For this month’s installment of That NJ Ish, we highlight Dibiasi. As his latest release, “Round Here,” rotates around the Tri-State area’s radio and club scene, we chopped it up with him to find out more about him.
Being from Hudson County and so close to Jersey City, MMR (Many Man Records) was a crew that I’ve heard about for a few years. When I met Dibasi in August, it was evident as to why he is one of the stand-out members in the collective. He walks into SUVAS in Jersey City carrying himself the way he describes himself: cocky and confident as if he’s the owner of the building and almost rightfully so. Throughout our interview, several people see him in the store window and nod their heads at him showing that he’s home and one of those guys that is always moving around the city.
To get to know a little more about Dibi, I asked him about his influences, his writing process, being from Jersey City, and more. Check out what he had to say below and be sure to check in next week for his That NJ Ish freestyle.
Interview by Julie Aly
When did you start rapping and seriously making music?
I started and got serious all at the same time. It was probably 2005-2006.
What inspired your rap name?
Wrestling. WWF back in the day with Ted Dibiase. I took that and ran with it. I liked his lifestyle.
What inspires your writing process?
I just like to be alone. It could be just me and the music and I’m good. I just zone out.
Who are your musical influences?
I have three: Jay Z, Jeezy, and Fabolous.
What three Jersey artists, dead or alive, from any genre would you like to work with?
That’s a good question. I don’t really like to work with others, but [Joe] Budden. That’s a really good question, I don’t want to go against my city like that. I’d go with [Tsu] Surf and Justin Love.
Who would be on your dream collaboration?
I really like Jeremih and Trey [Songz] a lot so, it will probably be one of them. It would more so be R&B singers and not another rapper. If it was another rapper, it would be someone from my top three. That would just be for fun. To go for the money? It would be one of the R&B singers. Producer wise? I like [Dr.] Dre a lot, Justin Blaze, and Kanye.
How has Jersey influenced your musical style?
It influences a lot because of the lifestyle. It’s the way we grew up, the way we live. I don’t think I would have been the same way if I grew up somewhere else.
Do you find that it’s harder to shine because you’re from Jersey City?
Yes. It’s much harder because we don’t have our own radio outlets so we have to fight our way out of all the people here then have to fight our way out of all the people in New York too. It’s like you have to beat out millions just to get that one spot.
What was it like hearing your song played on the radio for the first time?
We almost crashed the car! (Laughs) I was driving and we didn’t expect it. We were coming from the club so it was later on. We had the radio down cause we were actually talking. The next thing we know, I just heard it. I thought it was me playing a CD or something like that so I didn’t pay that much attention. I looked up and I saw it was the radio. It was actually DJ Wallah on Hot 97 that played it. It was crazy! That shit fucked us all up! It was a crazy experience.
Five words that describe you as an artist.
Ignorant, arrogant, cocky, fashionable, and confident.
If you were not rapping what would you be doing?
(Chuckles) That is a good question. I probably would have been hustling or something like that.
Dibaisi‘s “Dreams” video.