Born into a big family with no father in a rough area around Charlotte, North Carolina, Deniro Farrar could have easily thrown his life away and succumbed to the negative environment around him. Yet he found a career in music, one that got kick-started by Charlotte-based manager David Luddy after Luddy heard Farrar freestyling outside of a nightclub in 2009. Since then, Farrar has blossomed as a rapper, leading to his recent signing to Vice Records/Warner Bros. Records last week. With honest lyrics and his signature deep raspy voice over typically hypnotic production, it’s not surprising that the self-proclaimed “Leader of Cult Rap” is starting to turn heads. XXL got on the phone with Deniro to talk about his new record deal, sharing a label with Action Bronson, and what the future holds for him and his crew. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
When did you sign with Vice/Warner Bros?
You know what’s crazy? It was happening when I was first up the in XXL offices [in July], we just didn’t say anything. It was all happening [when] was I was up there with you, we just didn’t say nothing. It was definitely one of those things that you go back and forth about. You independent or not, but it’s like, this is the best position I could have put myself [in]. Without even compromising the art of the music or the integrity of my music. I didn’t sign under MMG or the typical rap label, like Def Jam—no disrespect to or pun intended to those people—but I didn’t sign with the typical, traditional rap record label. I’m the second artist on Vice [after Action Bronson]. I’m the first black rapper to be signed to Vice. I just made history. I’m the first to sign to Warner Bros. since they just restructured the label; I’m the first of everything. I’m busting everybody’s cherry.
What are your plans from here?
Take over, bro, that’s my plan, that’s been my plan from the jump. To hit the industry with this tsunami, with this wave called Deniro Farrar. The music is definitely going to go to the next level. The next project will probably drop in 2014; we don’t have an exact date as of now, but it will be 2014. Somewhere along those lines. It’s definitely going to look good; it’s going to be crazy.
I feel like Superman. I feel like no one could stop me when it was just me and Meko [Yohannes, his manager]. I knew nobdody was fucking with me. I was telling Meko that shit all the time over the phone. I tell him all the time on the phone that no one can fuck with me, I just keep saying that. I speak it in the universe, ’cause can’t nobody fuck with me. So I’m definitely beginning to follow up with the the reelase of these albums. I’m not even going to be doing a bunch of talking.
What about your Cult Rap crew?
We’re going to do what A$AP Mob [did]—this ain’t no bite from them, but they done it right. If I can say if who done it right, I’d say A$AP Mob; it’s like they had the blueprint on how to break an artist from a movement. Look at Ferg right now—Ferg right now is the talk of A$AP Mob, I feel like it was perfect the way they executed that. I’m still working to build my brand as an artist, so we’re not going to prematurely throw anybody out there without building up my brand to be strong enough. I’m the foundation to everything, so once the foundation is strong, the rest of the house gon’ hold up. So if you build your foundation on B.S., it’s going to collapse. I’m just building the foundation stronger and stronger so when I get ready to build the rest of the house, we’re just going to build up.
Have you spoken to new labelmate Action Bronson yet?
Naw, I ain’t talk to him yet. I met him at SXSW the year before last, he probably don’t even remember it. We took a picture and everything. I’m going to show him when I see him. He probably don’t even remember it. [Laughs] He was smoking. It’s dope to be labelmates, I watch him on the regular, I still watch him.
Everything is going to fall into place, everything is in the barn. When the times comes it comes, I’m just focused on getting my foot in the door, getting my other foot, getting my whole body in the door. I was talking to somebody today and told me it ain’t about getting on, it’s about staying on. That’s my whole goal and mission.
What was the reaction to the signing from your city [Charlotte, N.C.]?
When my city got the news, I can’t go nowhere, even right now. Everywhere I go, “Yo, congratulations, do it for the city, I knew you was going to make it.” Yeah right, same nigga I tried to get a beat from three or four years ago knew that I was going to make it, or same bitch I tried to stick my dick in a few years ago, textin’ me now. How did you even get my number? Motherfuckers going through third parties to get my shit. It’s all good, I ain’t tripping, because at the end of the day it takes too much negative energy for me to even act a certain way towards them. I got the whole fuck you attitude, but I ain’t even say nothing. I’m just going to just kill them with success and bury them with my smile.