“His uncle, a band director, played him Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at 18 months and by the time Derek was two-and-one-half years old, he was learning to play the violin via the Suzuki method,” Watkins said.”
Following high school, Bentley entered Morehouse College, where he won a campus comedy competition. Following that event, he met Bill Cosby and found a mentor who taught him the fine points of entertainment. Bentley reached out to Combs and worked for him for two years.
In 2002, after reading his Bible and praying, Bentley resigned as Diddy’s assistant and headed for Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He landed a role in the films “Honey" and “Fat Albert.” He has also appeared in several music videos with OutKast, Usher, and Kanye West.
Bentley was recognized by GQ magazine as the “First Gentleman of Hip Hop,” and his mission is to show everybody how to matriculate with style and humility.
“It’s about making sure you’re the best individual you can be so that when the opportunity presents itself, you are prepared,” Bentley said. “Obtaining a good education is a key ingredient in preparing one for success.”
Co-sponsors of this event are the African-American Student Association, Jaguar Productions, Men of Excellence, Upward Bound, Aids Awareness Poets, Inc., USA –NPHC Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Alpha Elites, and the Mobile Kappa League.