• Derek McAllister Jr, also known as Speaker Knockerz or SK, was an American rapper and producer
• He rose to fame in 2010, with his debut mixtape “Flight Delayed”
• His biggest hit was "Lonely" which released in late 2013
• He founded his own label, Talibandz Entertainment, and started promoting himself and various artists online
• He passed away from a heart attack on 6 March 2014

Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMarch 4, 2014, Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Who was Speaker Knockerz?

Born on 6 November 1994, in Colombia, South Carolina USA, under the sign of Scorpio, Derek McAllister Jr, also known as Speaker Knockerz or SK, was an American rapper and producer. He rose to fame in 2010, with his debut mixtape “Flight Delayed”, which attracted attention to his work as a producer. From that point, his beats were used by the likes of Gucci Mane, Meek Mill and several other prominent rappers. After his untimely death in 2014, the late wonderkid became a cult figure in underground rap music, mostly because artists such as NAV, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and others have modeled their styles according to Speaker Knockerz’s influence.

Early Life and Education

Derek grew up with his mother and several other siblings in The Bronx – one of them is Lil Knock, who is also a famous rapper. There’s no available information about his parents or other brothers and sisters, mostly because Derek was a private person. Ever since he “blew up”, fans and reporters  inquired about his private life on numerous occasions, but when faced with such interest, he politely refused to answer questions regarding such matters. We do know that his father is a former musician, and that he was incarcerated for some time between 2000 to 2010 for unknown reasons.

Derek’s mother was concerned that her children would become criminals themselves, so he started making beats on his laptop. At first he played the beats only to his school friends, who constantly encouraged him to step out of the shadows and start promoting his work online. In just six months, initially under the name Jamol Junior, Speaker Knockerz made over $40,000, mostly earned by selling his beats via Soundquake, and bought his dream car – an all-black Chevrolet Camaro.

Speaker Knockerz

Career Beginnings: Flight Delayed, Getting Noticed and More

In 2010, McAllister’s father was released from prison and the two immediately reconnected. A former jazz musician and player of several instruments, Christian McAllister knew the struggle a musician had to face, so decided to help his son become a star. Together, they worked on producing his first mixtape, called “Flight Delayed”, containing nine songs, with tracks such as “Good Times” and “Other Girls” becoming very popular in underground rap circles. Even people who weren’t rap aficionados became fans of his songs, because of various dance videos which featured the songs, including the aforementioned and  “Money”.

With viral fame came the need to create visuals for his tracks. Speaker Knockerz thus started collaborating with Zack Dillan, who created every video of Derek’s up until his untimely passing. In 2013, SK was more active than ever, with two mixtapes being released in a span of mere months – “Married to the Money” and “Finesse Father”. A part of these releases was the now-famous Rico trilogy of songs, depicting the story of a fictional thug and robber named Rico. Fans and critics alike praised SK for his storytelling skills on these tracks.

Becoming a Star: Collaborations with Meek Mill, Gucci Mane and The Release of Lonely

In late 2013, he released his biggest hit – “Lonely” – which many consider to be one of the most influential rap songs of the decade, eventually amassing over 150 million views on YouTube as of mid-2020.

Around this time, Speaker Knockerz started working overtime, in an attempt to become even more famous; he produced more than 20 tracks for various rappers from Chicago, which helped him become recognized throughout the country. He collaborated with Meek Mill on his “Dreamchasers” mixtape, resulting in offers from Gucci Mane and others. In 2013 and 2014, he worked with Vine stars Toni Romiti and Reggie Couz to promote his music, using their Vines. Thus, he was one of the first rappers to realize the importance of social media and having an online presence. Nowadays, many rap experts consider SK to have been ahead of his time.

Talibandz Entertainment

While we see a lot of independent rappers today, this wasn’t the case in 2013. Speaker Knockerz never signed a record deal, but instead founded his own label, Talibandz Entertainment, and started promoting himself and various artists online. ‘He didn’t sign a deal because he independently made his own stuff’, said Lil Knocks, SK’s younger brother, in an interview with Genius.

How Did Speaker Knockerz Die?

At the end of February 2014, Speaker Knockerz released “Erika Kane”, a song named after a character from the hit show “All My Children”, which turned out to be his last song. In the days following the song’s release, he went missing and nobody knew  what had happened. A few days later, he was found dead in his garage, next to the car he had always dreamed of having – the Chevy Camaro.

The coroner’s office concluded that there was no foul play ,that drugs weren’t the cause of his death, and that he passed away from a heart attack on 6 March 2014. Rappers such as Fredo Santana, Gucci Mane, Meek Mill and Chief Keef posted tributes to him on social media. Soulja Boy, who SK credited as his biggest inspiration, shared a video in which he touchingly refers to the late rapper as ‘a talented young brother’.

Legacy and Homage Paid to Him

Even though Speaker Knockerz was popular at the time of his death, he became even better known after his untimely demise. In later years, he was referenced in songs by Lil Uzi Vert, Denzel Curry, MadeinTYO – Kodak Black even used the beat for “Lonely” for his own song, “Off A 14”. Interestingly, SK’s fame even reached East Asia, with Chinese rap group Higher Brothers borrowing the same instrumental for their song “WeChat”.

So, why is Speaker Knockerz considered such an influential figure in rap? He was one of the first artists to make gloomy instrumentals and combine them with autotune-laced, motivational lyrics about cars and wealth – rappers such as Lil Mosey and Roddy Rich stated that they based their music on SK’s influence. Numerous other artists paid homage to the late star, thus solidifying the claim that rap music wouldn’t be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of one Derek McAllister Jr.

Personal Life: Did Speaker Knockerz Have a Girlfriend?

As for his romantic involvements, there is almost no information across any credible sources on this subject. Speaker Knockerz himself tended to keep news about his partners completely private, and never came forward to address these fan inquiries.

Nothing is known about any relationships – he was never seen attending any public events in particular female company, and there was no one that the fans suspected across his social media profiles. There has also been no controversy regarding this matter. Judging by his song lyrics, he was single for most of the time, and sometimes had casual relationships.

Net Worth: How Rich Was Speaker Knockerz?

According to several credible sources, he had a net worth of close to $400,000 at the time of his death. SK’s younger brother, Lil Knock is in charge of keeping his legacy alive.

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General Info

Full NameSpeaker Knockerz
DiedMarch 4, 2014, Columbia, South Carolina, United States


ParentsMesha Wilson, Derek McAllister, Sr.
SiblingsChristian McAllister

Social profile links

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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