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The Break Presents: Daye Jack

Diane Abapo.
Diane Abapo

Daye Jack is obsessed with the Internet. But not in the way that you might think most 20-year-olds would be. While some millennial babies use the web for memes, mail order and music streaming, the Atlanta upstart is using it for something more. In fact, Daye is so inspired by the connectivity technology provides he’s centered his rap career around it.

A former student at New York University, Daye studied computer science before taking music seriously two years ago. See how technology’s played into Daye’s creative process just by looking at the titles of his first three projects: Hello World, Soul Glitch and Surf the Web.

“Tech has a lot to do with the concepts around my projects,” said the Nigeria-born, Atlanta-raised rapper. “My first tape was called Hello World and that’s the first program you learn to write when it comes to coding. It’s actually really simple. You’re just trying to get the computer to write “Hello World” on the screen. And because it’s the first thing you learn, I thought it’d be cool to call my first tape Hello World.”

Daye’s learning curve was measured when he started getting major looks earlier this year thanks to a co-sign from Killer Mike. The ATL big homie moment came when Mike hopped on Daye’s political protest track “Hands Up.” That moment was soon parlayed into a deal with Warner Bros. Records. Now he’s using his creative freedom to make even more music. Between trying to find games of pick-up soccer in L.A. (“its so tough to find a consistent one”) and binging on sci-fi movies, Daye dropped his latest project, Surf the Web, in September. On that effort, Daye covers everything from sliding into a girl’s DMs to blowing up off SoundCloud.

Here’s why you need to get familiar with the Internet age’s biggest fan.

Name: Daye Jack

Age: 20

Hometown: “I was born in Nigeria, but I grew up in Atlanta. I lived in Nigeria for the first six years [of my life].”

I grew up listening to: “A lot of OutKast, a lot of Eminem and everything that was on the radio in the early 2000’s, Gwen Stefani, 50 Cent all that. I think the first CD I bought was John Mayer, Continuum. I had really varied taste.

I was in the choir when I was really young, like nine. I’d always tried to participate in some way, it whatever way I could. When I turned 13, I got heavily into hip-hop and everything I listened to was hip-hop and rap. It like took over my life. I was that kid in the suburbs who’d find stuff on the Internet and just pick people’s brains about their taste. Eventually because of that, I thought I could write my own raps so I started writing at like 13.”

Most people don’t know: I’m really into near future sci-fi. Like Her, Ex Machina, Looper, In Time with Justin Timberlake. I love all those movies.”

My style’s been compared to: “I’ve been heavily influenced by OutKast, so I’ve gotten the OutKast [comparison]. I’ve heard some Chance [The Rapper] comparisons. I think it’s dope but I think the newer stuff I’m working on is not going to be in that direction.”

My standout records or moments to date have been: “‘Hands Up’ definitely. Everything about it—the message, the melodies, the delivery and having Killer Mike on it—it just all seemed to fit well and work really well. I was just heading to the studio around the time of Mike Brown [death]. I got to the studio and I didn’t necessarily want to right a song about it. I just wanted to write a song about how I was feeling. I just had the chorus in my head and after I laid that down, the whole song just became that concept.”

“It was three days in the studio for the demo of it, but then the demo sat there for a long time. I kinda just had it. I didn’t really know if it was going to come out or not. But then Brian at Mass Appeal, where Run The Jewels is signed played it for Killer Mike and then we had a phone call from there. He really liked the song and then he put a verse on it and sent it back and then I knew it had to come out.”

My goal in hip-hop is: “… to put out great album and be respected for it. To get that ‘classic’ stamp, you know? I want people to feel like it’s something they can listen to top to bottom and not just a bunch of loosies compiled together. I always want them to feel like they got a full project. And hopefully, a classic project.”

I’m gonna be the next:: “I’m the next Steve Jobs. He’s my hero. He’s the guy I’ve always looked up to for everything and kind of the reason I did want to study computer science. I think that there’s some people who are super into tech and numbers and all that, but he wasn’t one of those people. Who was more into like the whole idea of it—being an ‘idea guy’ and making those ideas real and not worrying about how to make it happen, just knowing it could happen.”

“I want to do a lot more than just make music, but with music it’s the total package, you know? Having the image, the colors, all that stuff right. It’s worrying about the sonic details and if this verse is like this or that. I’m an idea guy.”

Follow Daye Jack on Twitter and SoundCloud.

Standout: “Deep End”

“Finish Line”

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“Hands Up”

Soul Glitch 

Here Are All the Hip-Hop Albums That Topped the Billboard 200 in 2016

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