Rapper from Pontiac, Michigan DDG is raging in a blaze of glory right now. In June, he confirmed on Twitter that he went platinum for the summer-ready remix of “Moonwalking in Calabasas” with Blueface, beat TikTok personality Nate Wyatt in a boxing match for Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms, left his days very successful Youtube vloggers, and was voted in the XXL 2021 first year class as the 10th winner in the same week.
Today, the 23-year-old artist joins the rank of rappers who have become famous before they hit the cabin. Over the past decade, DDG, formerly known as Darryl Granberry Jr., has made a name for himself through YouTube vlogging, which grossed him around $ 30,000 per month. Possessing the advantageous ability of leverage social media, his fans made the difference and elected him to the 10th place of 2021 XXL First year class nearly 100 other talented artists.
“I’m the first generation to come out of a different platform,” he boasts in his interview on the day of filming. “You know, people are from TV… No one has ever been from YouTube. So, I am the first to do it… ”
DD, as Blueface would call it, swerved into hip-hop in 2016, with a handful of Zaytoven-style hymns like “Free Parties” and “Balenciagas”, and the Lil Yachty diss “Big Boat” in 2017, although both are cool now. A year later, he signed a big label contract with Epic Records in 2018, and made his arrival felt with projects like Take me seriously and Promotion major. Of the two, tracks like “Givenchy” and “Arguments,” which sell for gold, showcase his charismatic bar setup, native to the Michigan regional sound, and his knack for driving home punchlines.
He continued to develop his stock with freestyles, singles and features, allowing a lot of momentum for the 2021 release of Die 4 Respect, his joint project with producer OG Parker. On effort, DDG presents himself as a musical chameleon who can slide to any beat with any artist, be it YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“Hood Melody”) or Coi Leray (“Impatient”). Biggest breakthrough point of his career came with the help of Blueface redesign of “Moonwalking in Calabasas”. The track has over 130 million streams on Spotify, peaked at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100, and is now certified platinum. Their upcoming collaborative project, expected this summer, should also make noise.
A lot of people might say the sky is the limit for DDG, but that’s just the perspective of the rapper, whose flavor is influenced by 50 Cent’s gangsta content and Drake’s versatility. “I am moving more towards the commercial route,” explains DDG. “… I want to win a Grammy … I’m going to the big leagues.”
Now it’s a 2021 XXL First-year student. The Midwestern native was among many artists considered for the class in the past, but the timing had to be right. “I was excited because I’ve been trying to get on this list for about two years now, so finally when I’m on it, I feel like it’s a good time to be on it,” DDG shares. “I had a bang. So, you know, my face is a lot more famous. It’s not like I’m coming in here like, ‘Who is this?’ They already know. “
He has the great ambition to be taken seriously as a rapper now that he has left his YouTube career behind. Surely DDG has something to prove in his Freshman freestyle. In just 35 seconds he hits, still confirming himself as a mack who isn’t easily impressed by women who want to woo him. Then, the rising rhymer lets it be known that his hands and body are nothing to play with if statics is the topic of conversation. “Much richer than the first time you met me / Sent daddy if you want to address me / Internet crap will never affect me / If you’re smart then you’ll never test me”, spit he by the force of an inspiration.
Short and anything but sweet, he concludes things by blowing up the temporary characters in his life and shouting at his slain brother, “I can’t trust no ho, they come and go / RIP bro, we’re not broken no mo ‘.
Check out DDG’s Freshman Freestyle, powered by BODYARMOR, below.