Moberly was founded on Sept. 27, 1866. And 132 years later in 1998, the town of 11,945 people finally got what every small town needs: its own rap record label.
Duane "D-Rome" Buckner is a man with a mission.
"We want to be big locally and then take it nationwide," he said of his label, Moberly's Stick-N-Move Records. "The name Stick-N-Move was thought of at a recording session. I was sitting and recording with a friend, and our whole approach was that we wanted to get in and out of the music business like a boxer. We were trying to create music you could punch in and out of a regular radio rotation."
D-Rome has worked in many aspects of the music industry, aside from his current gig as producer. He might be the only rap producer who can truthfully say he's been a roadie for The Beach Boys.
"I got my start by carrying road cases and setting up speakers, but I got a chance to get exposure to a lot of different music," he said. "I wouldn't say that The Beach Boys have a lot of influence on my music, but they were great to listen to and learn from."
D-Rome cites Def Jam Recordings as a big influence.
"They have some of the greatest artists that have ever been in the business, like Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J," he said. "I respect and admire not only Def Jam's music but also their business approach."
Stick-N-Move might not be on Def Jam's level yet, but D-Rome has plenty of reasons to be happy.
"I've had so many good moments," D-Rome said. "But the key is The Camp, our newest release. It's my greatest moment. It was totally produced, mixed and mastered by me, and it features people I've been working with for more than 10 years combined. This album is what I really want to base my true beginning on. It's a rebirth."
D-Rome said he is also enthusiastic about the label's Web site, sticknmovecamp.com.
"I live and die by my Web site. It's the best tool I've ever invested in," he said.
Through the Web site, where The Camp can be purchased, rappers on the Stick-N-Move label have even been invited to do shows in London and Japan. D-Rome also said he would love to set up a United Service Organizations tour to support the troops.
Despite working construction full time for nine months out of the year and spending time with his family, D-Rome is still able to find time for his music.
"I wake up and go straight to the studio in my house in Moberly," he said. "I'll be eating my cereal and drinking my coffee in the music studio."
Then again, maybe Moberly isn't such an unlikely place for a rap record label. D-Rome says he draws influence from Southern, East Coast and West Coast styles of rap.
Because Moberly is in the dead center of the country, D-Rome said there is no other place that provides such geographically diverse styles.
"I just pull all those flavors all together and get something that would be a perfect sound for mid-Missouri," he said.