Speaker Knockerz was an emerging American underground rapper and singer-songwriter, who rose to prominence for his music released through social media apps, most notably YouTube, and was not signed to any label.
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Speaker Knockerz of African American descent was born Derek Jamol McAllister Jr. on November 6, 1994 in New York, New York, USA from parents Mesha Wilson and Derek McAllister, Sr., a former musician and ex-con. He has a younger brother, Christian McAllister, who is also a rapper and producer. His father was imprisoned when he was only 5 years old.
To ensure that he and his brother did not follow the same criminal path, his mother decided to move the family away from the troublesome neighborhood and bring them to South Carolina with a much better environment.
Speaker attended Kelly Mill Middle School and Ridge View High School before graduating from West Wood High School in Columbia, South Carolina in 2013. He never enrolled in a college or university.
The moment Speaker discovered how to make music with his PC, he fell in love with it.
It was heavily influenced by his father’s musical background. Growing up, he always messed up with his father’s musical equipment, such as hitting the drums or playing with the keys. His mother was very supportive of his chosen path. When his father came out of his 10-year prison term as a musician, he was impressed by his son’s musical skills and helped Speaker polish up his music. The result of the father-son “collaboration” was the Flight Delayed mixtape. In 2010, Flight Delayed was available online and it was at the same time that he changed his real name to his now popular name, Speaker Knockerz.
His songs received generally positive reviews and were noticed by respected hip-hop artists in the industry. However, the mixtape was something of a hobby back then. After being encouraged by the positive reviews, he decided to do it professionally without signing up with a label. He as the artist/producer, his friend Zack Dillan, who is called Loud Visuals as the cameraman/video editor, and his father as the corporate liaison officer.
Married to the Money in 2013 was his first commercially released debut mixtape and it was a huge success as it was not supported by any label.
Speaker released it digitally through YouTube, Sound Cloud, iTunes, Spotify and other social media apps. It has 12 songs with “Weekend” and “Rico Story” trilogy that get more appreciation from fans. Speaker’s talent for storytelling through his songs was evident in the trilogy songs, which also received critical acclaim from the critics.
His popularity grew even more when he released a single titled ‘Lonely’. The music video on YouTube was viewed 144.11 million times with an engagement-like ratio of 96.4%, which translates to 1.14 million likes and 43,000 dislikes. This was his biggest hit.
Rapper superstar Drake was even seen rapping his lyrics at a party at a famous bar. Several record labels called him and offered many extras, such as a signing bonus, but Speaker decided to continue producing songs himself.
It was followed by “Dap You Up” and the music video has nearly 70 million views on YouTube with approximately 500,000 likes. His discography grew and he along with his younger brother who goes by the name Lil Knock founded their own label called Talibandz Gang, but it was later changed to Talibandz Entertainment after his death.
Speaker even created unique beats and sold them to popular rappers and hip-hop artists such as French Montana, Gucci Mane, Lil’ Scrappy and Meek Mill. His beats were incorporated into their songs and Speaker fans are proud to be living proof of his influence in the hip-hop industry.
During his short career, he was able to release three mixtapes and several songs. He made an impressive amount of money at such a young age selling copies of his songs through iTunes and monetizing his YouTube channel.
Talibandz Entertainment released one mixtape posthumously as a tribute.
Lonely – Single by Speaker Knockerz https://t.co/lU9Zn3jmA9
— Speaker Knockerz (@SpeakerKnockerz) March 5, 2014
The label also re-released Flight Delayed in 2016 with additional tracks. It also continues to release new songs digitally as planned by Speaker when he was alive.
There is no information about his dating history or any controversy. He was focused on making music and making money. With his talent and ability to sell his own songs, some industry insiders believed he would have been more successful in his music career had he not met his untimely death at the young age of 19.
Speaker had been dead for at least two days before his body was found on March 6, 2014, in his garage at his home on Two Notch Road in Columbia, South Carolina.
Days before his death, his mother appealed on Facebook if anyone had seen her son because it was unusual for Speaker not to inform his mother of his whereabouts. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department was called to investigate the rapper’s death. They concluded that there was no malicious intent surrounding his death and that the cause of death was a heart attack. An autopsy was performed and it was found that his heart attack was caused by an overdose of codeine syrup. The codeine syrup was the same substance he was known to often sip in his music videos.
Here are his social media account numbers:
- His official Instagram account has 178,000 followers with 232 posts while his Twitter has 84,000 followers.
- To be Youtube Channel has 1.44 million subscribers and his 133 videos have a total of 594 million views, while his Spotify channel has 871,529 monthly listeners.
Speaker was 5ft 8ins. (1.73 m) long and weighed about 50 kg. He was black with black hair and dark brown eyes.
sources estimated his net worth at the time of his death in 2014 would be approximately $430,000.