About me, Dion Cheese (1968-Present). He is an African-American author. His first release Who Am I? The Chronicles of Cain, is an urban first self-published under the Xlibris imprint and will later released under Dyme Publications, a branch of Intech Creative. His second novel is Explain It To Her Momma, an urban romance full of wit and humor.
Dion was born in northern New Jersey, the 7th of 8 siblings. Raised in the inner city section of Plainfield New Jersey, his life was anything but a Norman Rockwell portrait; life was hard, cold and -- at times -- cruel. Crime and drug-ridden, Dion avoided the lures of both, and coming from a family where mostly everyone was either dealing drugs or using them, he somehow managed to have the force of will to step outside his world as the first in his family history to go to college. he attended NJIT (college) to pursue a chemical engineering degree.
That got sidetracked however when in his late teens he felt the pull from the large wake his brother was creating in the world of hip hop music. His older brother Robert, the legendary Dee Jay Cheese - better known as King Kut, by his late teens was already a multi-award winning DJ World Champion, and later and inductee to the DMC Hall of Fame.
Dion has always been inspired to write, and recorded his first song "He's Phenomenal" through CSI Entertainment. The record was a tribute to the older brother's talents. Two years later he formed Third Street productions and recorded the singles Third Street, Come On Everybody, Kick The Habit, and Leading The pack -- released on Big City Records. He performed live at countless festivals, as well as did shows at The Strand Theater in Plainfield New Jersey [headlined by E.M.P.D], and Newark Symphony Hall [headlined by BDP, and Poor Righteous Teachers].
With a stake in Big City Records, after the initial release of Third Street, the , the company established distribution through Schwartz Brothers, one of the largest independent national distributors at that time.
Dion was the first Hip Hop artist to appear on the cover of Teen Machine Magazine; he also appeared on the cover of Black Beat, with Dion Cheese Black Beat article articles in both. This provided exposure that became leverage to attract new artists to the label. He spearheaded the effort to sign new talent, and added Nick D, A/K/A Soul King, and City E to the Big City roster.
His eye for talent was confirmed when Billboard featured Big City Records and their release of the album SOUL KING on the home page. And his partner leveraged that exposure to get the label invited to represent independent music as one of only 7 indie labels to the Jack The Rapper, the black music convention in Atlanta, Georgia. They were in good company along side indie label powerhouses such as Tommy Boy (Naughty by Nature), and Ruff House Records (Cypress Hill). The convention also had all the big names of the time present: Prince, MC Hammer, and more.
When Schwartz Brothers expanded into video it caused their financial woes that led them into bankruptcy. Without a distribution pipeline, or the ability to collect monies owed, Big City was forced to shut down operations.
Finally, Dion succumb to the pressures and all-to-familiar modus operendi of his neighborhood, and began dealing drugs to finance his vision of the record enterprise he wanted to build. He went quickly from small-time dealer to wholesaler. When he was snitched out, the wholesaling carried the heavy jail term of 25 years.
After 15, he is out, and the newest chapter of this self-determined man begins ...