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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HHWired Exclusive: Diggy Simmons Speaks On His Famous Family, Fashion And Avoiding Reality TV

"I wouldn't say so much that I even rap for my age, I rap for everybody. My fans range in age. I've seen people from 12-years-old to 30-year-old Hip-Hop heads that are like, “Yo Diggy, I'm digging your music!” -Diggy Simmons

Diggy Simmons surprised the world when the famed teen from reality TV opened his mouth and ripped the mic in a way that would make his famous lineage proud.

The son of Reverend Run and Justine Simmons and nephew of Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons, is being regarded as a worthy legacy, a prince soon to take his crown and mini throne of the rap game.

Jaws dropped when a wise beyond his years Simmons released the video for his "Flow Stoopid", a remake of Nas' classic "Made You Look" and the buzz grew so loud that a reported bidding war between labels took place.

With Atlantic Records reigning victorious, this bright 15-year-old is drawing the young and old alike into his world of rich culture, haute couture and even hotter rhymes.

Read below for more on this child prodigy, this your "Classic Introduction" to Daniel "Diggy" Simmons.

HipHopWired: First of all, congratulations on your new deal. Tell everyone how you're feeling right now.

Diggy: It feels great, it's almost like surreal. Like everything that I've been working for, a lot of people think that after the “Made You Look” freestyle it just happened, it was something that I've been working towards for awhile now and now that it's happening I'm really feeling great that it's paid off. I just keep going from here and everybody at Atlantic has given me some great creative freedom.

HipHopWired: How long have you been rapping? A lot of people didn't even know that you were taking it seriously until you dropped “The First Flight."

Diggy: Yeah I know, well I started rapping when I was like 5 years old. I had somebody writing for me and I had negotiations down on the table and stuff kind of fell through, I was like 8 or 9, and then I stopped. Then like early 2009 I just got back into it, just writing acapellas and doing stuff over relevant instrumentals and recording on Garage Band, and now it's really serious and I'm doing my thing.

HipHopWired: A lot of people are wondering if you write your own lyrics or you have someone who ghostwrites for you, can you clear that up?

Diggy: Yes, well I write all my own lyrics from my own hooks to my verses and all that.

HipHopWired: Being that you are so young, at 15 you don't really have any other competition right now in your age range rapping. So how does it feel to be kind of in a league of your own?

Diggy: It's cool, it's an open lane. I wouldn't say so much that I even rap for my age, I rap for everybody. My fans range in age. I've seen people from 12-years-old to 30-year-old Hip-Hop heads that are like, “Yo Diggy, I'm digging your music!” Having a very broad following is amazing, because of a lot of people have not that big of an age range, especially at my age.

HipHopWired: We've been seeing you around with Justin Bieber. You guys working on anything together?

Diggy: It's kind of under wraps. Justin's my homie, so maybe you guy can expect something. Be on the look out.

HipHopWired: Now of course your dad, Run, is proud and I'm sure your mom is proud as well, but when we talked to Justine a couple months ago she was telling us about how she tries to instill Christian values in you guys. So how does she feel about you dropping the N-word in some of your lyrics? Is she ok with that?

Diggy: My parents?

HipHopWired: Yes, your mom in particular.

Diggy: Of course they have the Christian values and we don't consider it as a curse so much. We don't say it around the house, but it's not like me saying the F-word or the S-word, you know it's just something that existed in Hip-Hop forever and it was moreso of a choice to say. It's not something that I drop fluently all the time, it was more of a decision made by myself, and my parents always still instill those Christian values in the whole entire family.

HipHopWired: Did they have any reservations about you getting into rap? Did they ever tell you to think twice about doing it?

Diggy: Nah, not at all. They're real supportive of everything I do and real proud that it's something I'm pursuing. They never necessarily tell us what to do, but while we're doing it they're very supportive.

HipHopWired: Did JoJo give you any advice? Is he still doing Team Blackout?

Diggy: You know what, I'm not even sure. I hear some tracks from them and some tracks of JoJo solo but same thing, JoJo is just more supportive than anything. He's real proud and one of the first people that congratulated me, even though he wasn't there at the signing.

HipHopWired: Are you going to put him maybe on your next mixtape? Maybe a collab together?

Diggy: I'm not too sure, that could happen too.

HipHopWired: You've released your first single since signing to Atlantic, “Come to Rock", now how do you plan on topping your last mixtape?

Diggy: Well, me just growing, just lyrically, age-wise, everything just changes. People just always get better and me being young, I'm just progressing. My taste in music, how I switch over to different genres, beat-wise and maybe feature-wise, you guys can see in whatever I do next. It all changes, across the board, so the next thing that you guys see from me, big project, is definitely going to seem… you know I want everybody to still enjoy “The First Flight”, but the next thing you see I feel is definitely going to be different in a great way.

HipHopWired: Do you already have some features lined up? People you're working with?

Diggy: I can't speak on that.

HipHopWired: Okay, it's under wraps.

Diggy: Under wraps, under wraps.

HipHopWired: Are you guys taping for a new season of Run's House?

Diggy: Actually, I'm just as oblivious as you as to the next season of Run's House. I'm not even sure what's going on with the show.

HipHopWired: Could we get maybe like a Diggy Simmons reality show, maybe a spin-off like your sisters have?

Diggy: Umm I don't know...

HipHopWired: Would you be interested in doing that?

Diggy: Not so much. Shows that have existed for a few seasons, those are cool to watch, but I almost feel reality shows are played nowadays.

HipHopWired: Tell me more about Young Crafter$, is this is your clothing line?

Diggy: Young Crafter$ is a movement that I started with a 15 year old designer/stylist named Jovany Perez, a very intelligent dude. So we were like connected through the internet like 2 years ago all the Twitter stuff was happening and we connected and since we're both young and doing our thing in fashion and on the style tip, we were like we have to do something together. So we came up with Young Crafter$ and it's moreso us being young and doing our thing. It's to inspire other kids our age, maybe up to 18, to just do the same thing and just do what you want to do, because you'll have that step up on the knowledge tip too when you're older, that's what Young Crafter$ really is. We partnered up with another girl, Lyna Zerrouki of Paris who's 14, she's also doing her thing as well. We both have our own projects going but it's us coming together, though we have separate things going onto show people that as youngins we're doing our thing.

HipHopWired: I heard you were doing a shoe line, is that true?

Diggy: Yes, Chivalrous Culture is my sneaker line and that will be dropping between August and September.

HipHopWired: Anything else? Are you doing any acting? Any modeling? I noticed you've been wearing more than a few items from the BK Circus. Are you modeling for them?

Diggy: No, the BK Circus, a friend of mine Sham Shirley, is over there. So through her blog,, I was just looking over there and I saw the BK Circus, I thought it was a dope brand. I discover a lot of dope brands over time because I'm really into fashion, but really it's just me doing my thing, fashion, music, right now.

HipHopWired: Now before I let you go, what does Uncle Russell say about you signing to Atlantic?

Diggy: He's super proud. You know, he tries to get involved and stuff sometimes. A lot of people know who he is, he's very influential in the Hip-Hop game, so he's real proud, very proud.

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