Allow Syracuse Rapper DKIRK to Reintroduce Himself

Rapper DKIRK talked things Hip-Hop with his old friend Mike Boyd

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Syracuse rapper DKIRK is a man of many talents. By day he is the head of GaryVee’s design team, and by night, he is a rapper and performer dedicated to his craft. Prior to the unexpected Coronavirus pandemic, you could find DKIRK doing shows around New York City showcasing singles like ‘Swish’ while also putting his freestyling skills on display.

Like many artists, DKIRK experienced delays with his music this year due to the pandemic. However, on November 16th, the rapper announced that his project HIKE (originally scheduled for release this year) would be released in 2021. The downtime has allowed the rapper to remix and remaster the project into something even bigger and better. With 2021 just a little more than a month away, DKIRK chopped it up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd.

Boyd: What’s it like being from Upstate New York and making a name for yourself. Do you think people need to go to New York City to make it?

DKIRK: So, as far as I know with Upstate, there hasn’t been a huge music scene, really. The music scenes that have popped off have gravitated more so towards the inner city. There hasn’t really been a ‘community’ with a lot of musicians collaborating. I think as time has gone by, it has gotten a little better as far as some artists getting attention on a local or national level. When I moved to the city, I felt like I had to go there to make it. Now I feel that with the power of the internet and TikTok, you could really make it from anywhere. 

Boyd: You only have two songs on Spotify, and I know ‘Swish’ has a lot of views. Talk to us about why you are only represented by two songs so far.

DKIRK: For most of my career, I’ve been known for freestyles over industry beats. That’s how I found my lane. For a long time, it was hard for me to get beats, or I was overthinking the process of getting beats. My beat selection process used to take a very long time. A whole bunch of other excuses made me not prioritize it in a way that matched my ambitions. With ‘Signing Off,’ that was my first time trying to put my foot in the water to check the temperature of what I was doing. It was my first time singing too. I shot and edited the music video all by myself. All of those were my ‘first things.’ With ‘Swish,’ it was the same type of deal. It’s done well!

Boyd: Talking about your project HIKE, why did you decide to name it that, and what’s the deal with the artwork?

DKIRK: So that’s not the actual artwork—it’s more so a teaser! It’s the world I’m trying to build. I have a lot of themes around the wilderness, like camping, fire, smoke, etc. Those are the different elements that I am trying to portray sonically. For those that are unfamiliar with the hiking theme—when I did the rap video about my job, that was a catalyst to me moving to New York City. New York was always one of the places I wanted to live, but I never had any motivation to get out of my comfort zone. The whole Vayner situation was something I couldn’t pass up, and it motivated me to take that leap of faith. That’s what HIKE is about. It’s also me trying everything I like and going on a journey. That's how nature is—it’s unpredictable.

Boyd: You’re more than just a rapper. You make videos, assets, and micro-content. How do you view yourself coming into the game right now?

DKIRK: I definitely think it’s going to set me apart because on a visual scale, I think I’m going to be able to put out a lot of stuff that looks more put together than other artists are capable of because it gives me full control to capture exactly what is in my head. Also, in terms of speed—I can put out content at scale rapidly because I have the luxury of not having to wait or pay anyone. It almost makes me think of music differently. I think about how the songs will translate on socials, and I’m able to look through the lenses of different content platforms. 

Boyd: Tell us what to expect about your planning heading into 2021.

DKIRK: Right now, the plan is to drop every two weeks just to carve out more time to put the finishing touches on future releases. I’m putting out a song this Friday, and I just finished the mix and master on it. I’m trying to get ahead of some of the different content pieces I want to put out while also getting a feel for the cadence. So that’s the plan.

There’s certainly more to come from the ‘Cuse rap legend’ DKIRK. To keep up with his latest releases, be sure to follow DKIRK on Instagram and Twitter.

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