DJ Dap blazin’ his own trail

DJ Dap
Photo courtesy DJ Dap

In this crazy challenge called life, DJ Dap is a true example of what it means to tenaciously find your purpose.

Dap, officially named Larry Dunlap, was born and raised in Panama City, where his upbringing was slightly troubling and unorthodox. He grew up poor and didn’t have much. Despite that, he was determined to be the author of his own narrative. 

“I knew I wanted something better for myself. I wanted to be the first in my family to become greatly successful, especially in entertainment,” Dap said. 

DJ Dap is over the No. 1 radio station in Tallahassee, Blazin’ 102.3, and has been successfully running this station for more than four years. However, that’s not where he thought he would end up. 

Growing up, Dap originally had aspirations to become a rapper. He and his friends created a group called In Motion, which included rappers and dancers. 

They performed at numerous venues ranging from North Florida to South Georgia, as frequently as two times a week. They were in talent shows and even performed at the Apollo in Tallahassee. Winners that won the Apollo got a chance to go to New York to perform at the famed Apollo in Harlem. Even though they won many times, they weren’t able to go because they were under the age of 18. 

Still trying to solidify his footing in the musical arena, Dap expanded his interest to instruments by joining the Marching 100 at Florida A&M. Even though he didn’t attend FAMU he was able to be a part of the Marching 100 as a drummer because of a program between Tallahassee Community College and FAMU.

After doing this for about two years, he was introduced to radio by his late friend DJ Saxwell, where he volunteered at 90.5, which is housed on FAMU’s campus. He was given a late night radio spot made popular by now successful movie producer Will Packer.

“My love for radio is my motivation every day, I always wanted to build the best radio station in the world,” Dap said. 

Dap also began a DJ tour where he performed around the United States, and worked with star power artists, in particularly, T-Pain. 

Following the assistance in helping to propel T-pain’s career with his music family The Tallahassee Hot Boys, Dap developed a video show called “Jam TV,” which is a show that aired weekly. This show provided entertainment news, and even aired music videos for its audience to watch. 

 “DJ Dap is very hard working and he stays busy. He’s never not doing something, he’s always on a mission. He allows Blazin’ to be used as a platform to serve its community,” said Janesha Jones, an FSU senior communication media studies major now known as Hershee Love on The DJ Dap Show.

When asked about his future, Dap said enthusiastically that he has his eyes on one day acquiring a radio station.

“I’m hoping by the time I retire, I look forward to one day owning several radio stations, a couple of millions and just have fun with that,” he said. 

In addition to what he would like to see in the future, Dap would like to be remembered as one of the greatest radio DJs and program directors ever as well as a person who adequately contributed to the progression of his community. 

DJ Dap has several listeners who tune in to him during his rated No. 1 show on Blazin’ 102.3. One listener is Diesel Miyagi, a music major and FAMU alumnus who said, “I had watched an interview he did last year, I think it’s dope how he started at FAMU and moved up. He seems to care about the community as well and he stays up to date without trying too hard.” 

DJ Dap endlessly searched for his ultimate purpose in life through trial and error, before he stumbled into a great deal of success with radio. It can be argued that he is the perfect depiction of never giving up on your passion, even when you are faced with consistent adversity. DJ Dap represents the individuals who understand that the destination is not always at the end of a journey but can be found within the process of it.