Nikko Knight delivers his message with the ferocity of an underrated fighter with something to prove.
Growing up in a talent-rich DMV, near Wale’s native, Knight showcases his aggression, energy and an emotionally eclectic style reflective of his suburban roots with a smidgen of D.C. edge. Knight, a Virginia Beach and Reston native, separates himself from a crowded marketplace with his candid lyrics and his authentic personification.

At the impressionable age of 10, Knight immersed himself in the world of hip hop by learning the nuances of both hip hop and rap. At the beginning of his career, Knight had  his critics whose perceptions, that in order to be a credible hip hop artist, you had to live a tumultuous life in the hood.

“I had a lot of people that doubted me,” Knight said. “In the past, people that I surrounded myself with when I was younger didn’t really believe in me (as a hip hop artist.) That weighed heavily on my mind, and inspired and motivated me to want to prove them wrong.”

Teetering between typical suburban, adolescent interests such as football, and what would become his undeniable passion of creating music, Knight wavered between the lifestyles until his freshman year of high school. This is when the birth of his trademark style of champion music’ first emerged.

“When I was 16-years-old, I started writing a lot of inspirational content,” Knight said. “I guess that is because that’s what I was really feeling and I wanted to  inspire people through music. I always felt like I needed to have a strong message in my songs, and create songs with substance. That is where the concept of the tape “Born Winner” came from. That desire was to always want to inspire and uplift my audience.”
A connoisseur of hip hop, Knight showcases his hip hop intellect in his video “The Drug,” by paying homage to original Ruff Ryder Drag On. He also traveled to historical locations in New York City, and shot a scene at rapper Big L’s memorial for his debut single “The Drug,” off his mix tape Born Winner.

“I did the song “The Drug” because I am actually a big fan of Drag On. He is one of my favorite artists because of his delivery,” Knight said. “(Artists of that era) have a certain kind of energy. I really wanted to be a lyrical artist and carry that aggression. I don’t want to have a timid delivery. I really wanted to convey the emotion. I was inspired by Ruff Ryders. I am a big fan of that style and that is why “Born Winner” became what it was. I wanted it to be perfectly rough around the edges.”

A self-proclaimed stickler for details, Nikko continued to hone his craft and enrolled in the OMEGA Studios of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences in Rockville, Md. with the idea of learning the intricate details of recording with the sole intent of enhancing his own artistry and to give himself a distinct and original sound.

“I really don’t even listen to much hip hop anymore,” Knight admits. “I don’t listen to it because I make so much of it. I really don’t listen to the genre anymore. Every now and then, I’ll check out my favorite artists like if Eminem or Jay-Z. Or if Kayne West is coming out with a record, I’ll always keep track of them. I do this because I don’t want to subconsciously take another rapper’s style. I want to keep it fresh. I try to shy away from listening to hip hop on a regular basis because I am an artist, and because it is my job to make music, I want it to be authentic as possible.”

In Knight’s early childhood, he and his mother Patricia were always surrounded by music.

“What really makes me feel confident and secure about my position is that I feel I have always been destined for it,” Knight said. “My mother and I have always been destined for that kind of success. When I was little, we lived in this neighborhood called Avalon Pines. We were always surrounded by the celebrity type of lifestyle, and it was always around us from an early age. We lived right under Pharrell and his girlfriend at the time(Pharrell would visit her frequently) , Tammy. I had no idea the entire time he lived right above us. My mom and I were also invited to Teddy Riley’s daughter’s birthday party, and have always been around that type of lifestyle. I take it as a sign I was destined to become an artist, and destined for that type of lifestyle. Because we were around it so much is why I do it today.”

      Growing up in Virgina Beach would reflect the dynamics of his emotion to mold Knight into the recording artist he is today.


“Virginia Beach was very nice and it was always peaceful. A lot of people who visit it think there is really something magical about Virginia Beach musically and it attracts a certain type of lifestyle.”

Knight has an entrepreneurial psyche molded and shaped by his mother that would make him an artist with business savvy. He is still in the process of making the vision of his label, Sign Yourself To Yourself, into the independent spirit he has acquired in his life.

“I can’t talk about the drug game because I have never been involved with it. I can’t talk about violence because those factors never really influenced my music,” Knight said. “I am inspired by more peaceful and more relaxing sides of life, and that is reflective in my music. That is where my uniqueness comes from because my upbringing wasn’t typical. Even though my outlook is different, I still have the talent for it.”

With the entrepreneurial psyche, rebellious attitude and desire to want to be his own boss, Nikko looks to position himself to carve out his niche in the competitive landscape of hip hop that is ever evolving in its identity.






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