“Where you start doesn't have to be where you finish.”
In hip-hop, being boxed into something no longer serves as a limitation—you don’t have to be just a DJ, producer, or rapper. You can be all-in-one. Supa Dupa Humble, best known as a budding DJ from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, realized after DJing professionally for more than five years that he needed a change. “There was so much more that I was holding in being a DJ,” Supa Dupa Humble says. “You get to mix music, you get to play music, you get to control the crowd. But then I always looked up to guys like Steve Aoki, Diplo, and Calvin Harris and I always asked myself: ‘What makes these guys different from regular club DJs?’ It is simple—they produce their own music.” And so, he broke one of his glass ceilings, leaving Djing to try producing by making a sound that fits his personality: fun, carefree, and energetic.
Supa Dupa Humble creates rhythms native to the Caribbean islands and Jamaican culture, with a dash of trap. Supa Dupa Humble was born in St. Lucia, where he grew up listening to reggae and Calypso music. When he moved to New York at the age of 6, he continued to seek those sounds growing up as a teenager, digging on dancehall blogs for sound clashes and party audio from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Supa Dupa Humble was heavily influenced by clash gurus like King Addies, Tony Matterhorn, and Fire Links, as well as anything from Chinese Assassin DJs to DJ Amazin. He grasped the formula of mixing through a software program called Virtual DJ.
Becoming a DJ was a natural progression. To get started, he bought his friend’s GLI Pro belt drive turntable and his father helped by purchasing a laptop and a Serato box for him. He built his following through broadcasting on UStream from his bedroom in Crown Heights, where he usually went live from Monday to Thursday, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. “It was like an online party, just me in my room, going. No shirt, sweating, my AC would be high and I’d be going,” adding he had up to “800 people come through the chat.”
While Supa Dupa Humble’s DJ run included stints in Club Gravity and The Buzz Nightclub in Crown Heights and DJing internationally in Japan, China, and Europe, being an artist was his true calling. By this time, he quit DJing in 2015 to transition into a producer, focusing on his craft and creating a sound intuitively off his tastes. Eventually, he met Daz Leone, one of his co-producers, while they were attending Kingsborough Community College for a few semesters.
“It’s funny, we linked up to develop and produce for other artists. I had a record that I let him hear. He was like, ‘Yo, what are you doing with this? Put it out.’ So we decided to put it out, and it did really well on SoundCloud.” That record ended up being “I’m Michael Jackson,” released in October 2016, a danceable banger featuring Supa Dupa Humble’s catchphrase-heavy flow over a piano-driven, glittery beat. According to him, the song did over one million streams on Soundcloud and its official YouTube audio has over 390,000 plays. The viral success gave him the confidence to create more songs as a solo artist.
With his team of co-producers Daz Leone, DJ Biinks, and Perry, Supa Dupa Humble stayed consistent with energetic songs, releasing “Steppin’” in June 2017 – his biggest hit to date –- and its video, which has over ten million views. In it, Supa Dupa Humble is literally bringing the eggplant emoji to life, dancing in a construction site with Mills Supreme, and wearing a “Make Gohan Great Again” hat. At first sight, it seems extremely bizarre, but it’s all entertainment.
To date, Supa Dupa Humble has released two EPs: Humble Gardens & Dirty Playlist. His hometown of Crown Heights, Brooklyn is a major inspiration, as Supa Dupa Humble uses Jamaican slang throughout the project to give it that extra sauce. When life gets stressful, Supa Dupa Humble wants to remind you to not take everything so seriously.
“With my music, it’s more about enjoying your life,” Supa Dupa says. “You have a lot of people who don’t get to enjoy it. You have people who don’t enjoy their life because they think it is way more complex than it is. Life, to me, is very simple. I take it day by day.”
“One day at a time.”