Rikan is an American Hip Hop artist who resides in Brooklyn, NY. Throughout his life, Rikan spent
most of his time moving across the U.S. from NewYork to Oregon and parts in between.
Being seen as the outcast wherever he went, fitting in wasn’t always the case for him. Eventually,
the strong personality of Rikan or Rikan Beastly was created to combat these concerns through
Hip-hop music. A fortified savage, some words to define Rikan are extreme, raw, funny, and uncut,
as he enters a scene where his next journey lies on the lines.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet rewrote EVERYTHING. Now is the time a person can literally make a living off of music if they know where to look and educate themselves. It’s also harder though, because of the amount of people doing music (collabs help with this), everyone’s attention span being crazy low, bots, and a bunch of misinformation. But tools needed to start making music and marketing yourself have never been more accessible. It’s on some type of yin yang balancing scale that you as an artist gotta navigate through and learn from your mistakes…which can be a lot. Long story short, easier to create and show yourself off but harder with misinformation and scams.
In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed?
The music industry is massive. You have the traditional get signed by a label route and then you have a machine backing you up (or ruining your life depending on the situations), but then comes the independent scene, meme scene, Youtuber scene, etc. I feel the only way to stay on top of everything is to be consistent. Consistently create. Consistently learn. Consistently expand on how to make moves. Consistently take care of yourself also and don’t burn out. As an Independent artist with no team and tight budget, I gotta wear more hats than baseball teams. Which means do my own mixing, be my own promoter, my own connection guy, video editor and so on. It sucks because I can’t just focus on rap anymore, but it helps me be able to grow my rap career. That’s the shortest way to explain this. I loved this question for real.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I’d change the number of scandalous things that happen. I was rapping with almost no real grasp on how to watch out for myself. I’ve been scammed. I’ve been played. I’ve been used like so many artists. There wasn’t any real way of knowing what was right or wrong. So, if I can change anything in the industry, if we’re talking about music as a whole, then I would make sure ALL ARTISTS, regardless of if I hate them, learn about the basics of the Music Industry as a whole. Learn about 360 deals in contracts, about how your profits are split from your earnings with the label and its circle. Learn about owning your masters and protecting your art. I’d also make it known that you can do this by yourself or with your own team and not a major label. You don’t need to follow trends as well, be yourself.
What about your music is rebellious, unconventional, or unusual?
My content, style, and story make me rebellious. I rap about what I want and mix old and new styles of flows and/or cadences. Lyrics matter to me. I typically rap with dark humor tones. My words tell stories that cause uncomfort and a rare perspective different from others, even if we’re on the same page topic wise. I represent the outcast; those with broken homes and lives who feel alone or just willing to give up. I am unique and therefore unconventional to the traditional listener. There’s expression in everything I make. When you listen to me you get the pieces that people don’t like to hear but might love to listen to on a song as a guilty pleasure. With me showing my braggadocious side or my insecure side, you can see I’m still finding myself through my music. But that’s the beauty of being an artist…
What is your top two favorite songs of all time? Why those songs?
Till’ I Collapse and Soldier by Eminem. These songs saved me from giving up on living and stopped me from attempting suicide. They gave me the strength, hope, and courage to keep going. Growing up I never felt accepted and always had issues with people who didn’t like the way I looked or where I was from. I got dissed for being poor, mixed, not being Puerto Rican enough, being White, being Mexican (I’m not even Mexican), having a single mom, the list goes on. I moved a lot and never felt connected with almost anyone. That’s why those two Eminem songs are my top two, because I felt the rage and anger in his songs. My life would start to try to turn around after that.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
The best part about being an artist is being able to create. The best thing being your own artist and not tied to a contract is being true to YOURSELF. I love expressing myself and I love that doing this has shown me more about myself than anyone ever has. No one can tell you what to do. This is my world, and the only limits are the ones self made.
What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
There’s a laundry list of music I got planned for release. I’m gonna have new music uploaded to all streaming services every month or two. I’ll have a new music video drop between each stream release. There’re features with Independent Rappers I have on the way too. So much music. So much content. No gigs right now. I want to make a foothold there, then have a big enough fan base to be able to go on gigs. Definitely follow me on Spotify or sub to my Youtube channel to see everything I drop!
Does your music fit in to your local scene? If so, how do you take advantage of that? If not, do you see that as an obstacle and what do you do about it?
My music hits with people who have unique situations. People with struggles in their personal life or outcasts in their environment have come to my music to either zone out or to use it to feel better.
People with dark humor aka savages like my music also because to them I’m funny. Shoutout to all of you! I don’t really fit in my local scene in New York, but at the same time I do. Besides the lyricism, there isn’t much connection, but if we talk about people who like different things from the norm then I fit with those pockets of life here. Recently, there’ve been a lot of listeners/fans who like to listen to me while they work out. It’s dope to know people get motivated to lift from my songs. How they can hear me in their ear though is a shock to me. I hate my voice.
What is the most useless talent you have?
Uhh…I’m double jointed on my thumbs and jaw. Proceed to make memes below.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
I don’t know about my life, but right now you can use almost any song from Pink Guy’s Pink Season. I’m in a savage sus mood as we speak lol.
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Trick question. Godzilla. Period. Trick answer.
If you were captain of a ship, what would you call it?
Something savage. So, savage it’ll break the “*” symbol.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
I’d tell my younger self to forget school and start streaming. You could’ve married Pokemaine if you actually followed what Youtube and Twitch was starting to become. Your current self is very disappointed in you. Hold this L. Forever. And don’t call me again.
Thank you everyone at Divine Magazine!