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Dave Hill: "It Feels Like Ghetto Art"

The Detroit artist talks his appreciation for artist Basquiat and his influence on his recent release of "Untitled"...

Rapper Dave Hill's appreciation for street art goes well beyond simple admiration. Early last year the Detroit rapper released his EP “Untitled” . The project spans 8 songs with a run time of just under 25 minutes and features verses from rappers Sleaze, Eli Mayes and G.T. Although most of the heavy lifting on the tape is done by Dave. Where this tape really excels is with the production team [D Noble, Sirius, Crowe, Ddicsounds, Eli Myles and BB Beats] .

“Untitled” is heavily influenced by the street art culture, taking different elements of song making and using them to create a cohesive body of work. The project is full of samples, almost every song if not all of them utilize this classic approach. However Dave does an excellent job of not over utilizing the heavy sampling. It’s just enough for us to recognize something familiar. Dave's skill as a lyricist and his relationship with his hometown and its artistic background is what really drives the tape. I sat down with the Detroit native to discuss his overall inspirations of " Untitled" from not only the cover art but the concept of his music and who he is as an artist! Check out the conversation below!


Elijah: What's going on bro? Before we get into it for the people who might not know you, can you introduce yourself?

Dave Hill: I’m Dave Hill - a young artist/entrepreneur from Detroit, MI.

E: Speaking of being an artist, is it just music that you consider to be your art, I thought I noticed you painting in your instagram?

DH: I’m actually not a painter. I’m just a fan of the art and associate myself with a community of painters.

E: That's still dope. I want to shift gears a little to talk about your recent full length release, "Untitled". Now before we get into the music I want to talk about the cover. What was your inspiration?

DH: So I’m a fan of [Jean- Michael] Basquiat’s abstract art so I wanted to pay homage to his style but make it in my likeness. So I referenced his painting called “Skull” and had an artist from my city imitate it but in my likeness. It complimented how I felt about the project.


E: With such a heavy meaning behind the album cover, what was your reasoning on the title (or lack of a title) of the project?

DH: Basquiat's most successful piece is named “UNTITLED”

E: That's dope so I think the biggest aspects that drew me into the tape was your use of samples. Every one of your songs are perfectly paired with a complimentary sample that works to create this cohesive body of art work. Talk about your decision to use samples instead of all original beats.

DH: love samples. I’m actually a fan of nearly all the music sampled and many were andpicked by me. I’m just a fan of music and I’m surrounded by producers who can execute my visions.

E: Was it hard to get those samples cleared.

DH: Far as clearance, I leave all that talk up to my management.

E: Detroit has a very distinctive sound, similar to how most regions do. However the "Detroit's sound" is almost immediately distinguishable as soon as you hear the first couple of bars in a song. "Untitled" is not held by those same characteristics. How does Detroit play into your rapping style?

DH: I’m Detroit born and raised so Detroit is in my music by default. I rap with Detroit lingo/jargon, I reference Detroit artifacts and hoods. To be honest, there is an entire scene in Detroit of artist who don’t sound like typical Detroit but are still talented.

E: That’s facts! Just like with every region there are people who don’t fit that stereotypical role but sometimes outshine those that do!

DH: I like to align myself among Detroit greats like Big Sean, Boldy James, Royce da 5’9, etc. They don’t fit into the same flow or pattern as other popular Detroit artists like Babyface Ray, Peezy, Dugg, or Vezzo but their talented in their own right and are equally Detroit in my opinion.

E: ‘Untitled’ was released in 2022, it’s now 2023 anything you can tell me about what your fans can expect from you this year?

DH: I’m working on a few projects. I actually have a couple EPs ready for release but just timing everything properly and getting the marketing together for them. I’m expecting 2023 to be a big year for myself and an influx of content for anybody out there listening to me.

E: Well I can’t wait to tap in for everything you got going on in 2023!

Check out "UNTITLED" below and dont forget to stop by the F%$@ THE ALGORITHM playlist for the music we think you need in your life.

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