Diggy Simmons: Free To Be All Grown Up
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. Historically, the middle kid gets no love. But Diggy is the exact opposite as he has taken the music and fashion world by storm and on his way to solidifying himself a triple threat (singer, actor, dancer).
Although he’s mostly known for his work as a rapper, Simmons also acts. 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.
Opting out of choosing his father’s reputation to earn his hip-hop stripes, so far he’s done a good job of doing both with no controversy. He’s even managed to ride the thin line between being a lady’s man and gaining respect from your favorite rapper’s rapper. He’s done all this while growing up in the public eye.
Recently, Diggy took a trip to Africa and it seemed to totally change his life. He describes his journey to the motherland as “freeing” on instagram
“Perhaps I’m ignorant. Perhaps I have been for some time now. Many of my perceptions, or misperceptions rather, were overdue to be rightfully shattered. It’s a shame—as one with many friends from Cameroon, Nigeria, and other countries throughout the continent of Africa—that I have remained so unaware. These friends raved about their homelands, and somehow their praise fell upon deaf ears, in part due to that as a child, Africa, to me, seemed branded as less than alluring. The media and my societal narrative has often viewed Africa with a lens of violence, poverty, and underdevelopment. This portrayal has caused generations of Africans to abandon their own heritage and traditions. During my trip to Ghana, I can’t say I’ve ever felt more comfortable in a space. I don’t think I stopped my Shaku from the time I got off the plane. Every stereotype that’s been perpetuated never pointed to me feeling this free. I was also fortunate enough to visit the slave dungeons in Cape Coast—small quarters where over a hundred of my potential ancestors were held captive on any given day with no nourishment, suffering in their own feces and urine. As heartbreaking as it was to stand on those grounds, my takeaway—apart from feeling both inspired and devastated—was a galvanized sense of pride. I felt as if I gained a more authentic and emboldened sense of self, furthering my own understanding of endurance through my ancestors’ plight.”
“That’s what makes me so different,” explains Diggy. “In that time where you’re going from someone who is a kid into an adult, there are so many people you encounter and you learn different things in your life from. It’s like OK, I know how to go about this situation now, or I know how this works, or I just know how life works. Period.”
When he talks about his using his father’s legacy or being born into hip-hop royalty, Diggy doesn’t miss a step and wants to prove himself on his own.
“It’s tough if you let it be. My reasoning for making music was never about [my dad]. I shied away from it actually,…