Daylyt is probably one of the most interesting personalities that fans will ever get to meet in the battle rap world. Notoriously known for his antics, few have looked past the pranks and the crew hijinks to see the genius that exists behind his batman tattooed eyes.
AllHipHop.com sat with Daylyt and he shared his journey from Watts to URL in detail during this exclusive “10 Steps to NOME X” interview:
AllHipHop: What is the story behind your journey as an emcee?
Daylyt: I grew up around my older brother, Nut. Are you familiar with Crooked I? My brother and he used to rock. I was like the little kid in the corner, while he and my brother were chopping things down. I was always infatuated by seeing people put words together in extreme and amazing ways (the way they did it back in that era). I was a little kid looking up to my big brother like he was a superhero according to the way he rapped.
As I got older, every high school had freestyle Friday high school. Freestyling and battling were things that we did in school. There were other places like Project Blowed, but I didn’t know too much about them. Where I am from in Watts, we did go too far outside of our area.
It just so happens that the Smack DVD got our neighborhood somehow. I was like “Oh sh*t, battle rap is crazy.” I think the first battle I saw was the Mook battle, but I still didn’t have the guts to do it. I would say like around ’04 or the early 2000s, I got introduced to the event called “The Pit” out in LA. A man named Sticks was the founder of “The Pit” and he put together like this super Hip-Hop spot, where they had bands… it was kind of like a Project Blowed but without the white people. It was like all the gangbangers. “The Pit” was the hood and grungy, but nothing really happened but that tension is kind of what made it what it was. That was how I got introduced to actually battling and I wound up having a battle against a rapper named Dizaster and a few more cats. That was how I met Dizaster when we battled, we became cool, best friends, and started our group.
I was always a fan of the Smack era. I actually have a close relationship with Mook and them. One of Mook’s older brothers or cousins I used to play college basketball with. So, I always knew Mook, even before I really started battle rapping. I knew Mook and T-Rex and Dot Mob. It just so happens I was a fan of Mook and I was playing basketball with his family member and I met him just like that. So, it was like the universe was trying to connect some sh*t without me even knowing it.
I am part of Dot Mob on behalf of Rex and Mook, Norms, and Nemo. I still haven’t met a few of them. But f*ck with them to the level of no return like if I am in New York, they got me. They are going to hold me down. It is bigger than some crew sh*t, it is almost like we are brothers. It is a Brotherhood.
AllHipHop: You’re such a gifted emcee. Talk about your first battle on URL.
Daylyt: I’m like this weird anomaly aspect of battle rap because I was supposed to be on URL multiple times and it didn’t happen. The universe was like ‘Not now, Daylyt, not yet.’ I was booked for summer madness multiple times and a fight broke out before and I didn’t get the battle. I was booked again, and it just didn’t work out. So my very first time, official URL, was when I battled Mike P. I was kinda excited, but I just wasn’t as excited because it wasn’t in a super big venue. It was more like a small room setup. I said, let me just go in there and cook. For me, it was just like another day in the office.
As of right now, I am extremely excited about NOME which is on to the next upcoming battle.
AllHipHop: What is the difference between Daylyt and Quill?
Daylyt: I have created these different types of realities in my mind. And these alternate realities help me create different types of me, just so people don’t get tired of one me. One thing, I’ve learned about life and with human beings in general, is that humans get tired of things. It doesn’t matter if it is the best thing in the world, you may get tired of things if you have it too much.
So, you’ll get Daylyt, but you’ll get a hometown buffet version of Daylyt, different types of options of Daylyt. A quill is the original writing utensil, it is the feather that they would dip into ink.
It started off with one sentence of Facebook. I tagged Mickey Facts and said, ‘I’m cut from a different cloth.’ And I spelled it ‘K-LO-F-F.’ And Mickey said, ‘No, I am cut from a different cloth.’ And he spelled it ‘K-W-L-A-W-F.’ We just spelled cloth so many different ways as we could possibly spell it. We manipulated the world cloth in maybe like 50 different posts. At some point, he wrote ‘I wrote Q-U-L-O-F-F’ and then I said that I was cut from the ‘Quill.’ Then we were like a quill is the original writing tool, we might have broken continuum wording to where we went back to the original writer’s pen.
He said, ‘That’s kinda crazy’ and I said, ‘I’m calling myself Quill from now on. This is my new alter ego and that will tell you that if I am on my ‘quill’ tip, I am about to write some of the craziest **** on the face of the earth.
AllHipHop: Is Quill more of a lyricist and Daylyt is …
Daylyt: Quill is more Pablo Picasso, the painter — I am going to paint this canvas with something you aren’t used to hearing. When you are looking at Daylyt the individual, you are going to get some gritty, some clever, some woke sh*t. You are going to get a plethora of everything when you get Daylyt.
AllHipHop: Did you play basketball in college?
Daylyt: I went to Long Beach City and then I went to Long Beach State. I went to a few JC before that. I went to Harbor City Junior College. I played some overseas basketball for like a year, then I played in Alaska. I got some nice decent basketball experience.
I think I would have gotten into the NBA, if I didn’t go to the high school I went to. I understand there is a systematic combine that will get you into the NBA. Certain camps you have to go to, certain coaches you have to work out with, and certain trainers. There is an untold backdoor approach to get into the NBA. I didn’t know about the combine.
AllHipHop: Do you feel like coming from Watts that perhaps the opportunities were blocked from you?
Daylyt: I believe that 99% of these opportunities have been blocked from me. Once we had a game at USC. I remember a scout was looking at me and he walked up to me and said, ‘What high school did you go to?’ And I was like I went to ‘L.A. Jordan,’ and he just walked away. It was almost like somebody put L.A. Jordan on the blacklist. I was like we had a red mark on us.
That also has a lot to do with the actual music industry. As you know based on the neighborhood that you are from and based on the neighborhood I grew up in, we have done so much damage in the world, that when you say that you are affiliated with that session, you know your credit is already in the negative. I definitely believe that a lot of opportunities were kept away from me based off of where I was from.
AllHipHop: When you look at what is going on in the world right now, you could have been a George Floyd?
Daylyt: A lot of us were already George Floyds. I have been beaten by police so many times that seemed normal, a day in the hood. I have been handcuffed for no reason, dropped off in the Mexican hood. The police have just done all kinds of sh*t to us. I got another homeboy named Kaylo that was killed by the police. Another friend named Mookie, who’s been killed by the police. I’ve been watching this my whole life. With the whole George Floyd sh*t … it doesn’t affect me as much as it affects a lot of people because I’ve seen it a lot more in my life.
I don’t think nobody should protest anything. I think there should be physical retaliation, every time.
I have three boys. I have a 14-year-old, a 10-year-old, and I have a two-year-old. I am a daddy daddy and I am active in their lives. I am one of the few fathers that never lied to my children. I don’t let them live in their fantasy reality of making everything. I let them watch all the stuff they need to watch from all the slave documentaries to all who we were before slavery. I pump their head with knowledge. They don’t have time for cartoons. They don’t have time for fairytale sh*t that doesn’t mean anything. I’m like a superhero to them. You know who some kids think that their parent is Batman, but they don’t really know?
I tell my children, yo son … I am going over here to work but they don’t know I’m going on and being one of the greatest lyricists in the world they have no idea.”
AllHipHop: NOME X will have some of the other great lyricists in the world on the card. When you got the call for NOME, how did that call go?
Daylyt: The battle rap community has this weird thought that I and Smack and URL have bad relations. When in all actuality, we don’t. We talk frequently behind the scenes. It just always boiled down to a time when everything was going to make sense. So, we have been in the works talking about for the last couple of years, and when NOME came around I let Smack know it was time. I was ready. Smack hit me and said, ‘Lyt I think it is about that time.’ And I answered, ‘I am feeling real froggy.’ He said he would call me when he has that deposit and when he has that opponent.`
AllHipHop: And what do you think about Tay Roc?
Daylyt: I believe Tay Roc is a high-level skilled rapper. In what he does, in his position, he is like a 97 or 98. He is pretty much at the peak of what he does. I respect him as an artist or as an emcee 100%. Will it be enough for what I don’t? I don’t know.
Like I don’t have a favorite Tay Roc battle. To me, he has moments like the ‘seat belt buckle up’ line. I can’t even name more than three Tay Roc battles. I just don’t watch battles and that goes for everybody. I just don’t watch battle rap. Watching will f*ck with your creativity. I don’t do that and that is why I don’t really sound like anyone and I am so unorthodox. I don’t subconsciously program myself with other people’s material.
AllHipHop: What do you want to prove at NOME X this year?
Daylyt: At this exact moment, I feel like I need to jump in and say some things that I need to say. I can’t let you all know that. I need to save that for the battle.
NOME X will air on Saturday, July 11 at 5 pm on Caffeine TV.