There’s more to Daniel “Diggy” Simmons than just his last name. The soon-to-be 15-year-old rapper is quickly gaining buzz from his recent sixteens and current mixtape, The First Flight. Catch him at take off.
VIBE: What do you think are peoples’ first thoughts on Diggy Simmons?
DIGGY: You see the Rolls Royce and you see the Bentley and you see the big house and your immediate thoughts are, “Oh he’s spoiled.” And if you listen to my song, “The Truth of Me” on [The First Flight], I talk about that. Like, basically, it’s not my fault for growing up in this life. A lot of people think it’s a hobby, but this is really what I do. I don’t get why they think I can’t do it. I wasn’t necessarily an actor and now I’m trying to rap. I was on a show that my family was on, so why can’t I rap? If any other rapper had a reality show, let’s say Hov, could he not rap? I could easily go to my dad and say, “Yo, can you hit up so and so and ask them to do a beat for me?” [But] that wasn’t the route I took. Though it would be ideal for me to use my advantages, I don’t because I’m not that type of person to do that.
Yeah, with your family name it’s even more important to carve your own way…
Yeah, no doubt. It’s just me being me and that’s the route I take. And the Internet holds the biggest opportunities… that’s where everything is. And that’s exactly what I use to my advantage.
How’s your father feel about you rapping?
He’s so proud of me because so much has come up with me doing my own thing by myself. He barely even knew what I was doing… didn’t hear the mixtape until two weeks after. He was astonished.
Most kids start cursing when they’re your age, how uncensored are you with your work?
As far as cursing, I keep it real PG. No S-word, no F-word, whatever. So I keep it censored definitely. I try to release a positive message through my music.
Your older brother JoJo, received plenty of negative feedback for his group Blackout, is that discouraging as you embark on your own come-up?
Of course. With the comments and everything… they received a lot of hate. And it hits me, like ‘Oh, JoJo, now Diggy, who’s next Russy?’ So it’s nothing new and I definitely got used to it. I don’t have a problem with people hating on me, I just want you to listen to the music before you say anything.
Does your brother give you words of advice?
Um, not so much. I mean really, he always tells me to have thick skin and not to wear my heart on my sleeve.
Is it easy for you to talk about rapping with him?
Definitely. We’ve been close like forever, real close so it wasn’t weird. We’re both real supportive of what each other does, whether it’s Blackout’s album or my mixtape.