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Interviews

Interviews with emerging figures you won’t read about anywhere else.

An Interview with: Lil Darkie Part 1

I’ve been really hyped on this guy for a while and figured it’d be cool to speak with him and get his perspective on a host of topics. We spoke for a while over Discord and the conversation was over an hour long so I have to break up into parts. This interview was conducted in late July.


Where are you living right now?

I’m in LA, I’ve been here a couple of years. I'm originally from northern California. It wasn’t too big of a move but I mean, California is fucking massive. So, it's like a seven, eight hour drive.

I hear you. I hear you. Whats going on in the background? It sounds like a grinder might be getting cleaned out.


Yeah, I'm grinding up some marijuana because I finished all my jobs for the day. I'm trying to make it so I don't smoke weed until I'm done with all my shit now. That has been really both that help and a weight on my life at the same time in different ways. I find that now I'm physically try to improve myself while before I was focused on internal improvement.

I realized that drugs served to pull me down because during the day I don't need a boost. If I feel well and if I do a drug it might influence that or change the course of the rest of my day. But when I'm done with a bunch of shit, like right now I have a feature to record that I already wrote and I'm at the point in the day where I have no more like super intensive thinking to do and so I can relax and like smoke a bowl of marijuana.

I also haven't missed been smoking any blunts, which sucks because I liked them a lot. But, I don't know. I feel like I just want to like try and smoke weed in a healthier way, especially as I hopefully, you know, get more popular and make more money. I want to invest in ways to consume it. I want to be the healthiest I can cause I'm trying to just be the best artist I can be.


Yeah, man, no doubt. I saw you were posting on Twitter, you were trying to get sober. Is that kind of what you're talking about?


No. Yeah, like I've been cutting out other drugs as well from my life. I haven't been smoking tobacco at all, which has been mainly what I've been cutting out this week, tobacco and alcohol. I used to consume much more of those things than I consume at this from like moment. And it's weird to talk about because it is a very recent part of my life. But I used to smoke, you know, like two or three blunts to myself in a day. And that's a lot more tobacco than not at all. So it is a big life change and you can hear it in my voice. It's weird to talk about, butI know that I'm doing this because like my body's cleansing a bunch of fuck shit from it, you know? And I'm just tired of that.


I don't want it to have influenced my life negatively. Also, I stopped drinking liquor. I've had some bad experiences with liquor that makes it so when I smell it, I kind of compulsively throw up. Same with edibles, weed chocolate, essentially I just can't, I can only drink beer. I drank beer for awhile then started drinking more and more. I would get to the point where in one night I have eight beers with the homies and then it's like no, I need to cap out at three and then move down to two and one. So, I literally have been just weaning off of all of that shit and keeping it in the nighttime, not influencing my day.


And I feel a lot more positive about it now. The reason I like it is weird is because it's a big decision. It kind of becomes who you are, when you do it for years, you know? And a big part of my art is talking about drug use and shit. So, to like to be here, right now, I feel like I'm not a version of myself people are used to seeing, you're interviewing a version of Darkie that's not really gonna be around for a long time. I'm going to be a very different person in six months than I am now in a year than I am now. And I was a very different person a couple months ago than I have now. So interview will kind of be interesting.


Were you recording on drugs? I mean which ones particularly like you mentioned tobacco and marijuana, but were you dabbling in anything else?

I don't habitually use anything that isn't tobacco or marijuana and alcohol isn't even as habitual. It’s more of a every three days type thing. I wouldn't make that a big part of my life for the last couple of weeks. It was a little bit worse when spider gang was over obviously cause we were just like a bunch of guys getting fucked up, making music. But it's fun. I don't have to actually get high when I record. I actually have no preference. I find if anything I, I record better sober because my tongue isn’t dry. When you smoke your tongue gets a little dry or inflates and it makes it harder to maneuver in your mouth. So I prefer to be sober when I record just for the technicality in my voice.


Are you recording like three or four songs at a time and do you throw a lot of songs bunch away?


No. I don't have a whole lot in the vault because everything that I work on I tend to get used. There is some stuff that ends up in the vaultl, but it's typically not on purpose. Basically if I write something and I don't know in my head that the part is good or good enough, I won't even do it. Like I'll use it for something else or maybe it will come up later where I need some lyrics and I'll go through and be like, oh, this works really well for this. Thanks passed me. But I don't make shit that doesn't get used really because I just don't work on something unless I hear it and I know exactly what to do already. That's just kinda how I make music. I can hear a song and just instantly know if it can be something that people will like or not just from my perspective. So I just have to trust that.


You mentioned spider gang. When did it begin and when did you decide to formalize it?


Fosho. So, I don't really think of time very solidly and one thing that I use to think of time more accurately in my life recently has been my Soundcloud. So, I'm literally just going to go open my Soundcloud and I can like tell you like what happened at the times of each song being released. When I go down to my songs, to the beginning of even before Lil Darkie was even created, obviously spider gang didn't exist at that time. Actually at that time I was part of a group that I was in before called the NCR with a bunch of people from like Sacramento and that area of California, like the bay area shit. This is before I came out to LA or anything. I started Lil Darkie as a departure from my previous rap alias that I started not really to identify with as much anymore, but you can actually see it's on my newest song, Kali Ma featuring Brahman.


Like I used to be known as Brahman and my character was blue and represented Indian gods. And then I discovered that, you know, through like an acid trip and then through researching my gods, I realize oh, the Indian gods are supposed to be depicted as black. And in the scripture they're, they're said to be black as midnight. But then people depicted them as blue. Why? I researched it and it's because just shit over time, people started depicting them as blue because they're more appealing. If you look at some of the pictures of the Indian gods depicted as black, they're kind of terrifying and you don't want to have a faith of fear. So, sometimes they make them blue so that you could see their facial features better or they look less like “barbaric”.

And I suspect that art, more modern art has been depicted that way. In a lot of the old scriptures there's a lot of black Indian gods and I was as far as by that because I was like, damn, that's like look you, when I see that I like that's how I feel inside of me. And so then I decided to like draw a character that like was the same as my old one but then like was just more like black and therefore like it was more deviant. Like when when you see the Indian gods and stories like they're depicted as like ms gvs and almost like just playful, like just like people aren't but almost like children. And I feel like I identified with that in a different way than I identified with like having to be like a wise Brahman.

I used to be known as promise and my character was blue and represented Indian gods. And then I discovered that, you know, through like an acid trip and then through researching my gods, I realize, oh, the Indian gods are supposed to be depicted as black. And in the scripture they're, they're said to be black as midnight. But then like people depict them as blue. Why? And I researched it and it's because people started depicting them as blue because they're more appealing. If you look at some of the pictures of the Indian gods depicted as black, they're kind of terrifying and you don't want to have a faith of fear. So, sometimes they make them blue so that you could see their facial features better or they look less like barbaric.

And I suspect also that the art, more modern art has been depicted that way. And in a lot of the old scriptures there's a lot of black Indian gods and I was like, damn, that's like look you, when I see that I like that's how I feel inside of me. And so then I decided to like draw a character that was the same as my old one but then was just more black and therefore it was more deviant. When you see the Indian gods and stories like they're depicted as playful. I feel like I identified with that in a different way than I identified with like having to be like a wise Brahman.

Tell me about spider gang.

spider.png


We were just kinda like saying it cause it's like, oh spiders, let's be like spiders and like let shit come to us in our webs rather than like searching for it and shit and like when to go have brought that idea to the table. I've been named like the founder of spider gang by like people before. After that, essentially we just kinda like started identifying with it. I tattoo the spider on my own leg. It's my only tattoo at this moment. Um, but, and I did it myself and it's a spider in the web that comes out since SG for spider gang. And then Wendigo has like my drawing of a spider with an AK on his chest. And like, basically as we kept music making it just became a real thing. And then we kind of had a falling out with the, the original people that were in New York, not like falling out with everyone, but like they just, you know, everyone went and did their separate shit and you can't have a spider gang when like n****s are doing other shit.

So it's basically me when to go and uh, Cubensis and then Wendgio introduced us to Bruhmane, who we had known already. And then I met him and then he introduced Bruhmane and introduced us to Black. And, uh, it was initially spider gang was just me, Wendigo, cubensis, Bruhmane, black and then solsa who I met who became a big part of this second project that we released and then basically passed “drain the swamp” spider game became way more solid because like we all just were kind of making shit just us for a fat ass minute. And then around the time that, right after my newest project came out, then eight 14 kind of became a part of it.


And then eventually we linked up in the, at my house, like this happened recently, this is why spider gang has becomes what it is today. Like over the last like month, we all ended up in La for like two fucking weeks. Like n****s literally were just crashing at my house in the now flying in and out. Literally like this happened like 17 days ago, it hasn't even been that long a time that you've been a month. And then we met Johnnascus and Half Metal Kaiba, we added them to spider game cause they kinda just like inspired us as people. We don't add people to spider game because we see it as a way to get clout.

They just bring this unique and dynamic energy type of being someone who is just like the most normal N***a out of any of us. He's just the most refreshing person to be around. And then John is just an insane person on some like experimental death grips. Hes makes some weird but unique shit, you know? And yeah, we all just resonate with each other. And that's essentially what spider gang is. Today's just a bunch of n****s that like seeing each other as the realist humans that we've met so far, you know?

Part 2 coming next week.

Ethan King