Diggy Simmons On Dudes Hating On His Dance Skills, How To Be a Jet Setter & Not Being Limited By His Rev Dad

News

Vibe / August 31, 2011
Hip Hop’s youngest freshman of the year Diggy Simmons is building an empire for himself that’s shaping up to be a sure shot road to success by this time next year. Gaining fame from his famous dad Reverend Run and the successful MTV reality series Run’s House, Diggy (who currently just passed Beyoncé, Jay-Z, & Kanye West for the number one video on 106&Park) is trying his best to open up a lane that’s exclusively his. In our sit down with the 16-year-old star just before his performance at HOT 97’s Starburst Concert Series at Six Flags Great Adventure, we discussed dudes hating on his dancing skills, where his Jet Setter tag came from and why we can’t seem to pry out any details on his tightlip debut. —Keenan Higgins

VIBE: Your “Copy, Paste” video recently pushed Jay-Z and Kanye West off the 106&Park throne. Are you shocked by how hard your fans go for you? 
Diggy Simmons: Definitely. I never expect anything that happens. Even tonight, I don’t know how receptive people are gonna be to me. But I just get confident and try to make them rock with me the best way I can and do my best.

You’re also dancing pretty hard in some of those scenes. Back in the day a lot of rappers were doing the same thing, but now it’s almost like we’re too cool to dance. What inspired you to bring that back into hip-hop?
Honestly, I wasn’t trying to bring that back into hip-hop. I was just me. I’ve always danced, so I just did it. I believe that everybody should do what they love. There are some people who thought it was whack and they’ve been getting on me―like the dudes. But a lot of the girls liked it, so I’m not trippin’ over what anybody’s saying as bad.

And neither are your Jet Setters. But tell ys, what’s the official definition of a Jet Setter?
A lot of people will take it literal and it’s not. It’s more so about you sticking to being you and being original. Also, it’s being innovative and not falling into the trap of doing what other people do just to fit in. That’s definitely not important. We need people that are gonna be themselves, so it’s definitely about that and taking that to new heights.

Some artists abhor Twitter, while you seem to have taken a liking to it. Do you feel like it’s a must-have resource for artists?
I don’t do it because it looks good or because people like it. I genuinely care about the people that go hard for me. They don’t have to be there at the end of the day and they can also be taken away the next day. I definitely don’t take that for granted. They buy into me. Not money-wise, well yeah money-wise, but at the same time they just believe in me and they just want me to win at the end of the day. I’m definitely thankful. So yeah, I don’t think it’s something that you should just do. If you genuinely care about the people that go hard for you, then of course you should embrace them. I don’t do it just because. I do it because I love the people. That’s why I just stay talking to them and stay connected to them and in contact with them. It’s important to me.

We’ve heard a lot about who your dream artists are in the past, but what about producers?
Umm…honestly, everybody that I’ve worked with on my album I’m really satisfied with. It’s some real dope names, so nobody that I can think of. But there are so many producers that I want to work with that I’m getting blocked in my head. My mind has a list of a lot of names.

Can you name some that you’ve actually worked with on this album?
I can’t say yet. It’s under wraps for now.

Damn. Moving on [laughs] Since your dad is a very well-known reverend do you feel limited to some of the stuff you can rap about knowing that he’s listening?
No, not at all. I do me. I talk about my experiences, how I feel, and what I do. Any other rapper isn’t limited to what they do, no matter who their dad is, so not at all for me. I don’t talk about anything crazy. That’s not what I go through. I don’t talk about violence or anything bad.

Any word on what the second single is going to be?
I wish it wasn’t under wraps my brother [laughs]. It’s not me! I don’t want it to be under wraps. I want the album to come out. But nah, we’re just in the process of finishing up the album. Everything isn’t really fully mixed yet. Even without it being mixed, in its rough it just sounds so incredible. I’m excited for everybody to hear it.

Creative-wise, what can we expect from this debut?
The content and the substance of the music is definitely something that was important to me—mastering my verses and lyrically just making sure I get the message out in every song the right way I want it to. Sonically, the production all just fits. It just feels good, whether it’s a song that may not be the happiest to a song that does feel super good. It all just fits and feels great. I’m just excited for people to listen to it. It’s gonna change a lot.