Ever since Justin Bieber brought Diggy Simmons onstage with him in Allentown, Pa., on Sept. 4 for the Baby remix, countless fans of the mop-topped superstar have been wondering, Just who is this Diggy?
Well wonder no more, because in December, the 15-year-old son of Run-DMC’s Rev Run Simmons—and nephew of music mogul Russell Simmons—sat with host Timothy Hodge for a full 15 minutes.
During that time, Diggy— whose new Space Age clothing line was (as calls it) “mentored” by hip-hop star Pharrell Williams—discussed how he got started as an MC.
“A lot of people think this is new to me, but I’ve been rapping since I was five years old,” said the First Flight singer.
“I was young, so people used to write my rhymes. And, you know, I kinda stopped rapping when I was like 10.
“And then this summer I had a lot to express. And ‘cause music isn’t something I’m like, Oh, you know, it’s cool to do-nah nah nah nah-my music is an expression of me. Each song that you hearis something I went through. You know, I have a story to tell, through everything that I go through and everything that I’m doing.
“And so in the summer I was just making tracks—I was just writing, making tracks on Garage Band off of my laptop. No microphone, no nothing. Just basically like getting instrumentals from normal industry instrumentals and doing them right off my laptop by myself.
“And I put out this remix to an Asher Roth song, She Don’t Want A Man, and I put it out and it got really good feedback.
“So a good friend of mine, Young Jerz, was like, ‘That’s crazy! What are you gonna do next?’
“And I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ He was like, ‘Are you gonna do a mixtape? You gonna show it to your dad?
“And I was like, ‘Yeah, a mixtape sounds amazing.’
“So when I first do something, it’s like I get on it ASAP. But I took a very different approach than you see a lot of kids do these days.
“I didn’t go to my dad. I didn’t go to my uncle. No, I was really independent with it.”
“So that day, when he was, like, You should do a mixtape or something, I was, like, Yeah that sounds like a good idea. So I took to my blog that night, without even having anything ready.
“I had everything in my head-like, Yeah, this is gonna be a good idea! So I just took to my blog and wrote it.
“It’s not that I didn’t know what I was getting into. I knew what I was getting into. But I didn’t know, the year before, when I was younger.”
Click here to hear Diggy Simmon’s full interview