American rapper Diggy Simmons first rose to fame after appearing in the MTV reality television series, Run’s House as the fourth son of renowned R&B artist, Rev Run. Born and raised in New York City, he is also the youngest member of the hip hop group, All City Chess Club. After appearing on his father’s TV show, he released his debut mix tape entitled The First Flight in 2009, which was hosted by emcee Spin King. From there, it wasn’t long until he was inundated with offers from various record labels, all of which were interested in signing him as an artist. Eventually choosing Atlantic Records, Simmons subsequently began working on his debut studio album, however not before uploading a viral video of himself freestyling over Nas’ Made You Look, which garnered high praise from several musicians including Kanye West. Prior to the release of his first album, he released two additional mix tapes, Airborne and Past, Present(s), Future in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
After working in and out of the studio for many months, the rapper released his debut studio album entitled, Unexpected Arrival in the spring of 2012. Warmly received by contemporary music critics and fans, it successfully peaked within the top twenty on the US Billboard Top 200. Not only that, but it also spawned five singles, three of which ended up charting within the United States. Since then, he has come out with an extended play, made available via digital download, and three singles- Can’t Relate, Ain’t Bout to Do, and My Girl, which featured guest artists Yo Gotti, French Montana, and Trevor Jackson respectively. In addition to his solo work, Simmons has also contributed to Dionne Bromfield’s Yeah Right and Mindless Behavior’s Mrs. Right. A well respected artist in the hip hop world, he has received a number of accolates including a Young Star Award and an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding New Artist”.
Although he’s mostly known for his work as a rapper, Simmons has also tried his hand at acting. In 2013, he made his debut on the small screen in the made-for-television movie, The Start Up, which he also helped to produce. From there, it wasn’t until 2016, that he appeared as an actor once again in an episode of the crime thriller, StartUp. Aside from live-action acting, he has also appeared in various TV shows such as Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day (2011), Fashion News Live (2013), Pop Wrapped TV (2015), and Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers (2016). At just twenty one years old, Simmons has already amassed countless credits to his name; not only is he a musician and actor, but he also launched his own line of sneakers back in 2010.
So what is the 21-year-old award-winning rapper up to nowadays? Has he hit the studios for any new recordings as of late? What can we expect to see from him this upcoming year? What happened to Diggy Simmons? Where is he now in 2018?
Diggy Simmons’ Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born on March 21, 1995 in Queens, New York, Diggy Simmons is the son of Joseph Simmons aka Rev Run and Justine Jones; he has five siblings, including Victoria Anne who died shortly after birth due to a birth defect. At the age of ten, he first came to the public’s attention after appearing in the MTV reality TV series, Run’s House (2005) which featured him alongside his parents and brothers. After making his debut in the fifth episode of the third season, To Catch a Thief, he went on to appear for on-and-off for the next four years- until the show’s finale in 2009.
The son of one of the country’s most famed rappers, Simmon-like his father, took an interest in rapping at an early age. At the age of fourteen, he released his first mix tape entitled, The First Flight, hosted by DJ Spin King, on December 2, 2009. Proving to be fairly popular, it was downloaded over 100,000 times online via his blog. Before long, the rapper was inundated with various offers from a number of record labels; after shopping around, he eventually decided to sign with Atlantic Records in 2010. Even prior to the release of his debut album, he went under the lime light once again after uploading a viral video of himself freestyling over Made You Look by Nas. Shared thousands of times across the internet, it earned him high praises from a number of rappers including Grammy Award-winning artist, Kanye West.
Diggy Simmons’ Solo Music Career
In the fall of 2010, Simmons dropped his second mix tape called Airborne, which was also hosted by DJ Spin King. Featuring a number of artists including Lupe Fiasco, Colin Munroe, Jacob Latimore, Pharrell, Eric B., and Shianne Phillips, it boasted a thirteen-song track list which consisted of titles such as Thinkin Bout’ U, Aa I Am, Put You On, You Got Me Now, Great Expectations, This Feelin’ and The Vision. Centering around the theme of flying, it garnered the fifteen year old rapper at the time much praise in the realm of hip hop.
The following year, he released his third mix tape entitled, Past, Present(s), Future on December 23, 2011. A solid body of work, it came with thirteen titles including Paid in Full, Electric Relaxation, Shook Ones, Risin to the Top, Shut Em Down, Cypher Continued, and Digg is Like. Hosted this time by both DJ Spin King and DJ Premier, it is noted for featuring strictly solo tracks, unlike his earlier work.
Finally on March 20, 2012, Simmons released his debut studio album, Unexpected Arrival under the Atlantic Label. Recorded at various studios between 2010 and 2011, its production was handled by a number of individuals such as Soundz, Pop & Oak, Osinachi Nwaneri and Da Internz. Approximately forty minutes in length, the album boasted twelve titles including Glow in the Dark, 4 Letter World, Unforgivable Blackness, Tom Edison, I Need to Know and Hello World; three of the tracks, Special Ocassion, Do It Like You, and 88 also featured the artists Tank, and Jeremih respectively. Aside from the standard edition that made its way into stores, an iTunes exclusive version was also available which contained the bonus track, Copy, Paste; likewise, a Best Buy edition also contained three additional tracks, MSG, What’s Going On, and Knowing Me, Knowing You.
Upon hitting the stores, Unexpected Arrival entered the US Billboard Top 200 at number thirteen, making it a relatively successful debut. Shortly afterward, it also peaked at number three on the Top R&B and Hip Hop Albums Chart and at number two on the US Rap Albums Chart. As of June 2013, over a year after its original release, it has sold approximately 89,000 copies domestically. Critical reception wise, the album received mostly positive ratings from critics. For instance, Christian Mordi writing for XXL Magazine lauded it for its stunning lyrics and high production values. Similarly, critics at Allmusic also praised the production of the album. A hit for Simmons, it went on to spawn five singles, Copy, Paste, Do it Like You, 4 Letter World, Two Up, and 88, three of which eventually managed to reach the US charts. To date, Do It Like You (Feat. Jeremih) remains to be one of the rapper’s most popular tracks.
A year after the release of his debut effort, Simmons was awarded an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding New Artist” as well as a BET Young Star Award in 2012.
Following the release of My Girl (Feat. Trevor Jackson) in 2014 which was accompanied by an official music video, two more singles came to light- Ain’t Bout to Do (Feat. French Montana), and Can’t Relate (Feat. Yo Gotti), both of which were released in 2015. Following that, Simmons made a guest appearance at the annual Scream Nation’s Back 2 School Festival which took place on September 11, 2015 in Florida. Although the rapper originally announced that he’d be releasing a fourth mix tape entitled, Out of This World in 2013, it has still yet to be released.
Diggy Simmons’ Brief Acting Career
In 2013, Simmons made his television debut in the TV film, The Start Up, which he also helped to direct. In the movie, he played the role of Blake- a college student who tries to bring his blog, which he’s been writing for many years, to fame with the help of a few close friends. The cast of the project also included Michael Beasley, Chris Brew, Jeph Cange, Cory Chapman, Stephanie Charles, Robert Forte Shannon III and Jonathan Fritschi. Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, it was later nominated for an Image Award for “Outstanding Directing in a TV Motion Picture”.
From there, it wasn’t until three years later, that he appeared once again on the small screen this time in the crime thriller series, StartUp (2016). Created by Ben Ketai, its plot centered around a desperate banker who tries everything in his power to conceal stolen money. Playing a small cameo role, Simmons appeared as a Lib City Gangster in the third episode of the first season. The main cast of the show consisted of Adam Brody, Edi GAthegi, Otmara Marrero, Martin Freeman, Ashley Grace, Tony Plana and Jenny Gago.
Diggy Simmons’ on Reality TV
In addition to Run’s House which first brought him to the public’s eye in the mid to late 2000’s, he has also appeared in the reality TV series, Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers (2014). Another show featuring his father Rev Run, it revolves him and his family as they revive their family tradition of having Sunday dinners with close friends and family. Obviously as his son, Simmons makes a number of appearances throughout the seasons; he first appeared in the second episode of the first season entitled, Diggy’s Organic Panic and has since appeared in three other episodes. After a run of thirty five episodes, Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers ended on April 20, 2016.
On top of that, Simmons has also been featured in a variety of TV specials such as that of the BET Awards (2011), BET Hip Hop Awards (2012), and BET Awards (2015). Between 2010 and 2014, he was also invited a handful of times onto the TV talk show, Fashion News Live.
What’s Diggy Simmons Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Once again returning to acting, Simmons will be starring on the small screen for the very first time in the drama series, The Plug (2017), which is set to hit televisions sometime this year. According to the synopsis posted on IMdb, it will revolve around the lives of a few Harlem teens, along with their friends and their community. In the show, the rapper will be playing the lead role of Ronnie Burdett; other actors in the series include Dylan Jenet Collins, Denyce Lawton, Jas Anderson, Philip James Brannon and Petre de la Cruz.
In terms of music, his last release was that of his R&B track, Feel Like which was last July. When will he be coming out with some new beats? It would appear that only time can tell.
If you’d like to stay up to date and connected with the talented 21-year-old rapper, you can do so by following him on social media- you can find Diggy Simmons on Twitter at @diggy_simmons.