Arlington rapper Nick Hustle has a dream and a plan. I got the chance to talk with him about his passion for music and get a look at the mind of an aspiring rapper. He took me back to his very first recording experience and went in depth on the his thoughts of Hip-Hop’s future. From torch dropping to personal takes, this interview takes it there! Dig in and enjoy! This is the first of many.
BFD: So to start , tell me where your love of music comes from.
Nick Hustle: Man…my love for music has to come from the man upstairs, cause I grew up in Arlington, TX…anybody from Aggtown can tell you we grew up on Texas music for the most part. UGK, Scarface, Mr. Lucci and Mr. Pookie, Swisha House and alot other…my grandparents raised me so I grew up on some old school music and mainly east coast music. So my love for music comes from my grandparents basically listening to anything from Kool G Rap to The Beatles, that helped me a lot when it comes to being a Texas artist.
BFD: I totally agree, and I look back now and think “wow I was singing along to ugk?!” Sounds like you grew up on all the good stuff. Are you an artist who is obsessed with bringing “the good music” back? Or would you say you’re an artist who makes music that can be compared to that old sound but not considered an imitation?
Nick Hustle: Im a lil of both…the world mos def needs good music so you gotta have that constant fight between good and evil or in the music industry good and garbage. At the same time though I want that feel good music, which is that “old sound” you’re talking bout. It’s hard to even be called and imitation of classic music, its either you got that feel or you don’t. Few have it but I’m starting to see how much people are starving for that old school feel good music. So im trying to please both my artist mindset and my listener mindset.
BFD: It seems like to me listeners want the next great artist so much, they are making these rappers who really aren’t that awesome blow up. Everyone claims they want that old thing back but when we’re handed the Lupe Fiascos and Asher Roths we throw them shade instead of praise. Do you think that it’s gotten to the point that all rap music is commercial?? Jayz is 40…his time to pass the torch is coming, do you think it will get dropped?
Nick Hustle: Tough question cause I mean look at who we got to take the torch from him. Lets shine light on something alot of people don’t think about, Tupac was the last “great” rapper to be in and out of jail and everytime he could bounce back. We don’t have any Tupac’s today, so their goes Wayne, T.I., and anybody else that has a shot at taking the torch ain’t picking up the slack while they gone on lock. So I don’t have the highest hope in todays artist taking the torch and running with it, because we’re spending to much time in jail. Hopefully these labels will open their eyes and start signing respectable prospects. Otherwise the torch will get dropped fast and in a hurry.
BFD: That word ,respectable, immediately brings Drake to mind. He seems like he wouldn’t hurt a fly
and his fans don’t care! He makes music that ppl enjoy. But with Drake it feels like we see his every move, and that is one thing about this internet genration we have. We see EVERYTHING! No more surprises. Would you be interested in being an artist that is stuck on the internet posting your every move on twitter and fb? How do you even feel about the whole internet music phenomenon?
Nick Hustle: I feel like the extent Prince took it to is as far as we should of taken it. Just get internet sells, not internet drama and indecent exposure,you feel me? All twitter and facebook does is open an artist to indecent exposure, recently Fabolous has to deal with the whole Amber Rose rumor. Guess where they cleared it up,twitter. Facebook is like the new bible when it comes to drama. Everything has to be true that’s on facebook cause it’s facebook. Bump that yo, get off facebook and twitter. Go back to surprise concerts and random give aways. I’m down with the whole internet promotion, but only with my music, not my life story being promoted.
BFD: I really liked the way you put that! People put their thoughts onto the web. Our thoughts are all we have. So why give them away like that? As far as promotion I think it’s an awesome idea. For personal life, it’s a fail. Next thing you know they’ll be videos of Kanye rapping in the studio…speaking of the studio what was your very first experience in the studio like?
Nick Hustle: I wouldn’t be mad if that video of kanye dropped though. My 1st experience in the studio was back in ’05, all I had was the recorder that comes with windows, a lil whack computer mic, my 70 page notebook and my partner in crime back then, J. Wise. He came with the beats. I recorded in my closet, like alot of artist starting off but we didn’t know where to start. With the recorder on windows you only had like a 30 second slot, but everytime you press record and stop again it would give you another 30 seconds. I had to click record and stop like 10 times ’til I had enough time to record a full song. Then I had to try to find a way to put it on cd, which can’t be done. Thank God that was my set up for about 3 months. Then I upgraded to Sony Acid, a vocal mic and J. Wise mastered Fruity Loops a popular producing program.
BFD: The good thing is that you didn’t give up after what sounds like a pretty rough start. Where are you with the recording process? Are you in a studio now?
Nick Hustle: Right now im working on a mixtape due to be released the last part of this year. The in house studio is up to par. I’m using Cubase which is a nice recording program industry standards. (shout outs to AKG for the nice condenser mic). The beats are coming from around the world now. The current project is crazy, but nothing like the album is going to be. 2011 is necessary for Nick Hustle and all my fam.
BFD: Well I can’t wait to see what you got! Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Nick Hustle: Music lovers like you and myself…thank you for being a real ass female and listener of Hip Hop, the game needs more female listeners like you…its a mans world but women run it.
BFD: Yea we pretty much run everything! As long as artist are making music from a real place I can only respect that. But when it stops being organic, listeners get lost and ultimately get pissed and that’s when they label that artist “commercial”. What do you want people to gain from your music and why should they even listen in the first place?
Nick Hustle: I want people to just gain a relationship with how I feel about things, I’m sure they would agree on alot of points. People should listen, I would listen to a new artist, at least give them a chance before I label them whack off their appearance or 1st hi hat on a beat. It takes time to make music, like I’ve said before regardless of it being good or garbage, music takes time. So take 4 to 5 minutes out to listen to what took me 4 to 5 months to make, ya know?
BFD: I understand completely. That’s why I respect any artist, from painters, to musicians, to graffiti artist. You seem like you put your heart into what you’re doing…would that be a safe assumption?
Nick Hustle: [I] put my heart into it like I had a transplant…dnt assume, cause its real.
BFD: Where can people go to hear some of your stuff now?
Nick Hustle: You can listen to the new joints from Nick Hustle on facebook, reverbnation, youtube, datpiff and pretty much any music related site just search Nick Hustle. Be looking out for the Nick Hustle Murdertape Series and I’m featured on J Wise’s mixtape.