Photo: Getty Images
  /  08.27.2021

Spitters who can freestyle off the top of the dome has always been a move that gets a true MC the respect they deserve. REVOLT’s “Off Top” is here to bring real bars back to the game with Big Tigger, Rapsody and DJ Nyla Symone, as they chop it up with today’s biggest and rising rap stars. Peep the convos here.

On the latest episode of REVOLT’s “Off Top” hosts Big Tigger, Rapsody, and DJ Nyla Simone sat down with YouTuber turned rapper DDG. The Michigan native dropped gems on becoming successful on social media, his own journey conquering the world wide web, his decision to drop out of college and much more.

The “Moonwalking in Calabasas” rapper initially found his fame where many industry hopefuls before him have: YouTube. In 2015, the then Central Michigan University student began creating videos there and ultimately dropped out after finding financial success. He garnered over 2 million followers on his popular channel “PontiacMadeDDG VLOGS.” Nyla kicked started the discussion by asking DDG about his strategy that led to his viral moments.

The rising star said he started creating online content out of curiosity. “It was really something I was just experimenting with,” the 23-year-old explained. “It was like, I was around the age of 17 or whatever, I was just vlogging my daily life. You could see when I was going through college when I moved to Hollywood when I bought my first car. Bought my first house, you know? I think people just really fell in love with my story and seeing me come up.

However, the “Let You In” rapper’s presence on YouTube would soon be no more. In mid-June, the star uploaded a video titled “I Retire” where he announced his departure from the platform. Then, he removed all of his videos.

When Tigger asked why, the rapper stated he wanted to make his music his main priority. “I got a passion. This is like really what I want to do. And, you know, I feel like, some people can juggle both, but it’s like why put that extra stress on myself.”

DDG’s path to stardom has essentially become the new normal for aspiring entertainers with social media being the driving force for almost everything from branding to growing a sturdy fanbase. Still, for many of the 2021 XXL Freshmen’s older peers, keeping up with the changing times has proven to be a bit challenging.

As someone who has managed to leverage social media to his advantage, DDG offered some advice to seasoned artists who may be looking to do the same. “Really you just gotta be yourself, entertaining, and consistent,” the rapper told Rapsody. “‘Cause everybody wanna be a social media star, you know what I mean? Everybody wanna post pictures just to see how many likes they get. Everybody wanna do it. So, it’s like a lot of competition. So I feel like consistency — that’s what I always tell people.”

However, the social media guru cautioned that building a following was challenging — even when the other requirements were met. The rapper even admitted to purchasing subscribers just to conquer “the numbers game.” 

“They get your numbers up, but you don’t get no engagement,” the rapper explained. “So, it’s like, it’s no point. There’s people; they got like 20 million followers but get 100,000 likes, you know what I mean? You can fake numbers, but you can’t really fake engagement.”

As mentioned, DDG earned a spot on the XXL Freshmen’s list after he was voted in by fans for the 10th position. The “Money Long” artist reflected on being a fan favorite and getting the honor.

“ feel like I haven’t gave people a reason to not like me, you know? And just showing my personality is how I got here. So, when people know I’m making good music to go with that. So, it’s like, why wouldn’t I be on that list? …So, I rather be picked by fans than someone in an office.”

Still, the rapper says being on the XXL Freshmen list was one of his “biggest goals.” “I’m like a big fan of the list. I used to watch it every year, and I would discover new artists off of it, and I would start actually listening to them,” he explained. “Like, this is what I need. I need somebody to see me and really look at me as just an artist, so I can give that same effect it gave on me with the artist that I watch.”

With all the success the artist has seen thus far including snatching a spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, earning a platinum plaque, and gaining millions of views on YouTube thanks to his record “Moonwalking in Calabasas,” DDG’s effect is evident.

“I pull up to the studio. It was late at night. I kid you not, it took me like 25-minutes just to make that song,” he revealed. “You know how you go in the studio sometimes, and you just got it? It’s no writing block—none of that… It was one of those nights, I went in there, and I was just messing around….”

Later on, Nyla asked DDG about his experience in school before shifting gears into the music industry. Ahead of devoting his time entirely to his artistry, the young emcee was like any other kid, going to school, getting good grades, and becoming valedictorian at their high school. Humbly speaking, DDG said he was always an intelligent kid and even admitting to being a bit of a teacher’s pet.

Rapsody applauded the former CMU student, noting a period when being smart in hip hop wasn’t acceptable. DDG says he believes everyone is smart to some extent. It just isn’t always academically. “You gotta be smart to be in this business and make it big,” he said.

Don’t forget to watch DDG’s full “Off Top” interview above! 


Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

The Auditions | 'Shoot Your Shot'

The competition begins at REVOLT WORLD as rising rappers, singers, and musicians line up to audition for their spot on the main stage. Brought to you by McDonald’s.

  /  11.28.2023

Dig In & Drink Up | 'Bet on Black'

In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart brings in heavy-hitters for Black and Unlimited Tour panel

REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.

  /  11.30.2023

Dr. Jaqueline Echols' mission to cure environmental racism

The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.

  /  12.01.2023

Walmart's Makers Studio at REVOLT WORLD transformed passion into progress

Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.

  /  12.04.2023

Walmart's Opportunity Center at REVOLT WORLD empowered HBCU students

Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.

  /  12.04.2023

Meet The Semifinalists | 'Shoot Your Shot'

Get to know our semifinalists a little better. Learn what motivated them to shoot their shot, as well as how they describe their personality, and sound.

  /  12.05.2023

The $200,000 goes to… | 'Bet on Black'

In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.

  /  12.04.2023

So Phresh, so clean | 'Bet on Black'

There’s only one round left as the last few founders – Terra-Tory, Phreshly, and ConditionHER – pitch to the “Bet on Black” judges for their chance in the finals and winning the grand prize; Eunique Jones Gibson mentors. Watch here!

  /  12.04.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Fly Guy DC highlighted HBCU students' passion and pride at REVOLT WORLD

Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.

  /  12.05.2023

16 best hip hop video games of all time

From Def Jam: Vendetta, Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, DJ Hero and more, we list our favorite hip hop videos games of all time. Did yours make the cut? 

  /  11.06.2023

DDG has his sights set on becoming a fashion hero & talks Halle Bailey being his "best friend"

In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!

  /  11.28.2023

17 rappers named after food to make you crave their music

Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”? 

  /  11.21.2023

Former kid rappers we loved: Where are they now?

From taking over the playground to dominating the rap game, many young artists have made music history. Check them out and where their journeys have taken them here! 

  /  11.13.2023

11 T-Pain lyrics to spit the perfect game

T-Pain has a way with the ladies. Take inspiration from 11 of his most flirtatious lyrics to level up your game.

  /  11.29.2023

17 of Megan Thee Stallion's most motivational lyrics

The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.

  /  11.07.2023

27 Drake lyrics that are perfect Instagram captions

The next time you’re looking for a caption for your perfectly curated Instagram, there’s a 95 percent chance that Drizzy’s got you!

  /  11.08.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes