My first introduction to .Dani was a formal one at a Smoke Out Rap tournament during the early months of 2020. The venue was packed from wall to wall and from the corner of my eye, I noticed a ball of short dreads and focused energy politely pushing past the crowd of hip-hop heads to reach the judges table. He shook hands with me, Fresh Knight and TEDDYTHELEGACY and introduced himself, “Hi, my name is Dani. I’m going to be on stage tonight. I just wanted to introduce myself beforehand and share my IG if you like what you hear and wanna check it out after tonight.” I didn’t even see his set yet, but I was already rooting for him due to his initiative.
After he sauntered off, J Soulja took the stage to announce there had been last minute addition to the tournament. He went on to add that the person paid a hefty amount to go on dead last. Being last to go on is probably the worst thing for you as a performer. By the end of the night, the judges are tired, uncomfortable from the Texas weather and slightly distracted by that one girl who claims she’s Riff Raff’s future baby mama making a scene outside the venue. Basically, you don’t have the judges full attention and the constructive feedback you’re hoping to receive after pouring your heart out on stage can be lackluster or just plain mean. I was, of course, intrigued by whoever wanted the opportunity bad enough to face those odds.
J Soulja went on to mention that the last minute signee was the same confident kid who had just introduced himself to us earlier and all of a sudden, Riff Raffs baby mama was less entertaining and I straightened my back, ready to sit through the entire tournament just to hear this kid of the mic.
Fast forward to January 2021 and that same kid has been dropping back to back tracks that are both pensive and lively. With MAGA Runtz, .Dani celebrates Trump being pushed out of the White House over neat and heady horns.
“Fuck a xan, fuck a perc, fuck a molly, cuz of covid we don’t party but today we burning up the fucking trump pack!”
“Four years now, it’s done, it’s over. Been a lotta pain and struggle. Yeah, that’s a shonuff. Bum ass nigga thought that he could play with the rona. Now he getting kicked out Jazzy Jeff oh no huh!”
On TFF (Thugs For Floyd), .Dani expressed what we’ve all been internalizing this past summer over smooth production. .Dani speaks his mind and touches on real issues, real emotions and real struggle. It’s inspiring.
His latest track “No Rest In The A” is just as inspiring as he touches on topics of stepping up his hustle and feeling restless through winter break, clocking in 60 hour weeks. We particularly love the “strict bout my work just like Benson” – a subtle nod to the Cartoon Network character from Regular Show. This song is unique in it’s own right because it’s not a typical “I stack then flex” track. It’s a “I have a vision and I’m going to see through to it” track. We’ve all felt restless and struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but Dani masters making a track that keeps the listeners head up as they follow through and reach their end goal.
And speaking of end goals, keep reading below to learn more about .Dani’s favorite lines in songs and how mentor’s have helped him on his path:
You signed up for an rap tournament last year, what did you take from that experience to apply to your new material?
Last year when I did The Smoke Out, the biggest thing I took away from that is if you’re going to participate in a competition, you have to perform a material that moves a crowd. I did a song that was not a great example of that. I learned from it. It was my first performance. I had a mentor that suggested I do one song, but I didn’t listen and performed a different song that I thought was my best song up until that point. After performing, I understood that the best way to win something like The Smoke Out would be to perfrom something that was hype and could get the people moving and jumping.
What was the process like when writing 3AM Insomniverse?
It was rainy day. I was trying to record “No Rest In The A.” It was like I was fighting the the weather. All throughout the day, I weld finish writing something and then I would try to go record it, but because I record at my house with my home studio setup, if it rains, I don’t have anything to block the sound from coming into the recording. Constantly throughout the day, it was rain rain rain every time I would get ready to record. I went to sleep that night, but I couldn’t sleep and decided “Ima use this time to work if I can’t sleep.” I ended up going into a server and I found this beat that was fifty-one seconds. I thought, “Oh, I could cook something up quick to this.” I wrote the first version and was getting ready to record again and like clockwork, the rain came and stopped me again. So I was like, “You know what? Ima include this.” So, I erased the whole first part of 3AM Insomniverse and included
“second time to day. seconds away plug in my interface. the pitter patter turned to splishy splashes is in my way today.”
That was based off the rain that was blocking me from recording.
Who are your influences?
If I had to give a top five, it’d be
A Tribe Called Quest
Tyler, the Creator
The Notorious B.I.G
That’s just top five in general. Outkast would be in there too – that’s what I grew up on. When I got in high school, I thought it was weird how Tyler was doing different stuff from all the other stuff I’ve heard. It clicked with me and I decided to stick with it instead of the stuff that’s usually on the radio.
Whats your favorite line from one of your most recent tracks?
The 3AM Insomniverse. Off of my music, personally, that bar is probably one of my favorite things I’ve written. I’m telling you the rain was getting in my way without being direct. I’m describing it rather that saying, “Oh, it’s raining today, so I couldn’t record.”
What happened to 19?If the last question doesn’t work out for you another question would be:
19was the first project I made over the span of five days. It was mainly writing the first three days and the last two days was recording and putting it out. I only posted it up on SoundCloud because I’m not in the position to get all the money squared away or do anything to make it like a serious release. It was something I did for fun on my birthday. I pushed it a lil harder than my singles because I thought it was cool I finished a project in five days that isn’t a complete trash piece of work. It’s actually decent in my opinion. I just didn’t get around to putting in on everything (streaming platforms) because of money and I didn’t feel like it was something I wanted out on all platforms. I felt like I didn’t put in enough work to be at that caliber.
We’re rooting for Dani and believe his stuff is up to caliber. For now, though, we’ll continue to enjoy his music, no matter the platform.
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