We had the good fortune of connecting with DaBunni and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi DaBunni, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the tenacity and determination my ancestors possessed in order to change the narrative of what Black People can be/pursue in every era and industry. They showed me that just because there is a status quo in different aspects of life does not mean that you have to abide by it, even if the 99% of that population does. Although I am the first rapper of my kind, I am inspired by a few rappers from different places! I love Detroit rappers; that being said a mega influence of mine is Kash Doll and I love the cadence styles of Big Sean. Other artists I’m inspired by is Lil Kim’, Missy Elliot, Money Bagg Yo, Tupac, Ice Cube, and Nicki Minaj. The writers who inspire me the most are Maya Angelou and Henry David Thoreau because their poetic styles are so raw and real.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
On the surface people look at female rappers and assume that they all make the same type of content: I debunk that whole misconception because I have something so different! What sets me apart from other rappers is my audience; men enjoy my music just as much as the women do which apparently isn’t the norm. Through my music I show that women can write their own verses and it’ll be accepted just the same. I rep where I am from, talk about my life experiences, and being the baddest most confident person in the room regardless of who is there. Although I have thought highly of my skills since I started rapping the journey hasn’t been easy because of just that. There are people who have tried to critique me along the way, accused me of not writing my own music, men suggesting that I could get ahead if I do things unrelated with music, etc. At the end of the day my journey will be hard because I am doing it the right and honorable way, but as long as I get my respect in the end of it, that’s a win. I want the world to know that my brand is being an educated Black woman who writes my own music and doesn’t allow people to tell me who I am. I’m the perfect blend of intellectual, street, sexy, stylish, and uplifting. There is no other West Coast female rapper doing it like me. DaBunni is the very first of the new wave approaching.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being I’m born and raised in Long Beach, CA, one of the most diverse places to live, I have everything that I need in the city or right outside of it! Depending on what night they touch down the first place I’m taking them to eat is Starling Diner for breakfast. It’s the best in the cut brunch spot in Long Beach with fire cocktails and premium mimosas to compliment the necessary scones for the table. After that we’re going to the Horny Corner which is a distinct part of the beach where you can either sit back and chill or kayak throughout Naples. For a quick drink afterwards I’d take my homie to Tee’s Donut Shop on the east side. It’s obviously not alcoholic, but the fresh smoothies and juices are so fire you wouldn’t be missing a thing. Afterwards I think I would take them to Fourth street aka Hipster Road so we could visit my favorite Black business Shades of Afrika where you can find holistic products, essential literature, community building meetings, and spoken words. It is actually the first place I ever recited a poem since my mom used to take me every week from the age of 5. Once we freshen up, I’m taking them straight to the 2nd street area where good food, drinks, and vibes are constant and it’s easy to go to At The Top, a poppin’ night club on Pine street, afterwards. Everyone gets hungry after a night of dancing so the next spot is El Sauz on Anahiem for some tacos that we could grab then sit at the top of Signal Hill, a beautiful overlook of the city, and eat in total bliss.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my shoutout to my manager, Young (@apyoungin on ig)! First off, I wouldn’t have even started living out my passion if it weren’t for him telling me that I had a gift after he heard me rap for the first time. Since then he has been working for me constantly, even in ways that aren’t typical for a manager. Although Young manages me, he also is a creative director and because of that I am blessed! My entire page is filled with good content with Black and Brown clothing brands due to his deep connections with both communities and the sets he provides. Young inspires me to be a good person everyday no matter what energy is thrown at me. He is courageous, a visionary, community oriented, ambitious, and an open minded person- all of these are qualities that he teaches me to embody everyday. My rap career is a safe haven for me because I have a manager who has my best interest at heart and never allows me to feel anything other than safety to express myself and flourish. This career is based off of my hard work, yet I am fortunate to have a team mate/friend like Young by my side.

Website: www.dabunni.com

Instagram: instagram.com/dabunni/

Image Credits
Photographers in chronological order: #1 & #2) @shannongodly on ig #3 & #4) @digitaldezi on ig

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