The final 108MICS interview of 2018 is with SLYDAHMER, a very talented rapper whose style has come on a long way from his beginnings. I view SLY as a perfectionist, as each new verse can be viewed as an advancement towards the rapper’s potential as an underground lyrical legend. Was very happy to do this with him, he’s one of the best guys I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to on here.
1. Firstly, thanks for doing this bro, it’s my pleasure. I want to ask, why do you go by SLYDAHMER?
Thanks for letting me do it, man. I really appreciate it. I originally went by Sly Quota, from like 2013 up until earlier this year. The Sly was taken from Sly Cooper, which is a childhood favorite video game of mine. The Quota meant nothing. I kinda stopped liking it & decided to change it. I wanted to keep the Sly part, and the rhythm of 3 syllables. I went with Dahmer because it sounded cool at the time. I have no respect for or interest in Jeffery Dahmer, it’s just a solid name in my opinion. The all caps one word thing is just me biting DOOM & JPEGMAFIA tbh.
2. Where are you from, and did it have an impact on how you consumed/created music?
I’m from a city called Washington, Pennsylvania. Nobody knows where it is, so I just say I’m 30 minutes away from Pittsburgh. It’s not a huge city, but it’s not a small town either. I can’t really say where I’m from inspired me artistically, other than the fact that I needed something to do. There’s absolutely nothing to do in Washington, so I gravitated towards listening to music. After a while I decided to give it a try. There’s no ‘scene’ here, but every white kid who has a friend with a laptop is a rapper. I guess that list includes me.
3. Who first inspired you to rap? There’s some obvious influence in your cadence and flow, but you absolutely make it your own.
Thank you for the compliment, man. I try not to wear my influences on my sleeve, but it’s hard to avoid. The artists who really got me to love hip-hop & start rapping are pretty basic. I started with OutKast, Nas, & Wu-Tang. After a while I just started listening to everything I could find. As far as influences, I really wanted to be like DOOM, but I noticed a lot of people trying to be like him. I decided to kind of create my own style, but to this day I get a lot of inspiration from Earl & DOOM. I paid a lot of attention to Prodigy, Mos Def, & Black Thought to kind of add some charisma to the ‘lyrical miracle’ shit I was doing. I’m still evolving.
4. You have tracks produced by Vonte, Ruci and Isaac. How did you tap in with these artists to begin with?
Vonte & I have been interacting since like 2013. I can’t exactly remember how I found him, but I just remember thinking his beats were dope. He had something on his SoundCloud & I asked him to use it & he said yes. That song became ‘Miramax’ & since then we’ve just kinda been cool. He’s got a CRAZY beat on BTF, & I’d love to work with him more. As far as Ruci & Isaac, I kinda interact with a lot of Souless online, so it was only a matter of time before I hit them up. I definitely want to do more with them once I got more ideas.
5. Your shit with ThugYeezy is always so nice. I know your collab project doesn’t have a set date, but when can we expect to see it?
I appreciate that! I’m glad you like it! We kinda jumped the gun with release dates, but I can assure you everything is written and most of it is recorded. We just have to finish up some shit & get it mastered. It’ll be out as early as possible in 2019. I’d like it out before February, but who knows?
6. Your verse on ‘Neighbours’ easily competes with your fellow rappers on that track, I’m very excited to hear more like that. Do you have a specific approach to writing verses?
Thank you, I’m really proud of that verse. Everybody snapped on that track, it couldn’t be any better if you ask me. I don’t necessarily have a method to writing. It’s actually really tough for me to get my brain working, but once I do, I usually keep going until I have a song done. Sometimes I just jot down random ideas and piece them together later, other times I’ll write a whole song front to back. It varies.
7. I’m really looking forward to hearing your work with sameflannel, what can expect from that collab?
We got a short one on the way. It’s really straightforward. No hook, just bars. Basically my strong point. He goes first & SNAPS. It’s under 2 minutes, but I fully intend on doing more with him down the line. He’s crazy talented.
8. Did you rap or produce first? Your finest beat is definitely Yeezy’s ‘The Night’, that was incredible.
I rapped first. I’ve been rapping since I was 12. Basically I started making beats because I couldn’t afford to buy them. My production is very bare & simple. I’m a rapper first, so I make beats that are good for rapping. Nothing too crazy. Not yet at least. I have A LOT to learn with production. I appreciate the compliment. That beat almost didn’t go anywhere. I just remember him asking for a beat so I sent him that out of the blue. He bodied that shit for no reason lmao.
9. Is there anything else we should look out for from you? I know you’re gonna have a much bigger year in 2019.
Yes! 2019 is going to be the year I finally get shit going. I’ve been slacking for like 6 years, but after this project with Yeezy I plan to do 2 solo joints for 2019. I can’t guarantee anything at the moment, but I swear I’m working my hardest on it.
10. And finally, any shoutouts you’d like to give?
First off, shout out to you for letting me on here, and for letting me on your tape. That shit means a lot. You & Alpine really deserve a lot of credit for putting dudes like us out there. Of course, I gotta send love to ThugYeezy, Vonte, Alpine, Satchmo, Caleb Scalzo, Kiezin, Marcus Dominic, Kane, & everyone else who’s helped me out over the years. I love y’all & wouldn’t be doing this shit without you.