Dante Hill is a hip-hop recording artist out of The Bronx, New York. His rap style is based on painting colorful images of his own real life experiences through the use of his expansive vocabulary.
His delivery has an intensity comparable to greats like Nas and Eminem, allowing him to truly draw in the attention of the listener. With his collective, The Rooftop Dream Team, Dante is building a strong following nationwide as his artistry grows.
1) Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I technically stated writing raps at 11, I was doing poetry slams and things like that. It took a lot of time to really feel comfortable saying I was “rapping”. Just because the type of kid I was it didn’t feel right saying I was a rap artist.
I didn’t feel like I was tough enough. But just growing up and getting the bigger picture as far as the music and culture are concerned I started to understand on a higher level that I actually was rapping. And I was dope at it. My influences had a lot to do with me embracing that. Eminem, Kanye, artists like that.
I feel like the music now caters to a crowd that embraces real emotion on a record more than who’s the hardest out. And the name comes from my favorite author Dante Alighieri, who wrote the Divine Comedy, a book that explores pretty much the entire emotional spectrum through use of poetry.
Which is what music at its finest should do. That’s how i feel at least. And the Hill comes from my grandfathers last name, Charles Hill. From what I always heard about him he was this smooth dude who carried himself with a certain level of bravado and confidence.
I just put those two names together and came up with Dante Hill for how those two people complete my character.
2) Who were some of your musical influences coming up?
Everybody. In all genres. I’ve always tried to make sure that I listened to and appreciated everything so that what I create would never be confined to a small set of experiences musically. So that’s everybody from Tupac, to Sinatra, Elvis, and even movies as far as thematically elements.
3) How would you describe yourself as an artist? Has your style changed much over the years?
I’ve just grown as a person. My music is personal. I want people to be able to relate to what I say so I try to just let the music grow with me. My style and content is always going to be reflective of the state of me at the time.
4) What’s your process like for making music? Do you have a set routine or does it vary track by track?
Definitely varied for my last project because the sessions were inconsistent. I was figuring a lot out. Moving forward I’m more interested in making sure that the routine consists of a block of time where I’m locked in so that the next project is reflective of a point in time. Those are the best albums to me.
5) Can you run me through the making of your latest project – While We Work? Where were the studio vibes like?
Long story short, my intention with this project was to make it a personal reflection of the last year of my life told through introspection. The highs, lows, and side stories. Like a first season of a show almost.
In order to do that justice I had to make sure to keep my team tight and consume for my own comfortability as far as sharing those stories. Everybody from my DJ, my artists, and my management are people I’ve known since high school.
And my studio teams been the same for 3 years. Building and maintaining those relationships are just as important to me as the music is. That’s what helps it to develop and come together
6) What sort of independent hip-hop promotion and marketing are you doing to differentiate yourself from other artists?
Just trying to catch certain waves before they really take out. I think most good businessmen are able to perceive good marketing opportunities before they become popular. But I’m looking at a few unique markets to promote projects at this point.
7) What are you thoughts on the current state of hip-hop music today?
I think it’s great. I think now more than ever, it’s hard to form one full opinion on the state of rap today because so much of it has become diverse. I love that part of it.
8) What music are you listening to these days? Anyone in hip-hop really blowing your mind?
There’s a lot of really talented artists. But at this point in my career it’s harder to be blown away per se, just because I can see what goes into a lot of the strategy and writing. And that’s not a bad thing. I just think I get it more than the regular consumer who might be blown away because of the little intricacies they don’t catch.
9) If you could work with any artist you wanted, what would be your dream collaboration?
I wanna say Eminem, but even with that it would have to be organic. I never wanna force a collaboration just to say I did it. No matter who it is. But if everything worked out perfectly then yeah, definitely Eminem.
10) What has been the best moment in your music career so far?
There’s so much consistency right now, it’s hard to call it. I feel like every week the level of opportunity I’m being presented with is continually increasing so I’m always having new big moments. It’s a good feeling.
11) So what’s next for you?
I think that to answer that question would kind of take the fun out of being the artist. I’d rather maintain that unpredictability as I move forward just to keep the excitement going every time I make a move. The most specific thing I can say is; big things.