If you live in Durham, then chances are you’ve heard the name Joshua Gunn. Not only is he a celebrated artist and an iconic public figure but he is a dedicated Durhamite. Joshua is the current Vice President for the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, he is also releasing a new album this spring called  “He’s the Deejay I’m the rapper” with DJ Lil B and he is always involved with the local community. Joshua Gunn is not only incredibly talented, amazingly well-spoken, powerful with words but gives real meaning to what being a “role model” truly is.  Lucky for us, he was able to sit down with us and share his favorite Durham spots and stories.

12 hours in Durham, where would you go? First stop is always my parents place, to see my family. Then I’d have to eat Breakfast/Brunch at Beyu Caffe. Hit Duke Gardens to decompress with my lady and my daughter, head over to the Museum of Life and Science for some nerd fun.  then grab an afternoon bite at M Sushi, before a cocktail or three at Alley 26 to close out the night.

Top 3 spots for feasting? If we are defining “feasting” as over-indulging, then the number 1 spot would have to be Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. #2 a Durham classic, Randy’s Pizza. #3 There’s no better option for food that sticks to your soul, than The Palace International on Broad St.

Favorite song right now? “Price of Fame” x Big Krit

What three words best describe Durham? Authentic. Black. Aspirational.

In your own words, what makes Durham such a tight-knit community? I think Durham has such a rich history, and a culture that is very well defined. This culture is progressive, this culture is creative, no-frills, rugged, and a true “Do it yourself” kind of place. I think this culture attracts, and raises a certain type of person. “Durham” has become as much and adjective as it is a noun; some people are just “Durham,” and those people, while extremely diverse and different from one another, all are united by the common hope for this city and it’s people. We stick together because for so long, we were all we had. Durham is “hot” right now, but those of us who are truly of this place, know that trends come and go, but when the dust settles, we will need each other to keep the spirit of the Bull City alive.

Durham has been quickly growing- what do you see on the horizon?  I see greatness on the horizon for Durham, much like the greatness of our past. But with greatness comes challenges, and it’s up to those of us who love this place to fight to ensure that as Durham grows, the opportunities that growth brings, will be for all Durhamites, not just a select few.

Since you were 7 years old, you have been writing your own rhymes. Where do you get your inspiration from? A lot of my inspiration comes from this city. Durham is an underdog, playing by its rules and making a name for itself. That’s me, I’m a kid from a city that the hip hop world never heard of, but bold enough to set my own trends and brave enough to believe it can be done, right here in my small city. That’s the spirit of my music, It’s hopeful, it’s spiritual, aspirational and authentic. Just like my hometown.

You are always releasing new music, you’re so committed and involved with the community, you just got engaged, and you’re a of dad of a 1-year old (but really how do you do it all.) Tell us what you are most excited about next?hahah this made me smile. I do it all through God’s grace and with the help of my beautiful lady Charity and the community that supports me so much. I’m most excited right now about a few things 1. My new albums: He’s the Deejay I’m the rapper” With DJ Lil B and the second installment of my Rage To Survive series “Side B.” 2. Seeing my daughter continue to grow into the amazing person she is, and  3. Watching my Tar Heels get back to the Final Four!

Stay up to date with Joshua Gunn’s music by clicking here.