Derek McAllister, Jr. was an American rapper. He was more popular by his stage name ‘Speaker Knockerz’. A native of New York, McAllister grew up in a family that encouraged him to pursue his musical aspirations. His father, a former musician himself, was incarcerated for ten years and his mother, fearing her children might become criminals themselves, left New York for South Carolina. It is here that McAllister developed his passion for hip-hop and started making music on his personal computer. In 2010, with the help of his father, who had now been released, he put out his debut mixtape ‘Flight Delayed’. In the subsequent years, he collaborated with the likes of Meek Mill and Gucci Mane and released hits such as ‘Lonely’ and the ‘Rico’ trilogy. While he remained unsigned until his death, he had established Talibandz Entertainment, his own record label. After his death in 2014, a cult following has developed around his music.
Adopting the stage name Speaker Knockerz, McAllister put out his first mixtape ‘Flight Delayed’ in 2010. It garnered a significant response, drawing the attention of several well-respected figures in the industry.
In the next couple of years, his beats were used by Meek Mill, Gucci Mane, French Montana, Lil’ Scrappy, 2 Chainz and a host of others. Soon enough, he started writing lyrics to go together with his music.
While he never signed with any major record label, he uploaded over 50 videos on his YouTube page and his original tracks like ‘Lonely’ and the ‘Rico’ trilogy became really popular, garnering 1.9 million and 3.5 million views, respectively. Speaker Knockerz released three albums, ‘Fitness Father’ (2013), ‘Married to the Money’ (2013), and ‘Married to the Money II’ (2014). His debut mixtape ‘Flight Delayed’ was put out as an album in 2016, two years after his death. When he passed away in March 2014, he had 49 featured tracks on iTunes.
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Derek McAllister was born on November 6, 1994, in New York City, New York to Derek McAllister, Sr. and Mesha Wilson. His father, a respected musician in New York, was known as PJ. McAllister had a younger brother named Christian, who is a hip-hop artist himself and is known by his stage name Lil Knock.
While the family was in New York, Derek McAllister, Sr. was sentenced to ten years in prison. During this period, Wilson decided that she would not raise her children in such an environment and uprooted the entire family and brought them to Columbia, South Carolina. There, McAllister studied at Kelly Mill Middle School, Ridge View High School and the new Westwood High School.
While he had been interested in pursuing music as a career for a while, he started making his own music when he was 13 years old, using his personal computer. In 2010, his father was released from the prison and he joined the family in Columbia. Realising that his son had a deep love for hip-hop, McAllister, Sr. started to help him in honing his skills.
On March 6, 2014, a night before he was supposed to appear at Club Ambition, Speaker Knockerz was found dead inside his garage at his home on Two Notch Road. No drug was found by the authorities nor was any foul play suspected. His family later revealed that he had been missing for several days. The cause of his death was reported to be a heart attack. He was only 19 years old.