DDG has been a popular figure for nearly a decade, growing his fan base on his YouTube channel with viral videos, challenges, and music. After dropping out of college, the then-rising star’s career continued to soar. He signed a deal with Epic Records in 2018 before creating his own label, ZOOTED MUSIC.
DDG’s biggest song to date is his collaboration with Blueface called “Moonwalking In Calabasas (Remix),” which went double platinum this year. While the multihyphenate’s career is steadily evolving, the Michigan native’s love life is also thriving, as he’s dating Grammy-nominated Disney princess Halle Bailey.
In this exclusive interview with REVOLT, DDG discusses teaming up with BoohooMAN recently, his relationship with social media and making sure he’s not consumed by online opinions, what drew him to Bailey, and more. Read below.
How did the BoohooMAN collaboration come about?
Even before the deal came along, I’ve always been a fan of BoohooMAN. I had went on a trip with BoohooMAN to Mexico and it was an influencer trip, which was fun. I liked their whole team, and I noticed they were doing a lot of deals with artists, so it made sense to lock in with them.
What is unique about the collection and how does it represent the DDG brand?
I wanted to make it something that isn’t too left field – my style is different from others, but I wanted to create something that everyone could wear. The uniqueness is the variety of things you can wear… Anyone can wear my collection and feel comfortable. It’s edgy, straightforward, great quality, and it’s an overall great look.
Who are some of your fashion heroes? Who inspires your style?
That’s a great question. I wouldn’t say I have any fashion heroes, but I get inspired by the environment and what’s going on in the world. In fashion, we’re leaning more towards edgy fashion like ripped jeans, so I just like to be creative and go off of what I’m feeling. I want to be someone else’s fashion hero.
Content is key and you’re no stranger to that world. How has your content evolved since your early YouTube days?
It’s evolved a lot. I have a lot of different things that are going on in my life that are easy to make content about — like, it’s different aspects that have been elevated. My purpose with my content is to show people you can make it from nothing, and I’m at a point now where I have something to show for it.
You have an interesting relationship with social media. How would you describe it?
It’s a love and hate relationship because sometimes I would like my privacy. I feel like people perceive me off of a clip they see of me instead of meeting me in person, so that’s the only downside. I inspire and motivate people, so that’s the main focus and it’s a great job.
As a public figure, scrutiny comes with the territory. How do you maintain your mental health and make sure you aren’t consumed by social media users’ comments?
I noticed it never translates to real life and it’s an internet thing. If you turn off your phone or log off of social media, you don’t receive that same type of hate. I never had anyone come up to me in person and tell me they don’t like me or approach me in a negative way in real life. When I’m on the internet, it’s work and it’s a part of the game, and I don’t take it to heart too much.
People have been criticizing the current state of music. How do you handle those critiques? Does it fuel you to create music that leaves an impact?
Sometimes I take the criticism and use it to my advantage – I don’t necessarily blow off the people who criticize my music or what I do; I take it as advice. There is a reason someone is saying it — so I can make [my music] better. It motivates me to go harder honestly.
It’s no secret you’re dating one of music’s best vocalists, Halle Bailey. Does she listen to your records prior to release? What have been her critiques, if any?
She always hears my music before it comes out, especially if it’s anything concerning her, or [something] people might take as involving her or about her… She hears it before it releases. She usually lets me rock out, but she’s good when it comes to the background elements of a record, so she may tell me to add a background in different parts of the songs. So because I’m not a singer like her, I take her advice.
For Halloween, you and Halle dressed up as Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston as well as Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice. Whose idea was it to recreate those iconic moments?
That was 100 percent her. I’ve never been the Halloween type of dude. It was something she wanted to do and I felt it was a cool bonding moment for us. Last year, we did [Avatar] and I got my whole body painted for her, so it’s becoming a trend [and] you never know what we may be next year. It’s fun and something new for me. She wanted to dress up and I said let’s do it.
Your relationship is going strong despite some fans expressing negative opinions. How do you block out the noise?
We don’t really pay attention to any of that to be honest – it’s the internet, it’s Twitter, and they aren’t real people to me, personally.
What is it about Halle that drew you toward her and keeps you locked in?
We’re best friends. We’re surprisingly very alike and we can kick it. She’s very fun and a funny person — because humor and personality is a big thing for me. We can not act like boyfriend and girlfriend — which we do because we display PDA and stuff — but beyond that we can chill and that’s the best part.