Charlotte, NC hip hop artist NiGE HOOD explores new sounds and visual pleasures with Return of The Nasty EP.
Every artists knows when it’s time to expand their sound and more importantly knowing to stay true in the process. NiGE Hood has had some great grass root success with his previous work and has no problem switching up the look to stand out. We had the honor of interviewing and attending his Return of The Nasty listening event this weekend. Upon our arrival was the norm of many people waiting for the event to begin, a photo booth and to our knowledge a hired chef was outside serving tacos for guests.
There I saw a white backdrop and the usual rock n roll band equipment. I didn’t think much of it until I realized he did have some Charlotte openers including Saving Saturday, King Callis, Bambizilla and more. Ten minutes went by and a projection was shown of music videos in a similar format of Kanye West’s “New Slaves” premiere. I honestly didn’t expect much effort or creativity coming from this event, but I felt relieved knowing that there still are artists who care about their craft and making sure those who do come, have a great experience. I conversed briefly with NiGE and he spoke on his visual “Medicine“, giving Charlotte artists opportunities and more. You can purchase his Return of The Nasty EP HERE.
Southern New Yorker: What was the process behind this project and what reactions do you expect from listeners?
NiGE HOOD: I guess this project started off as an idea. Genuinely it was a figment of my plans back when I was putting out THOUGHTS: Volume 1. Then after THOUGHTS: Volume 2 happened; I spent most of my year recording with Jason Jet. It started off with the song that we recorded last summer “Medicine” that we finally put out this summer. It was a long process of just putting out songs and putting together a campaign to promote it. I think it was a pretty good grassroots level turn out regarding people’s anticipation. I hope people like it, I’ve heard some good things about it.
SNY: How important was it for you to incorporate Charlotte artists as openers for your event tonight?
NiGE: I think it’s time because we’ve got good artists, so why not if they’re from the city. Why not give them an opportunity to show what they’ve got and expand their audience. I think that’s great. As long as you know that you’re making good music and pushing your brand, I’m all about putting people on or giving people opportunities.
SNY: Tonight I saw a projection screen which showed visuals and you brought in a live band as well. It kind of reminded me of what Kanye West did for his “New Slaves” release. You have your own media art company called Guerrilla Art Faire, would you say he influenced you?
NiGE: Aside from knowing that he projected the “New Slaves” video, I didn’t know too much. Kanye West isn’t someone that I follow right now. So I’d say no, but in a way yeah. I feel like what I’m doing right now is what Kanye West was doing before he got his opportunity with Roc-a-Fella company as an artist because he had to put his own stuff together. So I do share his ambition. I feel like that Punk’d episode where they were filming “Jesus Walks” and they pretended they were stealing the tapes. He went and stole them back he was like, “Nah, I paid for this video shoot. I did all of this!” That’s how you feel when it’s your baby or when something is yours. You’ll go all in for it. So, yeah we share the same spirit.
SNY: What is your favorite record on Return of The Nasty?
NiGE: I think that musically “Extendos” is a great record that’s got Kale Hunter on it. We got the interlude for “Return of The Nasty” which has a sample from Gary Clarke Jr. playing the guitar. I’m singing a melody that I wrote along with Diyasha Smith. It’s like a mantra that represents what the nasty is about. Its saying, “Lord I want to thank you for all my flaws for so they crawl and every part of me don’t shatter me to pieces don’t call it off. To the world I stand tall and give you all of me.” That’s what I was trying to do with this project. It comes off with a reggae record which is the second record on the project just showing you that I like this and I can create these songs. Why not create a good piece of music this way? So I just hope I really get the opportunity to get it to as many people as possible. This is the first time that I had a good amount of merchandise and even if I walk away with a fraction of that I can still sell that at other events. This is kind of a step up for where I’m going and my growth.
SNY: What was the inspiration behind the visual “Medicine”?
NiGE: It was a growing thing, but it originally centered around hitch hiking and going into different situations. Certain things on set happened because there wouldn’t have been a performance scene at the end if I had brought a suitcase. I brought an actual trumpet case with a trumpet in it. We wouldn’t have had the idea instead of me meeting up with my girl, I flip it and they see that I’m going to perform. It was kind of a process, but it centered around comical situations that you’d run into.
SNY: Now that you released the project Return of The Nasty what else can we expect from NiGE HOOD?
NiGE: You can expect another visual for “Eargum” that’s coming from the same studio that recorded “Medicine”. Also I’ll be performing at the Fernweh Festival which is on July 45th at Lake Norman. I don’t know how I’m going to pull that one off with suit attire, I’ll have to pull off one of those school boy suite knickers type. You know I have to keep up with my attire. I’m doing the joint on 36th street and a show in Raleigh on the 29th. I’ve got some more performances lined up late July and just getting this merchandise to as many people as possible. Getting these record heard.