Diggy Talks "Unexpected Arrival"
Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10:47:04
Diggy has officially landed with the release of Unexpected Arrival.
His airtight flow and cinematic rhymes make for an infectious rap roller coaster. He's got a narrative perspective that nods to the greats but with a decidedly fresh and fiery flare. There are unforgettable hooks in between smooth verses and futuristic production. Nobody in the game's doing what he's doing. He's well on his way to the top…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Diggy discusses Unexpected Arrival, movies, and so much more.
Did you approach Unexpected Arrival with one vision or vibe in mind? Everything feels connected from start to finish.
Thank you, it definitely means a lot you noticed that. I love production. I love melodies. That's a big part of what I've always incorporated in my music and really focused on. When I first started back in 2009 with my first mixtape, it wasn't the most cohesive piece even though it had great production. In the middle of the content, I wanted to find direction. Starting off on this album, I wanted to make great songs. I worked with one producer through the majority of Unexpected Arrival so it could have a cohesive sound though. Making different transitions and taking songs to the best place possible was something I was really conscious of.
The album becomes a journey that way.
Exactly, it goes from "The Arrival" which talks about what the Unexpected Arrival conceptually stands for to the last song "The Reign" which explains how it's going to be a long ride before I touch the ground. Even if people do want me to come down, I'm not. It's up to me if I'm going to stop or not.
What does "The Reign" mean to you on a deeper level to you?
The hook talks about me, how I feel, where I stand in life, where I see myself now, and where I see myself going. I also touch on the people who have been with me throughout this whole process from family to friends. They're people who have been big players in what I've been doing. It touches on a whole lot of different aspects of the way people see me, how I see myself, and where I see myself heading. It's crazy. When we had the beat, it was like the middle of the process. I was like, "This is it. This feels like an outro." When we started working on the hook, I knew it needed to be the conclusion.
Where did "Two Up" come from?
It was one of the first songs we made in the process of the album along with "I Need to Know". I made those at the same time, which is funny because they're completely different. Both explain how I was feeling at the time though. "I Need to Know" touches on a lot of things I go through with people. I was going through a lot of personal things. For "Two Up," I was so excited that I was starting my debut album. Everyone was so excited to get into it. "Two Up" is great life. Live life like there's no tomorrow. Do everything you can just being happy.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
To me, that's what music is about. It's about telling a story. There are songs you're being honest on and getting deep into with the content and subject matter. Of course, you have those fun songs where it's more like stream-of-consciousness and you're pulling all kinds of different things out of your head like "88" or "Special Occasion".
What influences that process?
I'd say people, books, and films. I've always had a real interest in storytelling. When I was younger, I'd like writing my own books and making plots and conclusions. That may be where it comes from.
If your album were a movie, what would it be?
I'm sure there are a lot of movies which tell that type of story feeling like you want to go after something no matter what people say. If people don't know you're capable of it, you still go for it. I feel like that's the most important thing in life. You can't try to look for people's approval. There are definitely movies like that as well.
Which rappers do you come back to?
Nas is somebody who's inspired me with his storytelling. Then there's Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Common, Eminem, and Jay-Z as well. Those are some great rappers. They're been incredible to hip hop and music in general.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I love The Inside Man with Denzel Washington. That's one of my favorite films. No matter what, Denzel is always great. Even though he is one of the best, he's still a student. He still has an acting coach. That's what the greats do. I surround myself with people who can make me better and teach me about my craft. I don't feel like I know everything. I always want to learn.
Have you heard Unexpected Arrival?