DIRTI DIANA

 BRONX, NEW YORK | DIRTI DIANA

BRONX, NEW YORK | DIRTI DIANA

 INTERVIEW: KIM "GOODLOOK" SEABROOK

A BRONX NATIVE, RAISED IN THE 4240 HOUSING PROJECTS, THE HARSH REALITIES OF NEW YORK TAUGHT DIANA HOW TO SURVIVE. DIANA FOUND REFUGE IN MUSIC. KNOWN FOR HER RAW AND UNCUT LYRICAL DELIVERY, SHE EARNED THE NAME "DIRTI DIANA" AFTER GAINING HER RESPECT CYPHER RAPPING. DIANA’S VERSATILITY HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY SOME IN HIP-HOP AS THE NEXT FEMALE UP TO DOMINATE.

DIRTI DIANA'S SINGLE “TRENDING“ WAS IN HEAVY ROTATION AND HAD THE STREETS AND MAINSTREAM RADIO TRENDING IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT STATES. DIRTI DIANA’S SINGLES LIKE “TRENDING”, “WHAT UP DOE”, AND “OH I” HAS HER FANS EAGERLY AWAITING HER NEXT PROJECT. SHE HAS BEEN HEARD ON HOT97 WITH THE DJ FUNK MASTER FLEX AND HAS APPEARED ON THE POPULAR REALITY TV SHOW “LOVE & HIP HOP ATL”. DIRTI DIANA IS NOT JUST AN ARTIST, SHE IS A BRAND, ADDING ACTING, FASHION DESIGN AND WRITER TO HER ENTREPRENEURSHIP. WE RECENTLY CAUGHT UP WITH DIANA TO DISCUSS THE BRONX’S INFLUENCE ON HER, HOW SHE GOT HER START, HER LATEST EP AND HER SENSE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP.


VALIDATED: EXPLAIN THE HISTORY, GROWING UP IN THE BRONX AND HOW IT INFLUENCED YOU AS FAR AS YOUR MUSIC.

DIRTI DIANA: BASICALLY, GREW UP IN THE HOOD IN THE BRONX. COMING OUT IN THE HOOD AND YOU'D SEE CYPHERS, A LOT OF PEOPLE RAPPING OR WHATEVER. I USE TO BE THE ONLY FEMALE IN THE CYPHERS. I USE TO JUST LOVE AND DEMAND ATTENTION FROM A CROWD. IT WAS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT THAT, THAT JUST ALWAYS HAD ME WANTING TO CONTINUE RAPPING. I JUST LOVE THAT PASSION PERIOD.


VALIDATED: I'VE SEEN YOU BEFORE, YEARS AGO YOU STARTED OFF DANCING FIRST, IS THAT RIGHT?

DIRTI DIANA: YEAH, I DID APOLLO.


VALIDATED: HOW DID THAT TRANSITION FROM DANCING TO RAPPING HAPPEN?

DIRTI DIANA: I JUST LOVED THE STAGE, LIKE I'VE ALWAYS BEEN AN ENTERTAINER. THE STAGE WAS NOTHING NEW FOR ME. I STARTED OFF DANCING, I WAS ON APOLLO. DOING LITTLE SHOWS, TALENT SHOWS AND STUFF LIKE THAT. I WAS RAPPING SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. SO, I ALWAYS HAD THE RAP THING GOING ON.

 

VALIDATED: HOW IS IT BEING A FEMALE IN THIS INDUSTRY?

DIRTI DIANA: YOU KNOW, FEMALES, IT'S KIND OF HARD BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT TO PROVE YOURSELF. YOU'VE GOT TO PROVE YOURSELF IN THE INDUSTRY. PEOPLE ALWAYS, ESPECIALLY GUYS, THEY'RE GOING TO LOOK AT YOU LIKE A FEMALE FIRST. ALOT OF MEN, THEY ACTUALLY DON'T TAKE FEMALE ARTIST SERIOUSLY. SO YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT TO PROVE YOURSELF. YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOUR TALENT, THAT YOU'RE ABOUT YOUR LYRICS AND THAT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SLEEP YOUR WAY TO THE TOP.


VALIDATED: HOW DO YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO THE FEMALE ARTIST THAT ARE OUT NOW?

DIRTI DIANA: I PUT MYSELF IN MY OWN LANE. I REALLY DON'T... UM, YOU KNOW, I WATCH THE COMPETITION BUT I DON'T. I STAY IN MY OWN LANE. I DON'T LET IT GET TO ME. I DON'T COMPARE MYSELF TO NOBODY. I'M ME.


VALIDATED: HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS AN ARTIST OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS?

DIRTI DIANA: I LEARNED THE BUSINESS SIDE. WHEN I WAS YOUNG KOOL HERC TOOK ME, ACTUALLY. HE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO FOUND ME AND TOOK ME TO BENZINO. I MEAN, I BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I WAS YOUNG, PROBABLY ABOUT FIFTEEN. HE SAW THE TALENT FROM THERE. AND YOU START TAKING IT AND LEARNING THE BUSINESS SIDE OF IT. SO I CAN SAY THAT I KNOW THE BUSINESS SIDE OF IT AND I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF. IF YOU'RE SERIOUS, YOU GOT TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. AND THAT'S WHAT I LEARNED IN THE BUSINESS... THAT IT'S A BUSINESS! IT'S NOT JUST MUSIC. YOU CAN'T JUST GO AROUND RAPPING EVERYWHERE AND THINK YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO THE TOP. YOU GOT TO LEARN THE BUSINESS, THAT'S THE GROWTH AND OF COURSE YOU HEAR IT IN THE MUSIC. I GREW AS AN ARTIST, PERIOD!


VALIDATED: SO TALKING ABOUT BUSINESS, YOU'RE A BUSINESS WOMAN. YOU'VE TRIED A LOT OF THINGS. THAT'S WHAT I ADMIRE MOST, YOUR HUSTLE, YOUR GRIND. OUT OF EVERYTHING YOU'VE TRIED, WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL?

DIRTI DIANA: SO I HAVE A BLUETOOTH WATER BOTTLE SPEAKER, THAT'S BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL. UM, ITS A BLUETOOTH SPEAKER WATER BOTTLE AND YOU CAN KIND OF INSERT A SD CARD. SO THE THOUGHT OF IT WAS LIKE, DAMN, PEOPLE AIN'T PLAYING CDS NO MORE. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, CDS ARE KIND OF OUT OF HERE. SO WHAT'S ANOTHER WAY TO MARKET? AND I'M LIKE, DAMN, IF THEY GET THIS WATER BOTTLE AND THEY TURN THE WATER BOTTLE ON MY MUSIC AUTOMATICALLY PLAYS. SO I'M LIKE YOU'RE GETTING MY SINGLE WHEN YOU PURCHASE THE WATER BOTTLE. SO I THOUGHT IT WAS A UNIQUE DIFFERENT WAY TO SELL THE MUSIC AND THAT DID EXCELLENT ONLINE. WE STILL HAVE OVER 3000 WE’RE STILL PUSHING WITH THE MUSIC.

I THINK THE MOST SUCCESSFUL THING WAS CREATING A LABEL. I'M RUNNING UNDER MY OWN LABEL INDEPENDENTLY AND IT'S BEEN A SUCCESS. I MADE THE TOP 40 CHARTS AND IT'S JUST BEEN A GOOD EXPERIENCE. LIKE I WAS ON THE RADIO IN SIXTEEN STATES. I THINK THE BIGGEST FEELING I'VE EVER HAD WAS WHEN I CAME INTO NEW YORK AND HEARD MYSELF ON THE RADIO BECAUSE THIS IS HOME, KNOW WHAT I MEAN. THATS BEEN ONE OF MY BIGGEST SUCCESSES SO FAR. LIKE HEARING MYSELF ON THE RADIO AND LEARNING HOW THE NUMBERS WORK AND KNOWING HOW TO ACTUALLY RUN A LABEL.


VALIDATED: WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE LABEL?

DIRTI DIANA: IMPERIAL RECORDS, ITS UNDER STRAIGHT PAPER ENT.


VALIDATED: ARE THERE ANY OTHER ARTISTS ON THE LABEL?

DIRTI DIANA: YEAH, WE'VE GOT LIKE TWO MORE ARTIST. SHOUT OUT TO RICK RUBE AND WE'VE GOT AN ARTIST OVERSEAS.


VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR MAIN GOAL IN YOUR CAREER?

DIRTI DIANA: THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT, LIKE A LOT OF ARTIST THAT ACTUALLY RUN THEIR OWN LABEL BUT YOU HAVEN'T SEEN A FEMALE DO IT. SO I'M TRYING TO GO TO THE TABLE AND GET THIS LABEL SITUATION GOING ON AND BE LIKE THAT TOP FEMALE TO BRING PEOPLE FROM THE HOOD, YOU KNOW, GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITIES. IT'S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT A TOP LABEL SIGNING YOU. YOU CAN DO IT, YOU REALLY CAN DO IT YOURSELF. I WOULD LOVE TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL.


VALIDATED: SO YOU'VE DONE ACTING TOO?

DIRTI DIANA: YEAH, I TOOK SOME ACTING. I WAS IN A COUPLE OF MOVIES. WE DID OUR OWN MOVIE, "BLACK ROSES". UM, THERE'S A COUPLE, I WAS IN A MOVIE CALLED "SPITFIRE". A COUPLE OF OTHER MOVIES, I'M DRAWING A BLANK BUT YEAH I'VE BEEN DOING SOME ACTING.


VALIDATED: HOW DO YOU ENJOY THE ACTING VERSUS THE MUSIC?

DIRTI DIANA: IT'S KIND OF SIMILAR BECAUSE THEY GIVE YOU A SCRIPT AND IF YOU CAN RHYME YOU CAN REMEMBER YOUR SCRIPT, YOU KNOW. SO IT'S VERY SIMILAR. I DEFINITELY LOVE MUSIC MORE BUT IT'S SOMETHING I WOULD LOVE TO DO.


VALIDATED: IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'RE DOING BEHIND THE SCENES, YOU EVER PRODUCE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT?

DIRTI DIANA: NO, I JUST ENGINEER, I KNOW HOW TO WORK THE STUFF, THE BOARDS, PRO TOOLS.


VALIDATED: HOW DID YOU GET THE NAME DIRTI DIANA?

DIRTI DIANA: DJ SCREAM, HE BASICALLY GAVE ME THE NAME BY ACCIDENT. HE HOSTED ONE OF THE MIXTAPES, I GOT LIKE THREE OR FOUR MIXTAPES BY HIM. SHOUT OUT TO DJ SCREAM. UM, CALLED ME DIRTY DIANA BY ACCIDENT AND IT KIND OF STUCK. LIKE WE RAN WITH IT BECAUSE IT KIND OF FIT ME, DIANA IS A LITTLE MORE CLASSY AND DIRTY... YOU KNOW, IT SOUNDS RAW.


VALIDATED: DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW MUSIC DROPPING?

DIRTI DIANA: "WHY THEY MAD", WE'RE ACTUALLY SHOOTING THE VIDEO TONIGHT.


VALIDATED: EXPLAIN THAT, BECAUSE ON YOUR INSTAGRAM YOU'VE GOT CLIPS OF PEOPLE JUST WILDING OUT AND SHOWING THEM MAD BUT WHY ARE THEY MAD? LOL

DIRTI DIANA: I DON'T EVEN KNOW. I MEAN, ESPECIALLY WITH FEMALE RAPPERS, IT'S SO MUCH COMPETITION, LIKE FEMALE RAPPERS CAN'T JUST SPIT. YOU KNOW, GET ALONG AND COLLABORATE ON A TRACK. ITS ALWAYS GOT TO BE SOME SOUGHT OF COMPETITION OR SOME TYPE OF BEEF. SO WHY ARE THEY MAD, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?


VALIDATED: ANY HIP-HOP ARTIST YOU WANT TO WORK WITH AND WHO HAVE YOU WORKED WITH?

DIRTI DIANA: I WORKED WITH UNCLE MURDA, CORY GUNZ, KING LOS, GUNPLAY. SHOUT OUT TO GUN PLAY, SHOUT OUT TO CORY, SHOUT OUT TO LOS. MURDA, WHAT UP? GET THE STRAP! LOL

I HEAR MYSELF WORKING WITH RICK ROSS, I HEAR THAT. JAY Z, OF COURSE FAB, I LIKE A BOOGIE. 6IX9INE, WHATS POPPIN'? ITS A COUPLE OF ARTISTS THAT I SEE THAT'S DOING THEIR THING.


VALIDATED: ANY OTHER VENTURES YOU GOT GOING ON?

DIRTI DIANA: RIGHT, SO THE GET DIRTI LINE, IT'S NOT JUST THE WATER BOTTLE. IT'S A WHOLE LINE, A WORKOUT LINE AND IT'S CALLED "GET DIRTI". YOU SHOULD BE SEEING THAT IN STORES SOON AND WE'VE GOT A COUPLE OF COMMERCIALS THAT SHOULD BE COMING ON DURING THE NBA SEASON. SO MAKE SURE YOU LOOKOUT FOR THAT SPORTS LINE.


VALIDATED: YOU GOT ANYTHING ELSE INSPIRING TO SAY, ESPECIALLY TO THE FEMALES?

DIRTI DIANA: WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING MAKE SURE YOU STICK TO YOUR DREAMS, STAY CONSISTENT, INVEST IN YOURSELF. KEEP GOING, DON'T LET NOBODY DISCOURAGE YOU. IT'S ALL ABOUT YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS, IF YOU BELIEVE YOU'LL MAKE IT TO THE TOP, YOU WILL MAKE IT TO THE TOP. AND KEEP YOUR ENERGY ALL POSITIVE.


VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS FOLLOW YOU?

DIRTI DIANA: MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW ME AT @DIRTIDIANA ON INSTAGRAM, DIRTIDIANA.COM. SHOUTOUT TO VALIDATED MAGAZINE, SHOUT OUT TO STRAIGHT PAPER, SHOUT OUT TO EAGLE EYE, SHOUT OUT TO THE WHOLE TEAM, BILLIONAIRE BEATS, WE IN HERE. JUST LOOK OUT FOR DIRTI DIANA, YOU KNOW AND STAY TUNED.