Exclusive Interview: How Diesel Filmz Became a Staple of Up-and-Coming Rap


For the last seven years, Diesel Filmz has gone from a pivotal director in up-and-coming Atlanta rap to a formula for rising artist to become the superstars of tomorrow. However, unlike his contemporaries, Diesel doesn’t lean heavily on off-the-wall graphics or obscene budgets.

“I like organic vibes because people get to see the real artist instead of putting together a whole thing where it almost feels like you’re faking it. I wanna be realistic so people can relate to them and see the artist how they are every day,” Diesel explained.

The Atlanta native has been able to help launch the careers of artists like Latto (formerly known as Mulatto), EST Gee, Lil Keed, Nardo Wick and many others by utilizing a run-and-gun style, an iconic logo, and one of the best ears for music in the game. However, before Diesel got behind the camera, he followed in his fathers footsteps and began rapping under the name DC.

“My dad was an artist, he was rapping and he wanted [me] to rap so that’s what made me want to get into music,” he explained. By the time high school rolled around, Diesel would link up with some friends and create a group called Cascade.

“We started popping in our area like we were known in our hood and that made me really take it seriously like ‘oh this is fun and everybody knows us’,” he stated.

Diesel’s first video ended up being for the group and outperformed many of his local competitors. However, the young artist would soon decide to shift his focus from the mic to the camera and began building a buzz for himself in Atlanta.

Within under a year, ATL up-and-comers like Bandit Gang Marco, then QC signees Skippa Da Flippa and Jose Guapo were hitting him up for videos. In our interview, Diesel stressed wanting to build up artists from his hometown saying:

“The sound is different from Atlanta and that’s why I like it. You can be a little bit more creative [with the videos] like the beats are different and the way they’re rapping so I can be more creative that way.” 

One of the Atlanta director’s most notable videos to date was from Lil Keed, one of the first artists he’d seen go from nothing to something. Before shooting the video for Keed‘s hit song “Nameless”, Diesel shot one of Keed’s first videos titled “BAG”.

“[Keed was] a kid he’s on the block, but I knew he could rap I was like man this dude is hard I feel like he’s gonna be big,” Diesel explained.

Since the release of “Nameless”, Diesel has expanded his name much further than Atlanta. His ear for groundbreaking artists and raw yet refined videos has boosted him from being a go to director in the A to being one of the premier directors in the game.

Diesel‘s high profile collaborators include Moneybagg Yo, Lil Durk, and King Von, among many others. However, Diesel still has a special connection to the up-and-comers.

“Working with bigger artists is cool to me but I don’t have that relationship with them. Like with an emerging artist you build that relationship with them…I feel better working with them,” he explained.

This is particularly clear in his new for Rylo Rodriguez and Nardo Wick‘s “Murder” which is below! Check out the new video and follow Diesel Filmz on Instagram and Twitter!



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