Dennis Lee will release tracks from his original album Saturday night at 8-bit Bar at 919 W. University Ave. Lee 22, will join other musical performers and dance crews to show off their talent and give the audience a taste of their latest material.
The listening party will be from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the event is free with a $5 cover at the door.
Walton said a listening party is "a gathering of the artist’s main listeners and his friends, and anyone willing to check out new material and be part of a new wave."
Dennis, whose stage name is "Dennis Lee," said he began his musical career almost unintentionally. He said he would help a friend go to showcases and perform in middle school. From there, he found his own voice and he started to write poetry and record his own music. In high school, the rapper said he started to record seriously.
He said he has four singles on the radio back home in Alabama.
Lee graduated high school and moved to Florida. He started college at Santa Fe in October 2014 and studies business marketing.
His album, "Fine Wine," currently has 8 tracks fully mastered, but there’s no exact date for the fall release of the entire album.
He said he hopes to see about 50 people attend.
"I prefer to have this event free to the public," he said. "That way no one has any excuse as to why they couldn’t be a part of it."
Before the listening party, he said he tried to go on tour, so he opened up for mainstream artists, and even headlined over artists like Travis Porter, at Gator Stompin’.
His disc jockey, AJ Showell, 25, will be there Saturday. His stage name is "DJ Shade." He said he’s Lee’s primary DJ for local and out-of-town concerts. He said he’s been a DJ for 15 years, and he’s "extremely self-taught."
They rehearse together at least two to three times per week, for hours at a time. But the most difficult part, he said, is coordinating schedules.
Showell said he remixes, scratches, blends and mixes following Walton’s lead, with no "set" way of doing things.
"You have to put all of yourself into it or you’re not going to get anything out of it," Showell said of the practicing.
Showell said it cost approximately $750 to produce the album.
"I’m the first of my sound," Lee said. He said it’s a cross between old-school hip hop and mainstream.
He and Showell have been together for just over a year, he said.
After the listening party, he hopes to learn from this one, draw a bigger crowd and keep the audience entertained.
The other performances include two performers from Georgia and two dance crews, Walton said.
The opening act for Lee, rapper Blazel, is also local. He said he’s going to incorporate the arcade, which includes the gaming tournament, between his songs.
"Anybody and everybody who wants to come out, can come out," Lee said. "They don’t have to come out for the hip-hop."