Rapper-turned-DJ nominated for award

Published 10:43 pm Friday, January 19, 2018

A local rapper is nominated once again in the VEER Music Awards and is looking for votes from his hometown.

Suffolk native, Shane Johnson, known as Shane Dollar, was nominated in the hip-hop category for the third time in the seventh annual VEER Music Awards, which celebrates the accomplishments of local artists in more than 30 categories.

Despite losing the first two times, Johnson believes he’s got a better shot at the crown this time.

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“This is my third time, and I didn’t win the first two times. I lost to famous people, so it’s not too bad. I’m thinking maybe I got a chance this year,” Johnson said. “I didn’t expect it this year. I took a few years off of rapping. In 2017, I picked it back up again. I guess that’s why I got nominated again.”

Shane Johnson, also known as Shane Dollar, is a local rapper nominated for the 7th Annual VEER Music Awards. This is Johnson’s third nomination.
Courtesy of Brehon Corprew

Rapping came to Johnson naturally at a young age, and he began writing his own rhymes at the age of 12. Johnson’s largest early-‘90s influences were from the first few CDs he purchased, Notorious B.I.G. and Nas.

Eminem was naturally a big influence in Johnson’s rap career, as he was also a white rapper.

“Eminem was really the only successful one, so I took to him,” Johnson said.

Johnson was surprised to be nominated at all for the awards, because he had taken time off to pursue other ventures in life.

For the last five years, Johnson has been making a name for himself in the DJ industry. He has a team of six, including himself, that handle music for all types of events. However, Johnson has found a love for doing weddings.

“Weddings are my niche now. I’m very good at it, and I’ve got a great name at it,” Johnson said. “I love doing weddings. I’m going to transition out of hip-hop at some point. I see myself transitioning myself into the business end.”

Johnson found his calling at weddings, and as a way to expand his repertoire, he became an ordained minister in Virginia.

“They’re not getting somebody that just plays music,” Johnson said. “They’re getting someone that can do a little bit of everything.”

The rapper plans to keep his roots in the Virginia, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina areas, because he already has a good client base.

All three of Johnson’s kids are supportive of his career, not only as a DJ but also as a successful rapper in the area. They were a big motivator for him changing his rap style and making his music cleaner.

“I wanted my kids to be able to listen to my music,” Johnson said.