Representing Queens, New York, meet the spunky and unapologetic quadruple threat that is none other than Ms. Dai Burger— a rapper, singer, dancer, and all around fashionista who just passed through L.A.
For a change, I didn’t want to introduce her under some kind of linguistic qualifier. As in, “female rapper,” or “Check out this girl who can actually rap!” Imagine if we qualified every male rapper like that, “Meet King of Male Rap: Young Thug,” or “Meet hot new male rapper: Kodak Black.” Now, it seems a bit silly, right?
Obviously, Dai is a female artist, but I think it’s important to give women the connotative authority in saying, first and foremost: Dai is an artist, who’s making some ambitious and exciting career moves.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dai during her last LA visit, and we talked about the success of her self-titled EP, her intersection between fashion and music, as well as touching on the roles of women and sex in the music industry. Check it out below.
What have you been up to this year? And what do you have in store for us?
2016 has been so crazy. It started off full throttle, and I’ve just been riding the wave since! I have a ton of shows lined up for almost the entire year! And I did my first official SXSW this year so it’s all been a crazy experience…I’m dropping a remix project to my self-titled EP any day now and I’m working on my next video, and new music constantly…I’m just working hard to see how far this can really take me…Stopping is totally not even an option.
When did you start rapping? Has rapping always been your objective? You’re also pretty tied to the fashion world, having worked at Patricia Field, as well as hosting your fashionista parties…
I started out as a dancer…I used to back-up dance for Lil Mama, so from there, I started my own thing in 2010…I kept building and working hard. Fashion was a big part of it, because that’s where I worked…but doing the music, I still get to play the fashion role. It’s just who I am. Even if I’m not working at a fashion place, I’m still a “representative” of fashion.
If you could create your own club, no limitations, what would it be like?
Omg…It would be like “Burger’s Boom Boom Room…” all ladies are free, and guys…they pay a low price, not too much…We got go-go dancers of all sorts, open to all sexual preferences, just one big…I don’t want to say freak show, but one big, fashionable freak show…That’s where I’m from, that’s how I came up performing, like house parties and grunge stuff…So, it would be representative of that, but well-done, better decorated.
So, a couple months ago, you dropped the self-titled Dai Burger EP. Can you speak to the inspiration or mood for this project?
Yess! Okay, so I’m singing more on it, they take notice of that…but I originally started as a singer…When I started rapping, people liked it so much that I kept doing it…I’m just good with words!
I think Rap/R&B collaborations just hit the sweet spot…
Right, and I can do a feature as a rapper on my own track, or as a singer…so me putting it out there is not me changing, it’s actually just showing what I can do, and been doing…
Is there anyone you really want to collaborate with?
Right now, I guess I would say I’m focused on myself. I just want to be with dope producers. Not that I’ll ever be down on production, but I still know my sound, and I like building relationships with producers…
In a Pitchfork piece about the “queer rap” movement, you said, “Straight or gay it’s all sexually driven. So long as you got the bars, I’m all ears for it.” Do you think “queer rap” might be a prejudiced or counter-productive label?
I wouldn’t say prejudiced, because look at all the barriers its been braking lately, it’s almost not a thing anymore…
So the label itself doesn’t matter so much…
Right, whatever you decide to talk about…and that’s what I said, whether you’re talking about dick, pussy, ass…It’s just whose mouth it’s coming out of, then it becomes a problem…These are words everyone uses, so don’t get mad when people use them, no matter what your sexual orientation is. You get what I’m saying right? It’s just raunchy shit talk, we like it!
What do you think about sexualization in rap music? And the pivotal role sex in general plays here? Are there any rules? Fuck the rules?
There are rules…but fuck the rules! This is the universe, this is the America we live in…Sex is always going to be a thing, whether you close your eyes, close your ears, it doesn’t stop it…So, don’t get mad at me for talking about it, it’s happening.
Alright, now how would you describe your personal style?
Mmm, well my style is very eclectic. I’m an Aquarius so, by nature, we’re quirky, weird, go to our own beat of our own drum…and that’s me. I’m very big on second-hand, rummaging, vintage…Every now and then, I’ll treat myself to something high-end, to sprinkle in with my old stuff. New fly meets vintage fly.
What 5 articles can’t you live out?
It’s not a piece, but my nails always have to be done…Sunglasses, I love having sunglasses on my head….Got to have the lipstick. Can’t leave the house without it, or night’s ruined…I’m big on bags, I always need some cute lil backpack or purse…and, I guess everyone needs a leather jacket—it completes every look.
Who are your female role models?
My mom, of course. Single, black woman raised me…She did pretty good, if I may say so! I’m really stuck in the 90s, so I have my R&B people who I love and look up to—TLC, SWV, Toni Braxton, Spice Girls—but I also love like Trina, Kim, Eve, Khia…If you’re a girl rapper, I love you. Anything that’s girl driven…I don’t know why…I’m an only child, I’m a girl, very girly…I like girl power, can’t help it. I like any lady who’s about her business, and that’s first and foremost.
Your sassy and confident attitude is probably one of the most noticeable traits about you…
Oh, I didn’t notice…
Haha. Has this always been in your nature? What were you like as a child and teen?
Well, like I said, I’m an Aquarius, so I’m always crazy, quirky. I’m an only child, so I always been my own best friend. I’ve always been into art, because when you’re alone that’s something you do..I’ve always been creatively hands on, poetry, writing…People know I’m a lil different, but that there’s something still likeable…I found a balance.
If you were to have a movie or book about you, what would you call it?
Omg, this is something Ive never been asked before…I guess, just call it, “Burger’s Book”…but it’d be more than that…relate more to who Dainene is…just how to be ill, how to be fly, how to stay humble, be yourself, be the best you.…that I’ve taken to be the best me, so hopefully people can relate…
What are a few tips to stay fly?
Exfoliating, I always say, need to get this glow. Just take care of yourself, small upkeep..drink water…and don’t talk too much shit, cause then you turn ugly! So less shit you talk, the more beautiful you’ll be.
Any last words for the haters?
Don’t talk shit, you’ll be beautiful!
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