Rap Status Interview: WHO is Demarcus Stigar?
– Dominique Nicole @she_is_dominique
With over forty six thousand Instagram followers and a face that seems to be everywhere, Demarcus Stigar went from sleeping on the streets, to rubbing shoulders with some of Hip Hop’s most elite artists. But the question is: Who is Demarcus Stigar? RapStatus speaks with the Modesto, California native to discuss being a recognized industry “nobody”, his newly released project, and receiving a co-sign from Big Sean.
Rap Status: Modesto, California seems like an unlikely breeding ground for hip hop artists. As a self proclaimed “local nobody” How did you go from homelessness to being in the presence of some of the most legendary hip hop artists of our time?
Demarcus Stigar: GOD!!!! and just a little bit of God given talent, I never liked no, so one day I told myself they gone hear me out rather they want to or not so I ran down on a lot of artist rather at concerts! radio shows! Or just out and about and I did this multiple times and not just in Cali! Miami, New York! ,Atlanta!, etc. and my grind start getting noticed/respected a little bit by some of the big names I was coming across and showing them growth with my music every time we’d cross paths and it just became a some what genuine connection / mutual respect on both ends.
RS: You seem to be a relationship builder; or what I like to call a “dot connector” so to speak, would you say that your experience living in the streets shaped you to adapt to different climates and personalities in this industry?
DS: Living in the streets didn’t really teach me anything besides the fact I hated being homeless; but living with people is what adapted me to so many different climates and personalities. Some people are genuine/down to earth and some are not. That’s pretty much it, but my grind sometimes wins over the not so friendly individuals; but short and simple it made me hungry. I had to go get it by any means.
RS: Theres no doubt you’re consciously aware in the mind, impressive on the mic, sophisticated with a pen, and well connected. What do you think is holding you back from blowing up to be the next big name and not just a face?
“Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole show you, you can be you and tour the country off doing music you think is real music without real major radio/club records. That’s the lane I’m staying in.”
RS: Your EPs “I’m Just Tryna Feed My Son” 1 and 2 give a candid look into some personal areas of your life. Similar to an unrestricted Drake or Kanye vibe. As you progress in the industry, is there any concern that your transparency and honesty may work against you or negatively impact your relationships?
DS: Thank you. Much appreciated but honestly I’m just gonna be me all day everyday 24/7 and I’m not rich! I’m not famous! I’m not signed! So those aren’t things I can talk about in my music yeah other artist do it and it’s worked for them and I may of tried it a couple times, but it ain’t me now. What is me is a kid born in East St. Louis, brought to California, raised here. Parents start doing bad due to drugs, moms passed, dad left, I moved out at 12 & raised myself. I’m 29 years old homeless 17 years feeding & fending for myself. One thing my dad did teach me is how to hustle/never stare and it made me who I’am today. I wasn’t, but now I’am comfortable with who Iam. Demarcus Stigar! And honestly if I had to do it over I would the exact same way because it all lead up to my biggest blessing ever: my son Demarcus Stigar Jr.
RS: In the IJTFMS Intro, you got a drop from Big Sean along with a co-sign. As an independent artist, How important is it to be be co-signed by major artists nowadays? Or is it even important at all?
RS: “Dear Son” gets deep with an open letter to your baby boy. You constantly express how your son is your world. How would you describe that bond?
DS: Man i don’t wanna get emotional writing this so I’ll keep it short and simple. My son Demarcus Jr. gave me a reasoRn to actually wanna live, to actually wanna make something of myself. For my God to bless me with him I am forever in debt on top of the debt that I owe him for my own life. He’s the reason I go so hard trying to turn nothing into something for me and him. #TeamUS Demarcus Jr., daddy love you forever and a day.
RS: It’s been an underlying debate in the music industry that artists should intentionally “manufacture” a club/radio hit vs. going through the natural creative process to see where their records land them. What are your thoughts on conforming to mainstream demand?
DS: That is the big question, cause Drake & Nicki Minaj show it is and they grinded they ass off also from nothing into something. Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole show you, you can be you and tour the country off doing music you think is real music without real major radio/club records. That’s the lane I’m staying in. Being true to me. Making music that helps me and people get through something or over someone. Plus, I just feel if it’s there, it’s there the people (the fans) will take it where it needs to be regardless. If it’s a club/radio hit or rather it’s real life music with a message, if enough people feel it, then it will be where it needs to be period, point blank. Nobody in music can stop the people.
RS: You’re a politically conscious writer and you’ve shown that on your “Black Lives Matter” record on IJTFMS2. You address the killings of Eric Gardner, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and many more. First verse you address the police, second verse you speak to the Black community’s responsibility. Looking at both ends of the spectrum, where and how does the most impactful change begin? With law enforcement or Our communities?
DS: First off we all gotta do better as a people. Yes cops are wrong for killing innocent unarmed people and yes my black brother is wrong for killing our other brother. When will it stop? The cycle needs to end, and how the cycle will end I don’t have that answer. I am just a man going through it like everyone else. They say there’s good police out there and there is. I know a few; but I know it’s bad when I get my 2 year old son a toy police car for Christmas and he says “Daddy Look” and puts his hands up in the air. I’m not making this up. I have plenty witnesses and it threw us all off because people that bleed like us should know every action has a re-action but if there’s no action we won’t re-act/over-re act. So please police stop killing my people and please my people, stop killing our people. Please people of the world stop killing people.
RS: Musically, who are you most often compared to? Who are you looking to work with in 2017?
DS: Honestly not trying to be cocky I hear the same names! Kanye, J.Cole and Kendrick. I want you to play #IJTFMS2 For 5 of your friends randomly and see who they say it reminds them of and tell me. Some say big Krit. All those dudes are legends. To even be mentioned with those level dudes gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. I wanna work with Kanye! Jay-Z! Beyonce! and Nicki Minaj! Hip-Hop Wise Younger Generation: Tory Lanez! There’s A New Dope Artist From France Yo Trane! Elhae! Kehlani! and Bryson Tiller! Pop Artist: Justin Bieber! Usher! The Weeknd! Drake! Shawn Mendes! Fifth Harmony! and Ariana Grande! There’s more. That’s just to name a few.
RS: When can we expect a full length album?
DS: It really just depends on the buzz #IJTFMS1 & #IJTFMS2 gets It could be late 2017 if my buzz builds. I want streams and views on visuals-wise, but yeah, I would love to drop an album and really work with amazing like-minded artist such as myself. That would be a blessing.
RS: So with all this hard work, what type of legacy are you looking to leave behind?
DS: I just wanna show my child and children from the struggle that anything is possible. As corny as it might sound, anything is possible. You can go from being in foster care/homeless for ten plus years, living with everybody, sleeping couch to couch, floor to floor, asking for money outside of stores just to eat everyday, stealing just to have school clothes. You can come from nothing and have completely nothing to your name and end up on a stage in front of 40,000 people screaming your name. Then repeating all the words to your songs because with God all is possible. Without God, all is lost. I just wanna be the example that it’s possible for anybody to be anything if they grind like there’s no tomorrow, keep God first, and perfect your craft. Nothing can stop you. That’s the legacy I wanna have/leave behind.