Daylyt is a Los Angeles gang member who battle raps. He’s not the quintessential gangster. When you think of a gangmember from Los Angeles there is a stereotypical image of Dickie’s, Chucks, locs and flannels, amidst rows of bungalow houses lined in perfect symmetry with tall palm trees. Daylyt is more of an eclectic gangster living in a reality that he created himself. As a member of the Grape Street Watts Crips, a notorious Crip set, that was once named Watts Varrio Grape (pre-1987) when it was populated with black and Mexican members before Mexican gang members aligned themselves with the Surenos, it is the largest Crip set in Watts, claiming territory of almost half a square mile. Watts is a neighborhood in South Los Angeles that has rich history in Black America. With most of its black population migrating from the South in the 1940s during the Second Great Migration, Watts has reared some greats like, jazz legend Charles Mingus and Olympic Gold Medalist, Florence Griffith-Joyner. Watts is also notorious for its peril after having fallen on economicdepression as result of the 1965-Watts Riots. An Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia between 1921-1954 built the neighborhood’s most prominent feature and its claim to fame, the Watts Towers. Watts Towers have no function. It’s just a collection of abstract vernacular architecture that stands about 100 feet in the middle of the ghetto. At a distance they look like towers that carry electricity but close up it’s a décor that is an acquired taste. Like the Watts Towers, Daylyt has become an acquired taste making noise around the world as one of Battle Rap’s most prominent features.
The birth of who we know Daylyt to be came about two years ago when he made a blog about why he tattooed his face in what looks like an Ultimate Warrior mask. “It’s a Spawn mask…My life was in the same comparison as Spawn’s was…he was a bad guy at first but ended up being a good guy at the end of the movie.”, Day explains. He went on to say that he feels like his mission in life is to help people and that like Spawn, he needs a mask in order to be a hero. Totally not expected from a gang member. Amazingly, Day still has the sentimental and imaginative nature of an eight-year-old mischievous boy, lighting cherry bombs in public toilets and pulling at little girls’ ponytails. While some may brush his hero aspirations off as comical, it’s actually a testament to his character. Being a self-appointed hero to save people may be a bit egocentric but it is totally selfless and open-hearted.
Spawning his battle career into a new dimension, his behavior became more bizarre. As if tattooing his face wasn’t bizarre enough, Day was starting to become known less for his lyrical prowess and more for his antics. “Ass Naked With A Shot Gun”, a music video in which he was completely naked sitting on a porch in a lawn chair holding a shotgun. Against his battle with Interstate Fatz on LA Battlegroundz ,he wore a Ku Klux Klan hood. He stripped down to nothing but a thong in his Don’t Flop battle with Dialect. He wore a Batman suit to battle Manaz Ill in Australia at a 1OUTS battle. These have become recurring themes in Day’s battles.
Daylyt isn’t as crazy as he looks. Every stunt he pulls is a calculated risk to advance his career. His cunning tactics aren’t because he’s gone mad, he actually has a master plan and he’s sticking to it. He vowed earlier this year to get more viewership by any means. Since a battler’s worth is determined by how many views they bring to a league, Day has positioned himself to be one of the most sought after battle rappers. He’s playing the game the best way he knows how and for some of his fellow battlers it’s not appealing. He almost got into a fight with Math Hoffa when he poured water on his shoes in the middle of a their battle. Swave Sevah even had second thoughts on taking a battle with Day because of possible stunts that he may pull. Because of this, Day will probably never see the URL stage, the Main Stage.
Coming off as a loose cannon has helped his popularity tremendously but it has also compromised both his integrity and lyrical substance. He’s still a dope battle rapper but it’s hard to take someone seriously that strips naked and wears a tattooed mask on his face. The irony in all this is that though Day was a brilliant lyricist before the antics, no one took a second look. When he masked himself in his Spawn persona the battle world took notice. He is openly hiding behind the tattooed mask and now we can get a glimpse of what Day probably always wanted others to see…himself.
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group
Twitter @BttleRapHistory & @SavoyMediaGroup