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Daveed Diggs On His Rap Career With Katie Curic

Daveed Diggs On His Rap Career With Katie Curic

Earlier this week, Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down at The Knickerbocker hotel rooftop for an in-depth interview with Tony Nominated Daveed Diggs. Couric and Diggs discussed his rap career, his Oakland roots, how he met Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and more.

Daveed Diggs of ‘Hamilton’ on his Tony nomination, Broadway debut and rap career

Below are excerpts from the interview:
· What he thinks about everything that’s happened to him – “Before any of the accolades or anything happened, I was doing the best thing. Like, I have the most fun doing that show every night with all these great people. So everything on top of that has just been like, my cake has a lot of icing right now, you know?”

Daveed Diggs

· How he and Lin-Manuel Miranda became friends – “Through Freestyle Love Supreme. The first time I workshopped Hamilton out at Vassar. And I was sort of sitting with him at lunch one time, thanking him for having me come out and be a part of this. And he said, when you grow up, and you love rapping, and you’re also a theater nerd that cross section doesn’t exist in a whole lot of places sometimes. So you sort of feel like a unicorn. And when you see another unicorn, you’re like, ‘Hey, we’re both unicorns. Let’s be unicorns together for a long time.’”

· What he said after hearing the concept of Hamilton – “It’s a terrible idea. Send me the script. Once they sent the music, I was hooked you know, he was writing real intricate, complicated raps for me to do, which was so exciting. ‘Cause he knows that’s the kind of stuff I like to do. So it’s really great to work with your friends on a project.”

Daveed Diggs

· Sleeping on the subway and couch surfing in NYC after college – “I must’ve been 22 or 23 or something. And I had a lot of friends out here. I was sort of doing some epic couch surfing slash sleeping on the subway, when couch surfing didn’t work out. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I liked the two train for– for naps.”

· What he remembers about Hamilton’s opening night – “It was a totally unforgettable night. I was crying. I was, like, in my dressing room weeping and backstage sort of weeping before I went on, trying to get myself together. Like, “this is not gangster.” But it was because my mom was there. My oldest friends were there. There’s no way I would’ve been able to do it without them.”

· What happened when his brother and friend woke him up on the morning of the Tonys – “They broke into my house and jumped on my bed. And we drank champagne at 9:00 a.m… like, some classy dudes.”

Daveed Diggs

· Does he think about life after Hamilton – “Not really. I mean, we’re so in it right now. I have the luxury of having people who are thinking about what happens after Hamilton, while I just get to go do Hamilton. And now all of these doors are open. I think this idea of a big break is a lie, I think there are a series of events that are very important in your career. And hopefully, the trajectory is a positive one. But you also can’t really worry about that. If a project feels good to you, say yes. And do it with everything that you have and hope that the outcome is good.”

· His love of rap music – “Something about the structure the confines of writing meter and within a bar structure, it was actually really freeing for me. And that was it for me…I was writing in the car on the way here.”

· His rap group CLPPNG and what they’re working on – “We called our band CLPPNG, ’cause we’d use a lot of harsh, abrasive noise, even though we actually mix it all very careful. There’s very little actual audio clipping in the things that we put out… There is a CLPPNG album coming out this year… I’m working on solo stuff. Me and Rafael Casal are working on a new mixtape.”

· Why continuing to rap is important to him, even with his busy Hamilton schedule – “It’s the one voice that I have that nobody else has input on, really. Lin wrote the dopest show I’ve ever been a part of. Lin, I’m not hatin’ on you. I would never. But it’s Lin’s. You know, the words are Lin’s. But rap music is mine. I make those decisions. And the words that I choose to put out into the world are mine.”

Catch Hamilton now on Broadway.

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