You might know Flipp Dinero for his RIAA Platinum-certified hit single, “Leave Me Alone,” but his demeanor does not match the title of his smash record. The 23-year-old New York singer-rapper is positively charming, boasting a kind aura that pulls us in. He is equal turns candid and chipper, evident in the sing-song approach to his music, and through polite conversation.
Flipp, born Christopher Saint Victor, is a pleasure to chat with if only because of his passion for New York, and his music bleeding through every word. In that breath, with his star rising, Dinero is a hometown hero.
“Being a hometown hero is someone who establishes a name for themselves in their area,” Flipp explains to me. “Someone who’s doing something beneficial in the community, or whatever group they’re a part of it. Everyone can be one.”
While everyone can be a hometown hero, not everyone can carry themselves the way Flipp Dinero does. His music is hit-ready, but even as his star rises, the artist feels an incredible need to remain humble.
Flipp might have nearly 22 million plays all-time on Audiomack, over four million monthly listeners on Spotify, 135 million views on YouTube for the “Leave Me Alone” video, and closing in on the million mark for “If I Tell You,” but none of these accolades are inflating Dinero’s ego.
I ask Flipp how it feels to have struck gold in New York, a city he notes is notorious for being difficult to break out of. He tells me he isn’t quite sure he struck gold.
“I’m still working, still putting in that groundwork. I’m just staying humble,” he explains.
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“It’s important to have your city rock with you because it’s only right to have that approval from where you come from,” Flipp explains.
At the time of “Leave Me Alone”’s release, it felt like every New York tastemaker was hot on the kid. “You wanna have that support, and you wanna have that foundation,” he explains. “It’s essential to have support from New York because New York is a tough place to make it. So if you can have people rock with you, and appreciate your art and your craft, that means you’re doing something good.”
“Something good,” besides quality music, also means sending a solid message to the world. Flipp has a rare platform—he signed a record deal with DJ Khaled’s We The Best Music Group and Epic Records in 2018—and he is hoping to use it to spread positivity and right the improper perceptions of hip-hop in popular culture.
“I just wanna send the message that hip-hop is versatile,” he tells me. “I can be used to aid as opposed to destruct. A lot of people have hip-hop misconstrued as something that involves violence. That’s not it. Hip-hop is something loving. That’s what it started as, and that’s what it is. That’s what I’m trying to push.”
This message, along with his signature rasp, is why Flipp was chosen to headline the inaugural Audiomack Hometown Heroes concert in August, sponsored by High Hemp.
“It felt like love,” Flipp describes of hitting the stage. The fans knew every word and crooned alongside him. The audience matched his breathy howls in broad strokes. “I was overwhelmed with love. It showed me that all the work was paying off. All the nights in the studio, all the nights on the road, it was paying off.”
Flipp describes the feeling of seeing fans sing along to his music as “unexplainable,” which is equal parts genuine and in character for the humble artist. Across our interview, Flipp is careful not to boast or soak in his newfound fame and status. His gratitude for his career, his family, and God overtakes any modicum of pride that might come when you stumble into a series of hit singles, radio play, playlist juice, and press runs. He sounds like a person counting his blessings and holding them close to the chest. It makes him all the more endearing.
Equally endearing is Flipp’s admission that he used to practice in front of pretend crowds in front of the mirror as a child. “I always saw myself doing this,” he says. It isn’t hard to understand why.