Hip Hop: NBA 2K featured artist Dayne Carter interview, “GASSED UP” premiere

Rapper Dayne Carter decided to sit down with the Rhyme Junkie team and me to discuss some things about his music life. He’s also just released a video for his new song “GASSED UP”

Dayne Carter explained that it isn’t easy being an independent artist, especially one that isn’t “famous”; however, Carter found his way onto the NBA 2K20 video game, which exposed him to many audiences!

Rhyme Junkie: Being an independent artist, you explained that there are a lot of obstacles. What is the #1 thing that keeps you going?

Dayne Carter: As a kid, we feel like anything is possible. Whether we want to be an actor, athlete, or musician, it all seems feasible. However, the older we get, our society causes us to second guess ourselves. “I’m too old to keep doing this” or “I’m not making enough money” and we lose what makes us the happiest. For me, it’s about chasing my childhood passion and not wanting to look back with regret and think “what if?”

Rhyme Junkie: Were you a fan of any well established independent rappers before you snuck into the game?

Carter: Nipsey Hussle and Chance The Rapper. With social media, a lot of times it feels like things happen overnight. It’s dope to see the level of success they both reached while on an independent grind. I learned a lot from studying how they marketed their music and engaged with their fanbase. It’s a long journey, but it’s more rewarding in the end. RIP Nip!

Rhyme Junkie: NBA 2K is one of my personal favorites as far as video games, was there a certain process for being added to the roster of artists? What were your thoughts when they officially considered you to be featured?

Carter: Honestly, I don’t even know how it happened. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a team of people who believe in me and my music. I knew the game was looking to integrate up and coming artists on the soundtrack this year and felt some of my songs were a perfect fit.

I had a lot of basketball references and in my song G.N.S.L, I actually name-dropped the game in one of the lines. I put together a folder of songs and sent it over to my homie, JT who helped get it in front of the right people. It was something in the works for a while, but it felt surreal once it was officially announced. So many people play the game and it’s humbling to have people from all across the world reach out and tell me they found out about my music through 2K.

Rhyme Junkie: I asked another artist from New Jersey this question in the last interview as well, but coming from NJ, did any legendary rappers from there inspire you personally as a music fan at any point in your lifetime?

Carter: I loved watching Fetty Wap come up! I’ve never met him, but we both record at the same studio in Patterson, NJ. I’d have a session, and there would be all these fancy-a** cars parked out front, so I know he was in one of the rooms. Seeing his platinum plaques on the walls is motivational. He made all my goals feel much more attainable. There are not too many rappers that have come out of Jersey recently though.

Photo by Dakota Caulfield, Dayne Carter

Photo by Dakota Caulfield

Rhyme Junkie: I asked another artist from New Jersey this question in the last interview as well, but coming from NJ, did any legendary rappers from there inspire you personally as a music fan at any point in your lifetime?

Carter: I loved watching Fetty Wap come up! I’ve never met him, but we both record at the same studio in Patterson, NJ. I’d have a session, and there would be all these fancy-a** cars parked out front, so I know he was in one of the rooms. Seeing his platinum plaques on the walls is motivational. He made all my goals feel much more attainable. There are not too many rappers that have come out of Jersey recently though.

Rhyme Junkie: What are your thoughts on longevity and lyricism? Are you planning on being a dedicated act without the gimmicks that we witness in rap today and what route do you think you should take in terms of the kind of artist you are, to be able to stick around and stay real/true to self?

Carter: I fell in love with the storytelling aspect of rap. J. Cole is my favorite artist, because of the realism in his lyrics. A lot of the stories in his songs are relatable and make me reflect back on similar experiences. Even if it’s a story I haven’t personally experienced, the way he illustrates it helps me visualize myself in his shoes.

I want people to be able to listen to my music and feel like they have a better understanding of who I am. Even if they disagree with my POV, they’ll at least understand why I think a certain way. At the end of the day, music is a business but I never want to lose sight of my purpose. I won’t do something simply because it can go viral. It has to come from a real place.

Rhyme Junkie: Dayne Carter, do you have any choice words for the younger generation of rappers who would like to capitalize on a similar journey as yours?

Carter: Consistency! Every time you make a song, it’s not going to be a hit. Music is ultimately subjective, but you will always continue to get better if you keep at it. Everyone’s timeline is different so don’t get sidetracked by what people are doing around you. Stay consistent, keep patient, and stay true to yourself. You can only improve.

“GASSED UP” – Dayne Carter

Make sure to check out Dayne Carter on all platforms if you like what you’ve heard!

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