Amarii Davu has an undying love for Hip Hop and poetry which has been growing since he was 14. Influenced by rap in the 90’s, he was determined to be a gangster rapper. One of the first lines he ever wrote was “I spray weapons of mass destruction, you only spray Windex.” This may not be the best line he’s ever written, but since then he has grown and enjoys making imagery with his words while perfecting his craft as a rapper and poet.
Amarii was born on the north side of Nashville, Tennessee in the Jo Johnston Projects. He grew up with his mom and his sister. His dad was not around during his early life. Amarii understands that his father did what he thought was best for his family at that time. Despite all the hurt from his absence, they have been able to mend and repair their relationship into a great one. The absence of his father lead him to create his first rap. “I feel like it all may have been the best setup for me because it created an irritation in my spirit that would eventually lead me to create my first rap,” says Amarii. His mom was the glue that held everything together. His mom was an entrepreneur who owned a cleaning company for residential and office spaces. This business is what helped to get her and her family on their feet and move from the projects to a house.
Grow up Amarii did not listen to Hip Hop. His mom played mostly oldies with a sprinkle of old school Hip Hop like The Breaks. At the age of 14, Amarii fell in love with Hip Hop. Common’s “Be” album introduced him to the culture. “Be” taught Amari that you can mix poetry and hip hop together. When they are mixed they can flow nicely. Once he learned this lesson, he began his quest to gain a better understanding of the culture.
When Amarii wrote his first rap it was reflective of his perception of Hip Hop at the time. He remembers his mom finding his rap book and reading it. She thought he could be so much more than a rapper saying, “you’re intelligent. You can be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, why rap?” He responded, “It makes me happy. I just like rapping.” Since then, things have changed and she supports his vision.
Amarii remembers his first performance in front of an audience. He was extremely nervous. “I looked out at the crowd and saw all those faces! I was nervous. I stood in one spot and rapped my verse.” His first performance was during a talent show at his high school, Hillsboro High School. He performed with his crew Sleepy C, M.I.C, and Megan. Despite Amarii being nervous, everybody was shocked to know that he rapped and they were very impressed.
Amarii is inspired by life, love and death. He believes that every song that exists involves those three topics. He is also inspired by the people in his life and his supporters whom he refers to as his tribe. He says that he is blessed to have encountered these people in his life. As a storyteller, most of his inspiration comes from visions he’s had or events he’s experienced.
Many people find themselves drawn to Amarii’s spirit, which he uses to help him stand out as a rapper. “I make sure that I’m inclusive with my journey and that makes people feel welcomed in my space,” says Amarii. People can relate to him as a person and his music as an artist. He makes sure that he is open to the public because distance will cause listeners to have conflict connecting to Amarii’s music on a deeper level.
Depression is a battle that Amarii fights. It sometimes stifles his creativity and keeps him isolated from others. Depression has taught him how to protect his energy. When he needs to retreat from everything he has preventative measures that allow him to rebuild and refocus. “I’ve been through a lot in this life and the one thing that’s been shown to me time and time again is that tomorrow is always better.” Amarii knows that he has the power to shape his story. This is what keeps him motivated when times get tough. Knowing that each situation he will gain knowledge from.
Life has taught Amarii many lessons. He’s learned that authenticity will always set you apart from those playing a part or trying to convey a certain image of themselves. “People want someone they can relate to, not a facade,” says Amarii. Amarii makes sure he is true to himself and not a carbon copy of the average rapper. Life has also taught him how to honor the time he spends during his personal life and his career.
Amarii is not just a rapper, he’s a poet. He looks at life more deeply than just a verse, he sees it as art. When he writes, whether it’s poetry or rap, he makes sure his words are from the heart. Each one is presented differently catering to whether he is rapping or writing poetry. If he finds he is having difficulties expressing himself through hip hop, he will express himself through poetry. “I think poetry and hip hop have two different functions in my life, so it creates a dichotomy within me.”
Amarii has grown and changed throughout the years. You can now hear him spitting lines like “ I learned patience, I learned God is amazing, and to live in my greatness.” from his song Aquarium which is currently unreleased. To hear more lyrics like that and to get plugged in with Amarii you can reach Amarii by following him on Instagram, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter . Be sure to also check out his Website, on it you find and order his merch!