DURHAM -- He's produced some of hip-hop's biggest and most sampled songs.

Davy DMX has been on the music scene since the late 1970s. As a kid, David Reeves Jr. first got interested in music, imitating the Jackson 5, while growing up in New York City.

"We learned how to play the guitar. I can just listen to something and just figure it out and play," he said.

From there, Reeves entered the music scene. He had different stage names, but settled on Davy DMX or Davy D. It's a combination of his first name and the name of an electronic drum machine he used to make beats.

He signed on a musician and dj-ed for the band, "Orange Krush" and the rapper "Kurtis Blow." In his time with Blow, he helped create one of rap music's most influential and memorable old school jams, "If I Ruled the World."

"Because I was a musician and I made original music," said Davy.

His career then soared. He went solo for a while but also served as a producer for the legendary hip-hop group Run DMC -- writing and producing contributions to hit songs, "Beat to the Rhyme" and "Run's House."

"The opportunity to go into a studio and see how that whole thing worked. Like on the job training pretty much,” said Davy.

The names he's worked with include a who's who of the music industry, like Russell Simmons, the Fat Boys, and Stephanie Mills. But ask him about the state of music today and he'll tell you like it is.

"It's kind of disposable because it's no substance there where people could just really hold onto...you take some message out of it, like Earth, Wind and Fire," said Davy.

However, that hasn't stopped Davy D from what he does best. Today, he lives in northern Durham and performs for his local church. He also continues to deejay and tour with the iconic hip-hop group Public Enemy.

At 55 years old, he says he has no plans for slowing down. One of his life's mottoes is also a message to the younger generation: "Whatever you get into, just be dedicated to it."