Speaker Knockerz was an upcoming American underground rapper and singer-songwriter, who rose to prominence for his music released through social media apps particularly YouTube and was not signed under any label.
Speaker Knockerz of African-American descent was born Derek Jamol McAllister Jr. on 6 November 1994 in New York, New York, USA to parents Mesha Wilson and Derek McAllister, Sr., a former musician and ex-convict. He has a younger brother, Christian McAllister, who is also a rapper and a producer. His father was incarcerated when he was just 5 years old.
To ensure that he and his brother would not follow the same criminal path, his mother decided to move the family away from the troublesome neighborhood and brought them to South Carolina with a much better environment.
Speaker attended Kelly Mill Middle School and Ridge View High School before he matriculated from West Wood High School in Columbia, South Carolina in 2013. He never enrolled in any college or university.
The moment Speaker discovered how to make music with his personal computer, he fell in love with it.
It was heavily influenced by his father’s musical background. Growing up, he was always messing up with his father’s musical equipment such as hitting the drums or playing with the keys. His mom was very supportive of his chosen path. When his musician father came out of his 10-year jail sentence, he was impressed with his son’s music-making skills and helped Speaker polished his music. The result of the father-son “collaboration” was the Flight Delayed mixtape. In 2010, Flight Delayed was available online and it was the same time he changed his real name to his now popular moniker, Speaker Knockerz.
His songs received generally positive reviews and were noticed by well-respected hip hop artists in the industry. However, the mixtape was just some sort of a hobby back then. After getting encouraged by the positive reviews, he decided to do it professionally without signing up with any label. He as the artist/producer, his friend, Zack Dillan, who goes by the name Loud Visuals as camera man/video editor, and his father as the business liaison officer.
Married to the Money in 2013 was his first commercially released debut mixtape and it was a huge success considering that it was not backed 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 getting more appreciation from fans. Speaker’s talent in storytelling through his songs was evident with the trilogy songs, which also garnered favorable reviews from the critics.
His popularity grew even more when he released a single entitled, “Lonely.” Its music video on YouTube garnered 144.11 million views with engagement likes 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 its lyrics during a party in a famous bar. Several record labels called him up and offered many perks such as signing bonus, but Speaker decided to continue producing songs by himself.
It was followed up by “Dap You Up” and the music video has almost 70 million views on YouTube with around 500,000 likes. His discography was growing and he along with his younger brother that goes by the name Lil Knock established 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 in their songs and Speaker fans take pride of the living testament of his influence in the hip hop industry.
Throughout his short career, he was able to release three mixtapes and several songs. He made an impressive amount of money for such a young age by selling copies of his songs through iTunes and monetized his YouTube channel.
Talibandz Entertainment released one mixtape posthumously to pay 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 songs. It also continues to release new songs digitally as planned by Speaker when he was still 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 that he would have been more successful in his music career if he did not meet his untimely death at the young age of 19.
Speaker had been dead for at least two days before his body was found on 6 March 2014 in his garage at his Two Notch Road home in Columbia, South Carolina.
Days prior to his death, his mother made an appeal on Facebook if someone had seen her son because it was unusual for Speaker to not notify his mom of his whereabouts. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department was called to investigate the rapper’s death. They concluded that there was no foul play surrounding his death and that the cause of death was a heart attack. An autopsy was made and it revealed that his heart attack was caused by an overdose of codeine syrup. The codeine syrup was the same substance that he was known to be sipping often in his music videos.
These are his social media account numbers:
- His official Instagram account has 178,000 followers with 232 posts while his Twitter has 84,000 followers.
- His 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. (1.73m) tall and weighed around 110lbs (50kgs). He was Black with black hair and dark brown eyes.
Sources estimated that his net worth during his time of death in 2014 would be around $430,000.