Tajh Spikes always considered himself an outsider.
“If ever there was something people were really huge on, I was like, ‘I’m going to see what’s going on over here,’ ” he said with a chuckle.
Spikes is the 23-year-old rapper known as Dude With No Name. Since 2011, he has put out nearly 20 releases. That’s an average of four releases — be it a single, EP, or LP — per year.
Already this year, he has released two EPs, January’s “Channel 5” and March’s “Ghost Files.” The former gained national attention, being featured on the popular hip-hop blog, 2DopeBoyz.
“My state of mind keeps me motivated,” Spikes said. “I don’t have what I want, and what I want is to perform in front of millions of fans.”
To make that happen, Spikes and a few of his friends, including main producer and collaborator Deven Jackson (a.k.a. A.D.D. Beats), will move to Los Angeles in May.
“It will be a refreshing, new scene,” Spikes said. “The way music is received is different, and there will be more opportunities.”
Refreshing and different are two of the most common ways to describe Spikes’ music. The two biggest names associated with Baton Rouge hip-hop and rap are Kevin Gates and Boosie. Spikes never really cared for that “ratchet” sound.
“It never sat with me,” Spikes said. “Once the ratchet came out, I was done. I was in seventh grade. I wanted to make music for my friends and speak on things we all relate to. I wanted it to be diverse. I didn’t want to wear one mask. The big thing was being different, being aware of what I wanted and what I liked.”
Spikes’ personality is as big as his body figure. In grade school, coaches tried to get him to play on the line in football.
“I was like, ‘Nah, look at these drawings,’ ” Spikes said. “They were like, ‘These drawings are good, but we’re going to put you on the line.’ I hated sports.”
It also was around this time that Spikes got interested in Manga, or Japanese comic books. Spikes has the words “human” and “mecha” tattooed on his knuckles, an allusion to the Gundam series. He’s a fan of “Dragon Ball Z,” “Cowboy Bebop,” and “Naruto,” among others.
“Call me a Manga hippie,” he said.
Those Manga influences spread into his music. He has drawn a few of his album covers. This year’s EPs feature titles that are allusions to “Cowboy Bebop” and “Yu Yu Hakusho.” He even has a seasonal eBay store where he sells imported action figures.
Musically, Spikes is more aligned to the sounds of Curren$y and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Lyrically, positivity and originality are more Spikes’ style, too.
“A lot of people need originality now,” Spikes said. “There are a lot of biters, people just copying styles and songs. And positivity is huge to me, because whatever you put out in the universe you’re going to get back.”
Spikes knows he’s stubbornly left of center when it comes to his music and personality. But he has seen what happens to people when they try to be something they’re not.
“I’ve seen plenty of people from here who did their thing and ended up in the same place,” Spikes said. “They’re doing the typical stuff, trying to be in the front with what’s popping. I’m not going to worry about that. We’re going through back doors, and that’s fine with me.”
Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.