Insomniac Rarri rides the independent wave from Columbus, Ohio.
He is a talented trap artist from the Southside and a blue-blooded crip. Rarri’s music can be described as brutally honest; he is very concerned with the authenticity of artists as well as people in general. Rarri just dropped a new music video directed by LoneWolf: “Prove It.”
Rarri has vowed in the past to make excellent music videos, increasing in creativity and artistry with each new release.
The Knockturnal: I heard you’re from the Southside of Columbus, Ohio, could you speak a little bit on what it was like growing up there, what type of music you listened to growing up, and what’s the best food to get in your town?
Insomniac Rarri: Growing up there… growing up was crazy, but it was still fun at the same time. It’s a small city, but we still had a whole lot of culture. That’s on the Southside, if you had no business over there, don’t go. You know what I’m saying? Like, I grew up there, all the dudes I grew up with, people now are killers, gangbangers, murderers. But it was like, these were my childhood playground friends. Southside, you know what I’m saying, it has the good, the bad, and the ugly. It has all of it mixed together. These are the guys I listened to, I listened to a whole lot of Gucci Mane, I listened a whole lot of Jay-Z. Growing up, I also had in Chicago, you know, Kanye West. Kanye West, he was one of the artists that always gave a lot of praise to the Southside. You know, he was from the Southside of Chicago, you feel me, it felt like it related back to me, you know, because the Southside is everywhere, you feel me? He put inspiration in my music too. Best place to eat on the Southside…I’d probably have to say H Johnson. H Johnson, I even had it in my video, you feel me it was a BBQ place.
The Knockturnal: What do you get over there at H Johnson?
Insomniac Rarri: All types of BBQ you feel me? Ribs, Chicken, Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Kale, you can get an ice cream cone.
The Knockturnal: So when did you start rapping? Were you always into Hip-Hop ever since a young age, or was it like a new development?
Insomniac Rarri: Nah, it was a new development. I’ve been doing music a year and a half now. Yeah, before I was doing music, I was doing event things like promoting. Throwing parties, just turning up like that, you know, I would DJ and shit. Music has always been a big part of my life, I listen so much you feel me that it just kind like helped me move through the motions of life. You feel me?
The Knockturnal: What about right now though, are there any artists that you’re itching to work with?
Insomniac Rarri: Artists right now I’m f-ing with, I’m fucking with NBA Youngboy a lot, you know, I f— with Rylo, Young Scooter, I still f— with Gucci Mane.
The Knockturnal: So what’s your artistic process?
Insomniac Rarri: It just depends on the song, I mean some songs I can sit with the beat, it’s just a mood, I feel the vibe and I feel the words just come to my head. And from there I can just start vibing on a track. Like on some songs it’s real structured, some songs I can just sit, go in, and knock it straight out. You feel me, then on other songs, it’s like, I just hear it, the vibe, piece by piece by piece. I guess it’s unorthodox, it just depends on the vibe or the beat, you feel me?
The Knockturnal: I loved your message on “What Dey Seem,” I felt like that’s a very important thing to talk about is like: Are people acting like who they are, or are they acting like someone else? What does authenticity mean to you, and why do you think that some people are trying to act like they’re from a certain place that they’re not from, or they’re trying to adapt to a culture that they’re not really a part of. What does authenticity mean to you as a rapper, as someone from Columbus, Ohio?
Insomniac Rarri: For me it’s just like…if you’ve really been through something, if you’ve been through a hood, or if you’ve really been through some type of struggle it’s good for you to try to share that story. If some of these people try to appropriate the actual culture of it, and it’s like if you’ve really been through that story and been through that struggle, it’s important for you to share that story. Because for me it’s like, release. To get that story out and let people know, but now, people try to fake it, and it’s disrespectful because you haven’t really been through or went through any of this. You just making music, you know what I’m saying, people that really went through it and are still going through it, it’s almost like you’re making a joke out of it. And that’s how I see it, you always making fun of it, you’re almost making it seem like it’s not real, it’s only for Hip-Hop, it’s only for music. It’s only good for a song, but it’s like, if you haven’t been through a situation, a dangerous or scary situation, nobody really wants to be from the hood, like, I don’t put that out there like I’m proud to be from the hood. I put that out there because I’m proud I made it out the hood. You know what I’m saying, like, and there’s so many dudes that try to make it seem like they’re still in the hood, like that’s not cool you feel me? It’s way cooler if you just be yourself, it’s way cooler if like maybe you went to the hood and that’s cool, but don’t be acting like you was out there kicking doors in and robbing people, because they’re were real people really doing that. People weren’t kicking doors in and robbing people because it was cool, they were doing it because they were fucked up and they had no money and had no means for it, and that was the only way they knew how to get it. I got cousins that was robbing people, not because like they heard Gucci Mane, it was because they had to get money, they couldn’t get a job, you feel me? They had to do what they had to do, and basically it’s a trap jungle. So I just feel like, being authentic, it just means so much to me because it’s like, when you make it out, tell your story, if people fuck with it, it’s a blessing.
The Knockturnal: I notice you’re still unsigned, do you plan on remaining unsigned or are you trying to get signed, or is that something that you’re not really interested in?
Insomniac Rarri: As of right now, yeah, I plan on being unsigned, just keep making my music, keep me regular creative process.
The Knockturnal: Keeping it independent?
Insomniac Rarri: Yeah, I’m used to the hustle, I’m used to the grind, I don’t want to take no shortcut. Stay to it, stick to it.
The Knockturnal: That’s definitely something, me as a fan I can definitely respect that. I love when artists stay independent, and just, has their own brainchild. Speaking of that, where does the name Insomniac Rarri come from?
Insomniac Rarri: I’m actually part of a collective called the Insomniacs. It’s like a mob you know what I’m saying? We have a lot of friends a lot of different creatives. You feel me? We all do something different, and we call ourselves Insomniacs. The name actually got started because the dude who started it actually had insomnia. He couldn’t go to sleep at night; he used to have to take pills just to go to sleep. Because he really used to be up all night. But he actually transformed it, like this sleepless work.
The Knockturnal: So we were talking about the Insomniac collective, speaking of things that put people to sleep, I noticed many many blunts in your music videos, so I wanted to ask, as a New Yorker, what do people smoke in Ohio? Here in New York people mostly roll backwoods, what’s the scene in Ohio?
Insomniac Rarri: Ohio, a lot of people still f— with swishers, that’s like the top two, backwoods and swishers. You got some people that f— with like game, or Garcia vegas and sh*t like that. Mainly swishers and backwoods for real.
The Knockturnal: So I just wanted to ask you a couple more questions about the “Prove It” video that’s dropping soon. I loved aesthetically, the video is beautifully trippy, I loved the cross between animation and reality. The use of the color blue aesthetically was very pretty to see. There’s also a sort of vintage feel to a lot of the shots. So, why did you and LoneWolf choose to go with animation, was there a specific reason or was it more like you know this would be cool to see for a fan?
Insomniac Rarri: Me personally, I always wanted an animation video, you feel me, like I said Kanye West was a huge inspiration to me. He had the whole animation video. And growing up I was always into animation videos, and the position I’m in now, I seek videos and visuals, it’s like the best representation for my music, and it really helped the growth of my career. I really try to raise the bar on my videos, each one I do. You feel me? The last video will set the bar for the next one, you never know what to expect from me. I always want to be that artist where, you hear my music and you love it, but then when the video comes out you’ll love it even more.
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