Diggy Simmons has always had a unique backstory for a young a hip-hop star. Most teenage rappers — Jaden Smith aside — don’t have legendary fathers or media mogul uncles; and Diggy’s upbringing as the son of Rev. Run of Run-D.M.C. and nephew of entrepreneur and Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons gave him somewhat of an edge in the publicity department when he decided to pursue a rap career.
But now, four years into that career, Diggy has grown into his own man and his own artist. The 18-year old didn’t hesitate when asked what he enjoys the most about where he is right now in his career.
“I think just being able to give people something that they like [is what matters],” Diggy explains. “It’s very flattering that people [say] ‘Oh that’s dope, I can relate to this.’ I’m thankful for [that].”
The young rhymer has teamed with Coca-Cola and BET’s “Wild Out Wednesday” on “106 & Park” to give a young artist the chance to get closer to realizing their own career ambitions. Simmons will perform with the W.O.W. All-Star Series MVP and any fan can win the chance to fly to New York for an all-expenses paid trip to see the performance in September.
For Simmons, the opportunity was a chance to connect with his audience and inspire new talent.
“[These kids] are growing up like I am and there are so many things that I’m seeing and I’m learning,” Diggy shares. “I get a lot of people asking me for advice, so I feel like any way that I can help, I’d love to give that helping hand because these are the people that are going into the future that you are going to see.”
Diggy still has the enthusiasm that comes with youth and is soaking in every moment that he’s experienced as an artist. He says that he doesn’t take any praise for granted and he started to realize how his music could resonate with others.
But even accolades — like money — pale in comparison to what truly motivates the young hip-hop heir. Diggy does what he loves — and that’s what matters most to him.
“The biggest thing is sticking to you because that’s what’s going to make you most happy,” he says. “My dad would always tell me stories about people that have the most money in the world but don’t have family. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Nothing else matters. This whole thing is about creativity. That’s what you should be doing — what makes you happy.”