Diz Gibran

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Diz Gibran

A graf writer and skater-turned emcee, Diz Gibran is down with Bleu Collar and The L.A. underground, get the story from this born leader.

People close to Diz Gibran or a degree or two away say that he's wealthy and is the son of a diplomat. In fact, the co-owner of the Diamond Supply Co. Skate Shop on Fairfax Avenue in L.A. is probably better characterized as a businessman first and a rapper as a distant second. Diz himself might just be a diplomat. He won't hesitate to call himself "mayor" of L.A. during an interview in the warehouse space in the back of the shop, and just as quickly give it up to Basik of L.A.'s vastly underrated underground crew Bleu Collar, who just so happens to be a business partner of Diz' and also calls himself Mayor.

Perhaps what the two have in common is they govern themselves exceptionally well. Gibran, whose government name is Khalil Bernard Kinsey, was named after the great Lebanese poet by parents Shirley and Bernard Kinsey who showed their son the world through their travels around the globe. With an interesting story to tell, it wouldn't be farfetched to say stars could align for Diz to one day become a diplomat.

Age: Late 20s.

Repping: Los Angeles, California.

On His beginnings in L.A. Hip Hop Scene: "[I'm a] L.A. kid, well, California kid, native, first generation. My parents moved here from Florida like 30-some years ago, I was born 10 years or so later. Born in Newport Beach area, moved up to L.A. when I was six, and been here ever since, on the west side of things, Santa Monica, Venice, all of that, grew up over there, but always was a kid that was always around the city, mixing with a lot cats, writing graffiti. I was rhyming since I can remember, had a group at Lincoln Elementary in Santa Monica, there was three of us, my boy Andy and Nigel. It was crazy, 'cause we were calling ourselves The Ill Kids back then, and of course, Guru of Gang Starr later came out with that record label [Ill Kid Records]. In high school, I got into the battle circuit, [with people like] Project Blowed. I never did it for me, got into it super heavy, but it wasn't ever anything I took very serious until recently. It was more for the fun of it, I love Hip Hop. I still got a huge love for it all because it made me who I am."

On Music As An Outgrowth of Experiences: "It all stems from the love for it all, you know what i mean? I felt I always had something to say, I had a different angle. It wasn't gangsta stuff, I had pretty much seen the world -- my parents were huge travelers -- I had seen the world before I was 15, 16. I always had a lot to talk about, I had a different view of things. Music was never my only thing. I was always taught to do different things. I do music, I do fashion, and do other stuff, a little bit of real estate with my pops. I enjoy my life, my friends and my family - that's what everything stems from."

On Linking With Consequence and His Management: "Yeah I just recently did a show with him in San Diego. Of course I know him from A Tribe Called Quest and Kanye West. I always been a fan of him. My manager Robert Garcia also manages Consequence. I met him for the first time recently, he's getting a feel for my music. Robert's getting me all the dates that Consequence gets, going overseas for a month or so. I've been grinding on my own in the last six months to a year, I put a mixtape out like two years ago, Spin City, and got a great response, I pressed up 10,000 records on my own. I put together little street teams in all the cities I had homies and got it out like that. I got a cool buzz in New York, in Miami, where I was living at the time, of course here, I'd hit up people I knew at Nike parties, they'd be like 'Yo, throw your CDs in the bag.'"

On The Spin City Mixtape: "The whole plan was to do another one, but with all the things I was doing, I got sidetracked and didn't keep the momentum going. Now I'm back and I linked up with Moonshine and we're going hard. I've never felt as good as about the music that I'm making, the music we're making is the lane that I've always wanted to be in. It's Hip Hop the way that I want to make it, and the way that I came up listening or viewing hip-hop, you know what I mean?"

On Straddling The Hood And The Hills: "I'm not from the hood at all. I spent many a night in the hood, but I didn't rest my head there. That's what saved me from a lot of stuff there. I had somewhere else to go back to."

Balancing Music And Business: "It goes hand in hand with me. The music, the store, me, it's all a part of Hip-Hop. What I do here is skate shop, I grew up skateboarding. I've been skateboarding since I was eight years old. It's a skate boutique. A lot of cats come in, and they're like, ;I've never been in a skate shop like this.'"

The Origin Of The Name: "My name is Khalil Bernard Kinsey. Bernard Kinsey is pops, that's the O.G. When I was younger I used to write "Dizzy" as a graffiti artist and because I smoked a lot of it. My eyes are already naturally low, so people just called me Dizzy. It stuck and then writing and everything it went to Diz, a little more mature. Gibran is the general, Gibran is the is a poet too. My name is Khalil Gibran and I was named after the Lebanese poet (of the same name) in the late 1800s. My mom actually still has the book she stole from her college library. She said, 'If I ever have a son I'm gonna name him Kahlil.' It means 'true friend and leader' [in Arabic]."

Check the leader out [click here...]

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