WorldStarHipHop is an insanely weird place. It’s where legends are born and heroes are destroyed, and the realm of on Dhananjay the First, a mysterious and beguiling singer/rapper whose takes on popular rap and R&B songs have made him a minor sensation on the site. Though he’s only released three videos, each one has been even more mysterious and beguiling than the one preceded it. “Dark Throne” interpolated Drake’s “Shot for Me” in a goofy, “Who the fuck is this kid?” sort of way, while his take on “Say My Name” answered that question by letting you know that Dhananjay is a goddamn genius. Featuring our hero getting his head shaved while counting money, wearing camo that coordinated with the weather, and rocking an all-white alphet in the snow to drop one INSANELY fire verse, it's honestly one of my favorite songs of the year and I say that with zero percent irony. DAMN, DHANANJAY MYSTERIOUSLY AND BEGUILINGLY STUNT ON THEM HATERS.
Over the weekend, Dhananjay returned to WorldStar to drop another video, his take on Mario’s “Let Me Love You,” racking up a cool 300,000 views and most definitely stealing your girl in the process. I fell completely in love when Dhananjay rapped, “I got my du-rag right / Yeah, I do rap right.” “Let Me Love You” is a masterpiece, full of creative nods to rap video tropes and anchored by Dhananjay’s more than able singing and rapping and his all-encompassing swag. If dude let his nuts hang any lower they might accidentally rip a hole in the space-time continuum. I had to know what the fuck Dhananjay’s deal was, so I called him up to find out. Turns out Dhananjay’s from India, decided he wanted to become a rapper after hearing Pimp C at the age of 15, and is working on a mixtape called Strippers Don’t Kiss. Also, he speaks in the third person and is awesome.
Noisey: What’s up, Dhananjay?
Dhananjay the First: Not much, chillin’, playin’ Skyrim.
Good. So what’s your deal?
I guess I’m just a brown boy from out of town, trying to make it in the scene. I just want to show the people what I got. I’m originally from India, and I came to America for college. And rap. I’m 21-years-old. I’m about to finish college and enter the world.
When you say you came to America for rap, what do you mean?
When I was around 15-years-old, I found out about Pimp C. And I was like, “MAN. This guy’s the coolest human on earth. I need to follow in his path. I need to be Pimp C reincarnated.” The start of Dhananjay was then.
One of the things I enjoy about your music is it seems like you’re not joking. It’s funny, but you’re not joking.
Yeah. Nobody really knows who the Dhananjay is, and I think that’s good. It’s real shit. I love that people are engaging with it.
How much music have you made so far?
We’ve got three songs, my producers and I. We’re working on a mixtape called Strippers Don’t Kiss. The three videos are all that I’ve made so far. One thing about Dhananjay is it’s very multimedia. Me talking to you right now is a violation, because I decided I’d only do Twitter interviews.
You’ve got a tightly-defined aesthetic.
I want people to be like, “This is funny, but I wanna keep listening to it because I actually like it.”
Who is the dude with the “Honey” necklace in the new video?
That’s DJ Mutumbo, a good friend of mine from Ghana. He’s Dhananjay’s best friend. He always hangs out with him. He’s the 40 to my Drake.
Do you actually have a bunch of phones?
I have more than two phones actually. All iPhone 5S’s; I have three or four of ‘em lying around. And a BlackBerry.
The BBM is very important for international communications. And business. Everyone who wears a suit has a BlackBerry.
Everything in the videos seem very well-planned. You have all these great details, like how you’re reading a war strategy book.
I think the strongest thing about all the videos is I have a good eye for detail. There’s a lot to unpack; a lot things we purposefully placed in the videos.
Do you still live on-campus?
Dhananjay couldn’t be cooped up in a dorm somewhere.
What’s up with the Newports?
Newports were the first cigarettes I ever smoked. I love the aesthetic.
Do your parents know about all of this?
I have the blessings of my mother and father; they understand what I’m trying to do. My sister loves the videos, which I think means a lot.
How have you enjoyed being on WorldStar? Their comments can be brutal.
The comments are the best part. There are some people who obviously love it, but they’re trying to hate. And there are some people who came there to hate but can’t help but love it. Half of them are stuff about 7/11s and curry jokes, but that’s fuel for my passion.
What’s the reaction at school been like?
It’s been great. A lot of girls say what up. A lot of girls wanna be in the next video.
Have girls been tapdancing into your Twitter DMs?
Sadly, it’s more of a bro crew on Twitter. But everything I do is for the ladies. Dhananjay loves them.
You’re the new Jeremih combined with TeeFlii combined with D’Angelo.
Put together in an Indian body. Hell yeah.
Drew Millard is the Features Editor of Noisey. He's on Twitter - @drewmillard