Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton,” “Snowpiercer”) brings his trademark flow to the original new song “Puppy for Hanukkah,” on Disney Channel. The holiday hip-hop song, performed by Diggs and marked by his distinctive vocal style, dense verses with a memorable hook, was written and produced by Diggs with his longtime friends and creative partners William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes (also of the experimental hip-hop trio Clipping). The song includes clarinet, tsimbl, and percussion to make its innovative attention-grabbing sound.
Diggs was born in Oakland, California, the son of Barbara (née Hoffman), a social worker, and Dountes Diggs, a bus driver. His mother is Jewish, and his father is African-American. His parents named him “Daveed,” the Hebrew pronunciation of David. Diggs has said that “‘David’ means beloved in Hebrew… They spelled it with two Es because my dad liked the look of it.”
What he refers to is the common view that the word David is a synonym of the word Dod, or lover, which is mentioned many times in The Song of Songs and Proverbs. But the beloved king’s name is spelled with a Yod in the books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, which make the switch more difficult. But the main thing is that Daveed Diggs is a member of the tribe, and his Chanukah video (yes, we spell it several different ways, so sue me) is delightful.
Diggs’ parents’ ethnic and racial identities have contributed to his own self-identification, as he put it in a 2016 interview: “The cultures never seemed separate—I had a lot of mixed friends. When I was young, I identified with being Jewish, but I embraced my dad’s side too.”
Diggs is in a relationship with Emmy Raver-Lampman (“The Umbrella Academy”), whom he met in 2015 on the set of Hamilton. We looked – not of the tribe.