The Indiana Daily Student caught up with queer rapper Big Dipper while he was in Bloomington to perform a show at The Back Door on May 12. Big Dipper was born in Chicago and now lives in Los Angeles.
Before devoting himself full-time to his rap career, Dipper worked in the theater and service industries, where he was a barista and waited tables.
Dipper began writing music in 2011 before launching his career in 2012, which all sprouted from a joke with a friend.
“I think my friend thought that was the end of the conversation, and I was like 'nope I’m doing it,'” Dipper said.
When asked about how the name Big Dipper came to be, he said it was tied back to the original joke.
“It was a joke,” Dipper said. “It really was like a haphazard name. Part of me really regrets it being my name, but the other part of me is like, there really isn’t another option. It all lined up in that way, and there are so many serendipitous things surrounding, like Big Dipper, which is a part of a larger constellation of Ursa Major which is a bear. It actually is a great stage name.”
Dipper is known for his sexual and upbeat music, but his appreciation for rap began as a child when he would listen to artists like Skee-Lo and Kris Kross. Not only did Dipper listen to rap as a child, but he also wrote his own.
“When I was younger I would write a lot,” Dipper said. “Like really rudimentary rhymes, like everything would be the same amount of syllables.”
In college, Dipper participated in what he described as almost slam poetry before discovering what made him want to get into music.
“What I do is sort of a marriage between my interest and love for comedy and the idea of making music and being a rapper,” Dipper said.
When starting his career, Dipper said he was not quite ready to be his true and authentic self and felt as if he was being more of a character.
“I am going to put out an album this summer and that is way more true to who I am, really stripped down, just honest and with my actual voice.” Dipper said.
As a performer, Big Dipper has artists he loves as well as artists he looks up to for inspiration.
“Nicki Minaj is a massive inspiration for me,” Dipper said. “But with her it’s more so old Nicki when she had drive, and now she just world famous and she can do whatever she wants. There is less ambition with her.”
Working full-time to build his career, Dipper seldom has free time for himself. Spending most weekends traveling for shows or working on his latest projects, Dipper said there is one thing he wishes he had more time to do.
“I would like some of my travel to be vacation,” Dipper said. “I travel a ton, but it’s all for work. It would be nice to just travel somewhere and relax.”
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.
More in Arts
The IU Auditorium, the Jacobs School of Music and MidWay Music Speaks were all awarded funds.
Performances will take place on Zoom.
The concert airs at 9:30 p.m. on July 25.