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Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop




"#DMVOnTheMove: OneTakeDrew Is Helping To Breathe Fresh Air Into Virginia’s Hip Hop Movement"

The Washington, DC area is currently offering a breath of fresh air into Hip Hop. An able crop of young acts from the DMV is leading a new movement of creativity that is beginning to spread beyond the Beltway.

Andrew Smith is among that class of newcomers. Performing under the name OneTakeDrew, the DC-born rhymer is building a base of support that may soon force an even larger number of worldwide rap fans to pay attention to his music and his region.

“I think that we have a lot of talent here that gets overlooked,” says Drew about the DMV. “Can’t pinpoint exactly what it could be that’s holding us back from reaching a global scale, but the talent is definitely there. I’ve heard it with my own ears.”

Thousands of ears have already been exposed to Drew’s 2016 album Ventilation. The 13-track project includes the record “Soulful” which has collected over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud.

Ventilation also hosts “Fifty/Fifty.” The song received valuable recognition when it was picked as a “Sleeper Song” on Joe Budden’s “I’ll Name This Podcast Later Episode 90.” Co-host Mal introduced OneTakeDrew to the show’s 90,000 weekly SoundCloud listeners.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to be heard by a wider audience. I was really looking forward to hearing the feedback from a fellow spitta and someone who has had their feet in the game for some time now,” says OTD. “So I’d say I was excited, not only for being able to get a spot on the podcast, but for all of the other placements I could possibly get. Especially being that it had only been 24 hours since my tape dropped.”

Before dropping a project and getting a co-sign from an influential podcaster, Drew began writing rhymes as a teenager. Being brought up in a household with a single mother and a seriously ill older brother motivated the aspiring emcee to use his lyrics as a testimonial for his life.

His immediate surroundings played a part in the music that Andrew Smith would eventually craft as well. Prior to reaching school age, Drew and his immediate kin relocated to Alexandria, a Northern Virginia locale right outside DC.

“I think that by being raised in Virginia, but having most of my family reside in Washington, DC gave me a broader spectrum of things I was able to talk about and understand because both are so close but different in many ways,” the 24-year-old explains.

Family is a recurring theme on Ventilation. OneTakeDrew shows love to his mom throughout the collection, and going off the track “OTM,” it appears the woman that gave birth to Andrew is a loyal member of the OneTakeMob.

Drew also examines love, friendship, and personal growth in his art. In addition, the importance of connecting to a higher power plays out on the album through biblical references and unwavering appreciation for the Divine Being.

“My relationship with God holds the highest magnitude, and my family’s a close second. They’re everything to me,” proclaims Drew. “They’re who’ll reap the benefits of all my success, and without God, none of it would be possible. And I only put things in my music that mean or has meant something to me, so that’s how they find their way into almost every song.”

Ventilation was a clear labor of love. It took OTD over two years to finalize the album. He had to split time between working a 9-to-5 job and recording at Indie Media Lab in Falls Church. Temporary mental barricades were hurdles too.

“Writer’s block is something that I’ve struggled with the most. Sometimes I get locked in so deep that my thoughts start to kind of jumble up and bury me. This’ll then lead to having a hard time getting them out in a way that’ll satisfy my perfectionist mentality,” says Drew.

The daily grind and the unwanted blockage did not pressure the rhymer to abort his musical mission. That drive to succeed is laid out on his debut project’s title track.

Producer Inkompletebeatz opens “Ventilation” with a sample of “Wildflower” by The O’Jays where the legendary singing group laments about facing hard times. Drew then displays how his lyrical capabilities will get him to a better place, and he uses the song’s chorus to share his views on the corporate elements of the music business.

“I say ‘f-ck a deal’ so emphatically because getting a deal isn’t really on my agenda,” says Drew. “I wouldn’t say I’m against signing with a major label, but it’s just not a top priority. So ‘we gon’ get there, when we get there.’”

Even though OneTakeDrew is not focusing on signing a contract with a record company at the moment, that does not mean he is not aware of the history of the industry or the present-day moves taking place. The up-and-coming entertainer is a student of the art form he has embraced.

R&B is actually Drew’s favorite genre. Maxwell, Tyrese, and Usher are among the celebrated vocalists that were played regularly during his youth. On the rap side, he enjoyed vibing to tunes by Eminem, The Game, J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, and fellow DMV representative Wale.

In fact, it was a freestyle over Wale’s “Ambition” that served as one of the earliest OneTakeDrew releases three years ago. More recently, Drew presented bars over Jay Z’s “Dead Presidents” and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Ps & Qs.”

While Lil Uzi admits he comes off as a hater on the song, Drew insists mentioning DJ Premier on his version of “Ps & Qs” was not meant to be seen as a subliminal shot aimed at the Philadelphian. Earlier this year, Uzi faced backlash from some Hip Hop followers for refusing to rhyme over Premier production during a radio interview.

“I actually first heard Uzi’s ‘P’s & Q’s’ on a video of him performing it live,” recalls Drew. “I thought the whole scene was dumb-lit with crazy energy! So then I pulled up the song and really got to hear how much the beat cranked.”

He adds, “As far as the DJ Premier reference, it wasn’t directed at Uzi, but it was more-so me talking to the Uzi fans who heard his interview on Hot 97 and somehow get their ears on my version. I wanted to let them know the type of beats I’m used to rapping on and what lane I’m in – so to speak – but in the same breath show them my versatility.

Ventilation is a nice example of OneTakeDrew’s varied skills. More of his abilities will come to light as he keeps developing his soulful sound through future projects. As more people become familiar with his work, the damaging bright lights of celebrity could become a concern. Like Jay Z addressed on “Hollywood” – fame can blind a person’s eyes and turn loved ones into strangers.

Just in the last few months, the public has seen prominent Hip Hop figures battle depression, drug abuse, and divorce. These are issues that can affect anyone, but mainstream media and social media focuses more intense attention on the rich and famous. Online negativity also comes along with the spotlight.

OneTakeDrew approached the topic of fame on the Ventilation cut “Fantasy.” Even if A-list stardom is not the declared end goal, Drew is already preparing for the possibility he could one day be the subject of a TMZ article or Baller Alert post.

“I really have little to no interest in fame in the sense of people going crazy when they see me in person,” states Drew. “It would be ideal if my music itself could receive all of those emotions/reactions.”

The VA native continues, “I know it all goes hand in hand though, so when the fame comes I think I’ll avoid the pitfalls by surrounding myself with people who would still be by my side if I quit rap tomorrow. Those are the people I believe truly have my best interests at heart. It’s easier said than done, but time will reveal.” -

"OneTakeDrew Remixes Lil Uzi Vert's "Ps & Qs""

OneTakeDrew, an artist from the DMV, releases his remix to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Ps & Qs.” Watch as he pairs his OTM remix with a clip that encompasses that classic summer house party vibe. For those unaware, Drew has been in the studio working on his debut project entitled Ventilation, expected to release in November. Until then, enjoy. -


VA rapper OneTakeDrew brings the bars on his latest remix, this time of Jay Z’s classic anthem “Dead Presidents.” It’s a crisp visual that features the energy and passion behind his verses, as well as some clever, well-written rhymes throughout. Drew definitely stays true to the soul of hip-hop on this joint, and it all makes for an enjoyable listen and video. -

"Hotnewhiphop Heatseekers: DREW"

Virginia emcee DREW is one of the more impressive Heatseekers we've heard in a minute. His lyrics are on-point, his flow is developed and confident, and he has an excellent ear for beats. Don't sleep. -

"#UnsignedTuesdays Watch: DREW – Soulful"

"A new artist out the DMV with great talent that goes by the name “DREW”. Check out his new studio video of his new track entitled, “Soulful”." -

"DREW - You're Wrong"

"Coming out of VA, the young and upcoming is gunning straight for the industry’s neck with his latest single." - DJ Heat, WPGC 95.5

"*MUSIC Of The Day* Drew – “Pound Cake”"

"Drew is an Alexandria, VA based hip-hop artist. Although his name is one of the most common names in the world, this 21 year old has a special gift. Drew’s ability to rhyme in a unique and though provoking way is what made him stand out to me at first listen. As soon as I heard the line “What happens when you swing for the fence and hit a ground ball,” I was sold. I look forward to hearing more from DREW in the near future." - Hiphopherald

"Music: @OneTakeDrew - You're Wrong"

"Virginia has always had great musicians but lately their new comers have been steadily blooming. If you haven't heard the name you will soon. DREW is a 21 year old emcee that has a lot to say. Be sure to checkout his touches on his latest energetic track, "You're Wrong"." - HHOD FAREZ

"Drew – “You’re Wrong”"

"We’ve received quite a few dope submissions these last few weeks and today, we give you a new joint from Virginia native DREW. Listen to the energetic “You’re Wrong” below. Looking forward to what he cooks up next." - pursuitofdopeness

"New Video: OneTakeDrew – Dead Presidents (Remix)"

For upcoming rappers, there are some legendary instrumentals that act as a sort of right of passage. Any legitimate rapper has more than likely done their worst to Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones” or Jay Z’s “Dead Presidents.” Well, today VA rapper OneTakeDrew drops off a crispy new visuals for his official “Dead Presidents” remix. - MidnightCyphs



OneTakeDrew is an up and coming emcee with talent and lyrical delivery beyond his years. Andrew Smith was born in Washington D.C. and later moved to Alexandria, Virginia with his mother and older brother in 1995. Growing up wasn’t easy – as a kid, he went from witnessing his older brother fight a severe illness to the struggles of a single mother raising two boys. Drew began writing lyrics in his early teens, perfecting his craft to create his classic Hip-Hop sound in this new era. His profound and invoking lyrics are his testimony to what he’s experienced in his young life.

Drew was always a Hip-Hop guy but he never imagined being a musician. He began taking his craft seriously about 3 years ago, following the release of his remix over Wale's classic song, Ambition. After the positive feedback, he decided to give music a shot. Drew chose the name OneTakeDrew in 2013. His reasoning behind it is deeper than recording his vocals in one take... Drew believes everything should be aimed to be done once. “If you fall get back up, but give it all you got in one take.”

After the attention of his Ambition freestyle, he made the decision to release new remixes monthly. This technique worked great; it earned him the opportunity to open for Ab-Soul, Stalley and Erykah Badu. He’s also performed throughout the East Coast and even locked in a couple of Festivals. Drew’s material has also landed him on outlets such as,, and others.

With such a promising career, the 24-year-old only plans on building from here. A key thing that separates OneTakeDrew from the rest is his piercing flow and storytelling. Whether it’s a remix or a full song, he does an outstanding job maintaining his flow and staying in the pocket. OneTakeDrew’s anticipated debut project, Ventilation, released independently on November 29th. Ventilation took 2 and a half years to complete. The project was recorded at Indie Media Lab in Falls Church, VA and was engineered by Louie Lastic and MisterNeek. Most of the production is from Inkompletebeatz. Other producers include Black Diamond, Papamitrou, Stimp C, Flawless Tracks, Dopant Beats and SF Vibe. The overall feedback from this 13 track LP has been amazing.


Band Members