Born Dewayne Petty in 1973 in Tallahassee, Florida, Pettidee realized at an early age he needed salvation from drugs and the typical street life of a hustler. Through God, Dewayne accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, and quickly realized God's will for his life. Dewayne had always had a talent with music and rapping, and so he soon quickly decided to use this gift as an outlet for evangelism. In 1998, Pettidee as an artist was born.
Throughout Pettidee's long 10 year plus career as an artist and producer, he has worked and performed with many different artists, not to mention running his own independent label, Soldier Sound Records, self producing his last 4 national indi releases. He has recorded and produced extensively with GRITS, arguably the most popular group in Christian hip-hop. Pettidee has produced tracks for GRITS' last four records, as well as being featured in the music video for the GRITS song "Hittin' Curves", which was recently added to rotation on MTVU, BET, and MTV2.
Pettidee stormed the Gospel world with his first solo project "Still Alive" in 1999. The project begins with the title cut, which sets the stage for an unbelievable urban musical ride. The 13-track project, which features guest appearances from Grits, Lil’ Raskull and Allen and Allen, features many high energy spots.
“There is too much division within Gospel music. We must realize that our purpose is to win the lost,” says Pettidee. As a sign of unity, Pettidee recorded the track “Unified Outlaws” which features fellow rapper and longtime friend Lil' Raskull.
Still Alive also features songs that address very serious issues confronting the world in general. “I Understand” deals with the issues of teen pregnancy within the church and the effects that has on the parties and family members involved. “Jackie” is a track that chronicles the life and perils of a stripper and her battle to give her life to Christ. “The truth is that these issues must be addressed and anytime Pettidee does a song, it’s going to address real issues. The song "I Understand" is very real because young people in the church deal with the issue of sexual promiscuity on a regular basis,” says the youth minister. “’Jackie’ is a song that actually is a combination of four stories rolled into one. However, I’m finding that there are a lot of Jackie’s out there who can really relate to this issue.”
Pettidee followed up with The Legacy - Volume 1 in 2001, the Legacy - Volume 2 in 2002, Resurrections (Lost & Revisited) in 2004 and Thug Love ing 2006.
The album"Thug Love" is a southern hip-hop masterpiece for our time. "This album is my heart," says Pettidee. "This is the most lyrical album I've ever recorded because we wanted it to be effective."
Starting off with "Glide Aside," he tells hindrances to move out of the way as he carries out his ministry, setting the stage for pure party anthems like "Represent," "Never Give Up," and "Push" (featuring GRITS and Verbs) that aren't ashamed to express the joys and challenges of faith. But he's actually at his best with songs that address weightier subjects like gang life ("Huh Man"), as well as his tender side with a love letter to his wife ("Can't Make It Without You," featuring Antonio Neal) and the confessional "Learn to Let Go," built around a rich piano loop.
Of special interest, this fierce warrior has the ability to transcend gender stereotypes and minister powerfully to the hurting, including women who have suffered abuse (the tender, insightful “Butterflies”).
It’s hugely powerful to see this kind of open loving on a hip-hop album, and the strong Pettidee is just the man to bring it.