Rapper Dai Burger Breaks it Down | The_ONES
Posture Magazine x The_ONES
#OverTheTop: Rapper Dai Burger Breaks It Down
We’re proud to partner with Posture magazine—a beacon of art, fashion, and culture for the queer community—to bring you #OverTheTop, a series celebrating the stories and wild, wacky, wonderful personal style of three no-holds-barred creatives.
A true Aquarius in her wild femininity, Queens-born queer rapper Dai Burger is fearless in her approach to music, fashion, and dance. Before her music career, Dai toured the world as a backup dancer for Lil’ Mama, and perfected her raunchy, no-limits looks as a stylist for the infamous downtown shop Patricia Field (the eponymous boutique of Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field). Following a series of killer mixtapes and EPs over the last few years, Dai released her hotly anticipated first full-length album, Soft Serve, in August 2017.
Reminiscent of female rappers from the ’90s, like Trina and Rasheeda, Dai’s powerhouse, tell-it-like-it-is attitude sets her apart, as does her flashy, vibrant style, which takes its cues from early 2000’s glitz. Dai has a knack for throwing down dirty lyrics with an innocent flair—instrumentals recalling children’s toys back tongue-in-cheek lyrics dripping with innuendo and dessert references.
To compliment this aesthetic contradiction, we shot Dai in an over-the-top, 90's teen dream bedroom—overflowing with candy. Fun, quirky, and innocent at first glance, the set was the perfect kitsch backdrop for her always-flamboyant style.
You're originally from New York—what was that like growing up, and how did that influence your style?
“I'm born and raised in Queens, so style was like—you always gotta have that one up. I've always been ‘the unique girl,’ even in junior high school when we had to wear a uniform, I would always mix it up—colored stockings to match my colored top, putting my own little spin on it. In high school I was just that queen, fly girl. I had the Jordans at the time.”
Did you make a lot of your own stuff?
“Yeah, I used to be the girl who would paint all over jeans. I would customize people’s jeans with graffiti and splatter paint—it was my side hustle, like ‘$20 I'll hook your jeans up.’ That style is super popular now but I was doing that in '92. I still have mine!”
When you were younger, what style icons did you have?
“I'm an only child, so I was always in my own little world, I could do whatever I wanted, so that's why I always customized my outfits. I went to FIT after high school, and studied accessory design. People always knew I would need to do something in fashion or dancing, because I was always that girl—I didn't just wake up one day like: Dai Burger is here. I was always her.”
How does being a dancer impact your style? Is it something that still comes into play?
“Being a dancer, I think it just gives me that sexy edge. I can dance in any shoes, I can keep it a little hip hop in some sweats. You know? Either way. I love being that versatile too, being able to wear heels but also kill it in some sneakers.”
Are there sneakers that you love in particular?
“Right now, I'm liking my AirMaxx, which has a throwback feel, but also always Vans. Vans when I'm keeping it casual with some high tops. There's a certain cleanliness—a freshness, that comes with wearing a classic pair of kicks. They can compliment a brand new outfit or even give you a boost when you're in your chill look.”
What would your ultimate classic sneaker look like, if you could design one for yourself?
“If I could design my own sneaker, I'd treat them like Build-A-Bear lol. It'd come with different color swatches, designs, and interchangeable add-ons. There'd be so many possibilities with the one same shoe, how cool! This totally embodies me as an artist, because I love customizing what I wear based on how I feel daily.”
“There's a certain cleanliness—a freshness, that comes with wearing a classic pair of kicks.”
- Dai Burger
Would love to know how you’d customize one of the pairs of sneakers from the shoot? Paint, bedazzle?
“First of all—I love anything bedazzled! But in this case, I’m actually going to add rainbow shoe laces to the black and white Sauconys. I've been hoarding a bag of crazy shoelaces for years! I like to refer to it when I get a new pair of kicks, to see how I can spice things up.”
I’ve heard that you used to work at Pat Fields? How was that experience?
“Oh yeah! I did work at Patricia Fields—it's legendary, it's iconic. It's a staple even though it's no longer there, and a lot of people still talk about it, we still know her. She's still doing great things and it's just surreal learning from the best. Pat taught me everything, she was very hands on. So, that also helped mold me up more to who I am, because to be there you had to be fabulous, you had to be great, you had to know what was up. I miss that, but it lives through me now, I just style myself.”
Where are you living now? Are you bouncing around a lot?
“I'm still New York based, but I am touring and traveling—look, I'm chilling in Canada right now. I was just in Berlin, and I'm just making my rounds. I'm definitely the kind of girl to just pull up, like I'll pull up on you. ‘Didn't I just see you here?’ ‘Yep, you did.’”
“I’m definitely a thrifter...I'm always just aware of every little dusty hole in the wall, I want to go in and see what's there for me.
- Dai Burger
Speaking of bouncing around, where do you like to shop? Do you get a lot of stuff when you're touring or are there specific places that you always go back to in New York?
“It's a combo of them all. I’m definitely a thrifter, I love secondhand and vintage. Wherever I am, there's a little store I know I must go to because I have to see what they have for me. I'm always just aware of every little dusty hole in the wall, I want to go in and see what's there for me. I'll treat myself to a new goody now and then, like a good bag, but when it comes to awesome finds, I'm going to sniff them out. No stone left unturned when I'm around.”
Out of all the cities that you've traveled around to other than New York, what’s a place that turned your head, fashion-wise?
“Well, I will say when I was in Australia, they were kinda killin' it. I won't even lie. There were some prints where I was like, oh this is like a soft slay, a subtle slay. It's just cool and clean and casual but some good pieces. Also, I'm here in Canada and they have a Caribbean influence out here—the party that I just performed at, everybody was looking fly.”
In terms of the type of music that you're producing, different people that you've been working with, or scenes that you've been in, how has that influenced you?
“Each album is like a phase or a scene. I think every artist does a small reinvention when they are releasing something new. You can follow the same formula, but people are going to get bored if you always do the same thing. You gotta mix it up. I can't stick to the same look for too long, because I'll go crazy. I've got some new stuff, and I need to show off! How I'm feeling is what I'm going to exude, and hopefully it's not a replication of something that I've already done because the point is to keep them saying ‘Wow!’”
Are there any brands or independent designers whose work you are really feeling at the moment?
“Yeah, I really love These Pink Lips because it's all custom, all handmade and very empowering—cool statements, kooky color, and it's so bold. Oh also, Marry Me-Jimmy Paul, girl. Their stuff is just amazing and kind of gaudy, but I like that.”
What is your favorite thing in your wardrobe right now?
“I have these orange puffer boots. They're like upper coat, thigh high—I got them on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, nothing crazy. Anybody could go get them, but I did, and they're mine, and I got the bubble coat to match. I'm all about that.”
“How I'm feeling is what I'm going to exude, and hopefully it's not a replication of something that I've already done because the point is to keep them saying ‘Wow!’”
- Dai Burger
Do you have a favorite color or pattern that you've always gone back to?
“I will not play favorites because I love color so much. Even if it's a color that's ugly—if I have a couple pieces to make a look with this ugly-ass color, I'm going to love the color, and I'm going to wear it. I love a color story; in some ways all I see is color. My song ‘Canary Yellow’ is a fashion color-story rap song.”
Your first full album, Soft Serve, just came out in August, right? That's huge!
“It did. It's all done, the album's doing great, I'm touring and pushing it now—I couldn't ask for anything more. Go listen to Soft Serve, stylin' on them kiddies!”
Before we go—what phrase would you use to describe your style?
“Bizarre, with a touch of class.”
“There's just something so timeless about a classic sneaker,” says Dai. “Every closet needs a pair.”
Shop The Collection
Writer: Maya Harder-Montoya. Creative Director: Morgan T Stuart. Photographer: Bamby. Senior Photo Director: Asher Torres. Photo Director: Ryan Bevans. Photo Assistant: Kimari Hazward. Set Designer: Mo Pepin. Muralist: Nicky Ottav. Stylist: Shea Daspin. Hair: Britt White. Makeup: Katie Robinson using NARS Cosmetics. Production Assts: Stevie Sullivan, Kyle Stuart, Anabel Evans. Video: Rosalina Merrihue.
More of the good stuff—a celebration of the people who inspire us and the classic kicks in their closets.
See All Stories