Earl “E.DOT” Hackney III was born on the east side of Detroit Michigan. His parents had a total of four children, three daughters plus their youngest and only son, whom they named Earl.
We had the opportunity to speak with Earl about what led to his personal decision to walk away from a music deal as a secular artist and run toward Christ.
When God is calling, you have to answer.
How long have you been making music? Was this a passion you’ve had since you were younger?
“I grew up in a very musical family. I actually recorded my first song when I was 12. One of my uncles was a DJ and he’s the one that really introduced me to hip-hop. My other uncle was part of the first black punk rock band so I’ve definitely been around music all of my life. I’ve been writing and rapping for 16 years now and producing for 13.”
Why is making music special to you? Why this method of expression? Why this career?
“When I’m making music, it doesn’t feel like I’m working. If you really love what you’re doing, it becomes so natural. My wife can vouch for this too. Even on the weekends I’ll go into my home studio around 1 p.m. and I’ll look up and its 8 p.m. before I realize it.”
How did you get started in Christian Hip-hop?
“IT was 2008 – that was the turning point. I actually started out as a secular rapper in a group called E&J. In 2008 we moved to Atlanta and we were picking up a lot of traction. We actually had a label that wanted to sign us. During that time my then girlfriend who is now my wife started getting into church. And it was at that time that I felt torn because I felt a totally different way than the things I was rapping about. I was rapping about money and girls but my heart was really starting to go a different way. That’s when I decided to no longer do secular rap and it was the best decision of my life. I could see a transformation in myself that I could not have done alone. Artistry was coming out of me that I didn’t even know I was capable of and everything really started coming together.”
What inspired the songs Living for You and Let’s Go?
“Let’s Go is actually one of my favorite joints. And it’s really just to say what is everyone waiting on? Everyone needs to get with the movement – love each other and follow the word!
Living For You is actually the last song I recorded for the album and it was just my testimony to God. It was my way of telling him God, I’m on board for what you need and wherever you need me to go."
How did you get involved with Shazzy Fitness?
“Kristy reached out to me and I’m really glad she did. After the first time we talked I was like ‘sign me up’. With everything going on around health and fitness right now it’s perfect timing. I mean fitness and inspiration – that’s a win-win to me!”
Why did you decide to work with us?
“Once I saw the video I immediately thought ‘the world needs this.’ The choreography is great. I do P90x regularly and Shazzy keeps me sweating just like P90x. I am fully behind this product and I think everyone needs to get involved.”
Is there anything else you want to say about your faith, your music or Shazzy?
“I believe that faith and fitness go hand in hand and Shazzy is a good product. It really is a no-brainer.”
Where can people find your music?
Hear E.Dot's song featured on "Shazzy Fitness: A Time to Dance" Video: