, he really might get to prove he has what it takes … At the end of the day, he’s a good kid and friend, and I won’t be surprised if does become extremely successful.”