by Cami Thomas
Danté Wolfe is here to stay. The St. Louis native and au courant member of the MME music collective has been getting his hands dirty; most notably with the groundwork of his upcoming album, Carlton Ave.
The authentic, strikingly forthright story told in the single Temp Tags outlines a life of near death experiences, relationship woes, and crossing state lines. The old school trumpets and pipe organ blaring in the background set the tone for a tale reminiscent of an urban mafia movie, starring Wolfe and fellow MME artist Mvstermind. (Click Read More)
After the release (and much acclaim) to Wolfe's Temp Tags, I had the chance to sit down with Wolfe and ask a few questions about his upbringing, and get the inside scoop about his music.
Q: Thanks for linking up with me man. I guess we can just dive right in. How has St. Louis and St. Louis culture helped to shape your music?
A: After my upbringing in St. Louis I feel like I can go anywhere and figure out my way. The city exposes you to so much so young. I knew how to give attention to detail being from here. You have to know how to talk to different people. Being from St. Louis will teach you how much an opportunity is worth also. These are just some of things that factor into my music. The city has a jazz influence historically also. I want to utilize that more.
Q: That's real. I definitely hear those jazz influences in your new song Temp Tags. Where do you draw most of your inspiration?
A: I draw the majority of my inspiration from life; life experiences, life lessons. All of the records I've been writing this past year have been done on the spot. I'll stop and go through the beats I have at the time and make music about whatever I'm going through or whatever I'm feeling that day. Not just about myself either, world events too. I'll say something like "the white hoods turned blue, but the aim is the same." Because that's what I'm seeing going on and that's what's impacting me.
Q: How’d you get started with MME?
A: I went to high school with nearly everyone in the collective. Naturally I rapped in highschool but it was more so based in battling or just cyphers. I hadn't even really thought about making whole songs at that point. MIR, Con, and I usually would be taking the same path home. One day at the Metro Link Station MIR started asking me about rap in general and if I was still rapping. I told him "yeah". He asked me if I wanted to work on this project with him and shortly after that I was in MME.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
A: In the first two stories I thought of, one could could probably get me into some legal trouble. And the second nearly ended me in some legal trouble. So I'll just leave that there haha.
Q: What’s something that most people would never guess about you?
A: I use this one because I heard it recently: That I like to watch anime. As an artist I'm a storyteller. This song is a vivid depiction of a pivotal time in my recent life. In less than a year my whole life changed. Through my music you can get to know me. I would say that's all you need to know.
Q: What’s a hardship that has helped shape you into the artist you are today?
A: Honestly just being down. I've had a couple periods of struggle in my lifetime. Whether it was skipping a meal, or being completely broke. Or even just straight sleeping on the floor. I would consider myself a prideful person so I don't like asking for things. Even from my parents. So finding myself in those situations and seeing where I'm at now, it shows me a lot about myself. I lost financial aid twice and could've just walked away from it, technically being a dropout. But I've always stayed my course and stuck to my plans. I feel like that shows in my music. There's definitely a beauty in the struggle and I draw on that in different forms for my music.
Q: Who’s your biggest mentor? Or someone you look up to within the music scene.
A: As cliché as it might sound I gotta say Mvstermind. Whenever I have a question or I'm trying to figure out how to do something music related he's one of the first people I call. Since the early stages he's always set a bar with the music.
Q: Where do you see yourself in three years? Musically and otherwise
A: In three years I will have completely found myself as an artist and a creative. I have a few professional goals in the entertainment field. Being a Theatre graduate I'm naturally drawn to film and production. So I'll be making the best music of my youth. And have some decent production cred to add. All of my business is in order also so we shouldn't be pressed for change.