Interview: D21 “my experiences over in the states shaped the foundations of who I am today.”
Having been born in UK, moving to Bronx, NY and returning to his home city over the past 10+ years, D21 is a truely transatlantic rapper. He’s dropped a new EP over the instrumentation of London band Sexy Levels for this exciting outing of hard rhymes and a diverse blend of drums, guitars and a generous dose of dopeness for good measure!
Elijah Marrs spoke to him recently, for BlatantlyBlunt..
First off, can you give us any explanation behind your name
Originally people used to call me D then as I got older I became associated with the block so it was D from 2-1-9. I just shortened it to D.2.1 and titled it The Only as people often call me D12. It’s also an acronym meaning Determined to win.
You’ve titled this EP “Once Upon A Time In The Ends”. Being that you live here in the UK now, but grew up in the States, which are the “ends” you refer to?
I refer to all ends. I’ve lived and been in a lot of different places. I have a strong connection to a lot of people.
What’s the inspiration behind “Once Upon A Time In The Ends”, and what are your hopes for this project?
Well to be honest there was no definitive thought process. I met with the band after being put in contact by a work friend and we vibed at a rehearsal studio in barking played around with the invasion of the hustlers track as sort of a introduction to each others sound.
Apart from the accent, how have your experiences growing up Stateside shaped your music?
Well my experiences over in the states shaped the foundations of who I am today. I’ve spent time on both coasts and been around the south side too so those times definitely influenced me as a person and consequently influenced my music in one way or another.
Your collaboration with London band Sexy Levels on this EP sees you open yourself up to non-traditional hip-hop production, is this likely to be a feature of your work going forward, and are there any particular genres you might look to work with?
I am an artist before anything and I always want to grow I am willing to work on any type of production so long as I feel it works for me and I can add to it.
Are there any artists who are currently grabbing your attention either here or Stateside?
Well I been seeing Troy Ave and I respect his grind and I like his sound.
What is the best advice you’ve had about getting into the rap game, and what’s your number 1 tip for aspiring artists out there?
Be yourself and work hard.
Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future?
In the future you can expect bigger music and more ventures including clothing and photography.