A record deal backed by A’s and B’s on a report card isn’t ideal in the music business, and bars about “daycare and boogers” generally are not categorized as hot button issues in rap culture, but for an 8-year-old who in the future would become Dependable Skeleton, it was the perfect arrangement.
Deon Egenti, marketing major from Houston, now entertains audiences at different events on the SFA campus, the most recent being the Lumberjack Cultural Association Festival in early April, and will perform at the Springfest on Friday; however, his love of rap began at a young age.
“He [Egenti’s dad] kind of didn’t want me listening to it, but he knew how much I loved it. He was like, ‘you know what son, if you get all A’s and B’s on your report card’—which was super easy for me as a kid—‘we will make you a mixtape,’” Egenti said.
Egenti met the goal, and both he and his father began work on his first CD with a song about his daycare featured.
“I was rapping over this Jackson 5 beat I believe because my dad didn’t want me to rap to the new records. I asked ‘what’s all this old stuff,’ and he said if I was able to rap, I would be able to rap on these old records,” Egenti said. “I remember playing it at my daycare center, literally I went to the radio and put the CD in there and played it and all the kids were like, ‘oh!’ It was crazy.”
Later in high school Egenti got his rap name, Dependable Skeleton, from an online rap name generator. Stars like Childish Gambino, (Donald Glover) did the same.
“I was in Spanish class one time and, I was rapping with two of my friends... one of them was like, ‘Deon why don’t you have a rap name?’ Because I always went by my real name,” Egenti said.
The friends went on the Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator and Dependable Skeleton stuck.
“When I typed in my name I got Dependable Skeleton, and I thought, well, that fits because I’m skinny and I think I’m pretty dependable... and from there, the rest is history,” Egenti said.
Egenti said that, first and foremost, he is a firm believer in God. He also gives credit to two of his teachers, Sandra Jones and Wanda Harrell, who encouraged him while in school and guided him through speech and debate. “Rich Nguyen, one of my friends at the time, said ‘why don’t you try speech and debate or acting, you have a really bright personality.’ But nobody really knew that because I didn’t really talk to people unless you really knew me,” Egenti said. “So I went and met Mrs. S. Jones, and she took me under her wing and then we went to speech and debate competitions and I was just killing it for two years. I was doing prose; I was doing poetry, humorous and storytelling. Every tournament I went to I did not leave without a trophy.” Jones died in 2016, but Egenti was able thank Harrell.
Two of Egenti’s musical influences are Childish Gambino and Jay-Z. Egenti said one of his favorite parts about rap is being able to push an agenda.
“He’s [Childish Gambino/ Donald Glover] been my role model since I was 15 years old. That’s why I have the work ethic I do because that’s what he does. A comedian, a rapper, actor, writer, you know, director, just everything. He’s a multi-faceted man,” Egenti said. “The crazy thing about it is I was doing all of those things before I even knew what his name was.”
After finding Glover performing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” he began listening to all of his albums.
“I wish I could have half of the work ethic he has,” Egenti said.
Egenti says his style is rap and hip hop. “I remember vividly the first song—which I shouldn’t have been listening to at all. But I was 6 years old. I was watching BET... I remember this one video came out, and it was Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’ with UGK and I remember seeing the video and I was just like, this is the greatest video I’ve ever seen in my life,” Egenti said. “It was on an island, and there were girls and Jay-Z just looked so cool, and he kind of looks like me because he’s not the most handsome guy... but he flows so well you can’t do nothing but like him.”
While rapping, Egenti has also been in Youtube videos, records a podcast called “Keep that Same Energy,” writes articles for different media outlets and posts his own music on Soundcloud under his rap name. He is also the co-chair of the Press and Publicity Committee in the campus’ NAACP organization and the vice president of merchandise for the American Marketing Association.
“I can’t believe I’m in the position to do all of these things,” Egenti said. “I’m actually at that level where it doesn’t matter to me what anybody thinks. I know my ability, I know what I can do and I know what I’m capable of. The fact that I’m even in this position, like I said I feel like I should not be here. My first two years of college were ridiculous and the fact that I actually found myself and said I’m going to turn it around for myself... I’m definitely grateful for everything that I’ve done.”