Higher Brothers KnowKnow Talks Solo LP & Working With Snoop Dogg
KnowKnow is Mr. Enjoy Da Money — a streetwear brand, a movement, also the name of his debut solo album. You may recognize Chinese hip-hop artist as one-fourth of Higher Brothers, the extremely lit Asian rap group signed to 88Rising. But KnowKnow has bigger plans: he wants to break into the US market and prove he has the skills and talents to be an international artist.
With influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Rich The Kid to Beethoven, KnowKnow delivers records that showcase his versatility, whether he’s singing or rapping in English or Chinese. Beyond that, he’s here to be his own boss, calling himself the “baby CEO of many real businesses.”
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Know Know?
KnowKnow: KnowKnow is Dīng Zhèn (丁震) from China. KnowKnow is Mr. Enjoy Da Money man, you can call him Baby CEO or whatever. He’s very, very purple.
AllHipHop: Why purple?
KnowKnow: Purple because in my little time going to school, my art teacher asked me some questions about colors. She told me purple means secret, so I want to have a lot of secrets. I want to be that for people. I like secrets and I also like purple.
AllHipHop: How’d you get your name KnowKnow?
KnowKnow: KnowKnow because I want to know a lot of knowledge. I want to be a philosopher.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to when you first joined Higher Brothers.
KnowKnow: At this time, I was in Nanjing and I finished school. After I finished school, I went into selling insurance. At this time, I’m a Higher Brothers fan. Every day, I listened to Higher Brothers. Not Higher Brothers, it was before they were Higher Brothers. I’m a fan of CBC (Cheng-Du City Rap House). One day, I made a song and they liked my song.
AllHipHop: Was it in Chinese?
KnowKnow: Yes. I put it on the internet and it was fire. It wasn’t mixed but it’s so fire. It’s amazing. They asked me if I wanted to keep making music. They said “If you want, you can come to Chengdu.” Chengdu is very chill. Chengdu is like the Chinese version of LA. Chengdu people like eating hotpot. Chengdu time is very slow, you get up at 2pm or 3pm then start your day. The beginning is very late, you wake up in the afternoon. It’s very chill like the LA lifestyle. I just made music with the other Brothers.
AllHipHop: What makes you want to branch into the US market as a solo artist?
KnowKnow: Because this is my beginning to the rap game. I like Kendrick Lamar and all these American rappers. If I want to get deep into the game, I need to come here to be an international artist. I don’t care I'm from China but I want to be international. I want to be worldwide. I want more fans, so we have China marketing and USA marketing.
AllHipHop: What do you like about Kendrick Lamar?
KnowKnow: I first listened to his song: [imitates “Backseat Freestyle” intro]. That’s tight. It’s amazing. I was in my brother’s home and watched his music video with the Chinese version and lyrics. It’s so crazy! He has a girlfriend, wife, and a mistress. I want his lifestyle.
AllHipHop: Talk about being bilingual and rapping in both languages.
KnowKnow: My English is so bad. Because when I’m in school, I hated my English teacher. I hated all my teachers. I hate every teacher so I just learned English from music videos and hip-hop culture. My English is so bad but when we talk about music and hip-hop, I learned a lot about this from music videos. A lot of American rappers’ videos.
AllHipHop: How does Chinese hip-hop compare to the States?
KnowKnow: It’s not very different. If you give them the same beat, just the language is different. We have the same flow, same samples, same melody. Just the meaning is different, so we can mix it.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
KnowKnow: I am the top 1, 2 is A$AP Rocky, 3 is Kendrick Lamar, 4 is Rich the Kid, 5 is Snoopy Uncle!
AllHipHop: What can we expect from Mr. Enjoy Da Money? What’s the significance in the name?
KnowKnow: It’s a brand. It’s a record. It’s an Inc. (a big corporation). In China, it’s very, very professional and legal. Mr. Enjoy Da Money has a business, has marketing, has an artist. The name is from Anders (from 88Rising). One day I was getting money from Anders, Anders said “enjoy da money.” Okay, so I made the name Mr. Enjoy Da Money. This brand is fire.
Lana (manager): But anybody can be Mr. Enjoy Da Money.
AllHipHop: How’d you find your way to 88Rising?
KnowKnow: Before when we were in China, we made a lot of music videos and 88Rising wanted to buy it. [They wanted the exclusive rights to the “Black Cab” music video to put on their Youtube]. 88Rising bought a lot of music videos and after this, we chose to sign to 88Rising.
AllHipHop: What’s been the best part?
KnowKnow: Joining 88Rising, the best part is December 12th because my album drops! Mr. Enjoy Da Money.
AllHipHop: Talk about linking with Snoop Dogg. What was that experience like?
KnowKnow: Snoop Dogg is very chill. He has a very big house, very big studio. He has a lot of producers working with him. On the outside, Snoop has a lot of lowriders. A lot of different cars. His lifestyle is very cool, I like that.
AllHipHop: How did you link with him?
KnowKnow: One day, me, Masiwei, and Higher Sister went to meet him to make a song. This song was on Wu Assassins in Netflix called “Friends & Foes.” We just made the song and shot the video. It’s very, very natural. It’s very, very good. He brought us to the game room, we played a lot of games. The cover of the game was Snoopy Uncle, it’s very interesting. I like that.
AllHipHop: What is it about KnowKnow that fans love?
KnowKnow: Fans love KnowKnow because sometimes he’s cute, sometimes he’s a monster. Sometimes KnowKnow can’t wait. Fans love KnowKnow because he has very different personalities. Sometimes KnowKnow is cute but also he has a lot of special ideas. I always make new feelings for the fans, so fans better like Know Know. If KnowKnow keeps working, the fans keep liking.