Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles is one of those guys who can do it all, though, he may be reluctant to admit it. Joining us from his home in Hollywood, California, Miles spoke with DT Daily host Greg Nibler on Monday regarding two of his biggest passions: Music and animation.

Miles, a solo artist and one of the creators of hip-hop collective Organic Geniuses, was drawn to music from a young age. His uncle was a gospel rapper, who frequently traveled with Rakeem, then 11 years old, exposing him to different beats and showing him what a life on the road could look like. It wasn’t until he discovered Clipse and their music video for Grindin’however, that he really began to pursue music.

“I was too young to understand why Pharrell [Williams] was jumping around in the video,” says Miles. “But just seeing that aesthetic, that lifestyle, is what impacted me.”

Now, nearly two decades later, Miles is on the cusp of releasing Action Figure Miles, his follow-up to Depression. He made the mixtape using a variety of techniques and recording equipment, though, Logic and Roli’s soft-touch keyboard were two of the tools he utilized most often. The well-known recording software and Roli’s keyboard, like many newer instruments in today’s market, provided Miles a way to harness new sounds, which only furthered fueled his creativity.

While the Clipse may have initially influenced Miles to jump into music, the prominent hip-hop duo had little to do with his love for adult-oriented cartoons. For that, inspiration came in the form of The Boondocks, an animated sitcom that ran for four seasons as part of Cartoon Network’s late-night programming. To capitalize on his love for cartoons, Miles recently partnered with a cartoonist to create Dante’s Toys, a forthcoming show that will bring the character he first formulated on his Depression mixtape to a whole new medium.

“I’ve always wanted to bring that character to life,” Miles continued. “I thought about Toy Story and all of the things that have inspired me, and it made me want to create a cartoon, but more of a raunchy cartoon inspired by The Boondocks, Rick and Morty, and other various cartoons.”

That vision is now a reality — or close to it, anyway. Miles recently finished the pilot episode Dante’s Toys, and is currently in the process of finding additional writers and a distribution platform. He’s also been discussing his show with some of the folk behind Adult Swim, the same late-night programming block where The Boondocks initially aired.

“I just want to help it expand and to make sure the writing and everything else is done in more a professional way.”

DT Daily airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

Gaming

Ditch the meditation app. 'Katamari Damacy Reroll' is pure gaming zen

Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the magic of the PS2 classic to Nintendo Switch and PC. With updated visuals and the same great, singular loop, Reroll stands the test of time. Katamari Damacy is the ultimate relaxation game.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.
Digital Trends Live

HouseSpecial animation team brings DT’s Holiday Gift Guide to life with miniatures

Digital Trends partnered with animation company HouseSpecial to create this year's Holiday Gift Guide. We sat down with art director Gee Staughton to discuss how HouseSpecial brought life to the project.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The Game Awards recap, smart home hackers, and more

On episode 32 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan broke down the news of the day, including a recap of The Game Awards, a smart home hacking, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Jobbatical’s Lauren Proctor discusses the future of jobs for tech experts

Today on Digital Trends Live we had Jobbatical's Lauren Proctor to talk about the future trends for finding tech jobs abroad, including a Digital Nomad Visa, which allows tech experts to travel from country to country much easier.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Go expansions, the robocall onslaught, more

On this episode of Digital Trends' live morning show, Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan explored the news of the day, including Amazon Go's potential expansion, the robocall onslaught, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Twitch streamer Fuslie gives a glimpse of her life and future plans

Today, we welcomed Twitch streamer Fuslie to talk about how her career goals shifted from becoming a veterinarian to a full-time streamer. Also, she shared what her future plans are for streaming and created content.
Digital Trends Live

Cryptocurrency investor Ian Balina sees a comeback for cryptocurrency in 2019

We chatted with crypto investor Ian Balina on what the future is for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. He also gave us three things to look for when we are investing our own money.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: S10 rumors, computer shoes, and the best products of 2018

On episode 35 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Nick Mokey discuss the revival of Puma's computer shoe, the possibility of a Tesla Truck, and DT's favorite products of the year.