Oxford Mississippi has always been known for its music scene, but beneath the sound of hundreds of college students stomping to a cover of “Sweet Caroline”, is a hip-hop artist standing strong and independent from any other sound produced here. His name is Demonte.
Tyler Glenn, AKA Demonte is a local hip-hop artist and student at the University of Mississippi. He has been producing his songs for three years. Demonte takes inspiration of artists from his upbringing and the world around him to transform his experience into music. His style of rap is very rhythmic and more of a mix between soft and hardcore rhyme styles.
Demonte recognizes the difficulties of going to school while making music, claiming he uses school as his plan B in case he doesn’t make it in the rap game. The beats he uses in his music are as diverse as the topics he raps about. From chasing fame to surviving in America, Demonte portrays the struggles of a modern Hip-Hop artist trying to make their mark in an oversaturated market of SoundCloud rappers.
What is your favorite part about being a Musician?
It’s definitely the music writing process. I love just putting my soul onto paper; writing, speaking from the heart and putting that on a beat.
So when did you know you wanted to be a rapper?
That’s a good question, I still don’t really know if i know. I’m just going with the flow and seeing where the music takes me.
Who is your biggest inspiration as an Artist?
Definitely Kendrick Lamar. He brings out the most and what I want to personify about my music. Just the soul, the lyricism, the funk; you can just feel all of his lyrics. They’re almost poems really.
When was the first time you ever listened to Kendrick Lamar?
I was in the car with my sister and his first breakout song “swimming pools” was on the radio and I just remember hearing that chorus come on. I was like “man this dude is something special, he’s gonna be big,” and I just fell in love with his music from then on.
What about your childhood inspires your music?
My grandparents lived in Meridian [Meridian Mississippi]. So my parents always had a long car drive up there to go see them. They would always have music playing and it would always be some R&B, soul, some blues and funk. So I was always taking all that in as a kid and I really have posed how I perceive music. I like the kind of music I make.
Other than hip-hop artists, who inspires your music?
Anthony Hamilton, the R&B singer, he’s a huge inspiration to me. His voice is like silk. I love Allison chains, alternative rock.
When was the first time you recorded?
Back in Clinton [Clinton Mississippi], my hometown, a couple of men, a couple of friends: Paul, Thomas, and Brad was making beats on garage band at the time and we were just driving around one night. Paul was like “we just got done making some music at brads” and I was like “man I’m trying to get in on that,” So we went back and recorded a couple tracks ,I still have them on my phone. They’re okay, they’re not terrible.
What’s your creative Process?
First I have to find a beat. The beat is going to determine the mood, it’s going to determine where I want to take the song and the beats are really gonna just; I can almost close my eyes and get a visual of the song before I even write it and it just kind of flows. So, once I hear that instrumental, the words just come out.
What was your first release?
So, my first EP is “Zero Experience”. Then I had another EP after that’s called “Miscellaneous”, which was just a collection of random songs I’ve been working on.
Do you have anything new coming out?
I do have an album coming up named “Thoughts”. It’s gonna be really great. It’s going to be about 13 songs top to bottom. It’s really just an album about all the thoughts that run through my brain. All the things, all the memories, I have my story. My personality is just my thoughts. It’s me. It’s me and my music and my words.
How does your degree come into your music?
It doesn’t at all, it’s a fallback option. It’s a safety net, if you will. If the music doesn’t work out I always have that to fall back.
How do you mix school and rapping?
It’s not easy. You got to find time to keep your grades up. Obviously the school has to come first. You’re paying for it. The music can always come. There’s plenty of time for that.
What’s the hardest part about being a rapper in college?
I would say the hardest part is probably exposure, getting your peers around you to give you a chance or give you a listen and to spread your music around. People are just skeptical. They don’t really want to listen until you’ve made it. So I’ll say the hardest part is just getting that foot in the door.
What do you want people to know about Demonte?
I want people to know that Demonte is coming for that top spot. He’s got the best lyrics in the game. The best songs in the game. He’s just waiting on people to figure that out.
Demonte’s music is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.