Throughout Dr. Martens history our boots and shoes have been worn by an eclectic mix of people, who have fought for and celebrated their individuality. #WORNDIFFERENT NYC is a project bringing together NYC-based artists and makers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to celebrate self-expression with a clash of art and music.
Jimi Tents doesn’t shy from rapping about serious subject matter. His latest album, “I Can’t Go Home,” covers topics like the gentrification of Brooklyn, grief, depression, and breaking from your comfort zone to pursue something greater. The budding New York rapper is set to perform at our Worn Different NYC event on December 1st. Details and RSVP info are coming soon, but for now, read on about Jimi, his advice for artists, his music, and his love for New York.
Where are you from?
Born and raised a New Yorker. I’m originally from East New York, Brooklyn to be exact, and still reside in NYC.
What do you do?
I’m a Rap/Hip-hop artist. Music has always been in my life. I grew up listening to greats like Stevie Wonder, Sizzla, Beres Hammond and more. I got introduced to recording music during my sophomore year of high school. I knew it was something I wanted to do when I recorded the first song and saw how people reacted to it.
What’s your favorite neighborhood and why?
I would have to say Bed Stuy, Brooklyn is my favorite. A lot of my first experiences happened there; it’s been a neighborhood that I’ve channeled a lot of my inspiration from over the years. It’s also where I recorded my first EP, 5 o’clock shadow.
What’s your favorite thing about living in New York?
My favorite thing about New York overall is the diversity of people and culture. Every time I step out of my house, I’m guaranteed to meet someone new or go somewhere I’ve never been, even though I’ve lived here all my life. There’s never a dull moment.
Where’s your favorite place to grab a slice of pizza?
I have few places. If you’re in midtown Manhattan, Pizza Suprema right by Madison Square Garden is solid. If you’re ever in the outskirts of Brooklyn and want a specialty slice, Lo Duca Pizza is the way to go.
What advice would you want to tell artists looking to move to New York?
Be prepared at all times. It’s essential to know that nothing here comes overnight, so bring your A game and be prepared to grind; everything else will work itself out.
How does New York influence you and your work?
New York has made me very open-minded to a lot of different things that being from a small town wouldn’t. Growing up in New York also gives me the opportunity be introspective with my music and help convey my message to the world.
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would definitely have to say, Prince. I’ve always admired people that could do what I believe I sonically can’t. The goal for me is to destroy all boundaries when it comes to creating music. I think me and Prince would’ve made some really crazy dope records together.
Tell us about a memorable New York moment that happened to you.
The most iconic New York experience I remember is running around in the summer during the ’03 blackout when the whole city had a power outage. We didn’t panic, we just enjoyed each other and got through it.
How would you describe your personal style?
Well, my style is really impromptu. My mood dictates what I want to wear and how I wear it. Somedays I’m into super vibrant colors, other days you could find me in all black. It’s never too thought out.
What comes to mind when you hear Dr. Martens?
A rebellious sense of fashion. Growing up, it seemed that every rebel’s outfit wouldn’t be complete without a pair of Dr. Martens because they could care less about fitting in.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Creating a legacy. Having an impact on the music industry that is all my own, that I carved playing by my own rules. Making exceptional music that stands the test of time.