Kidz In The Hall present…Hi, I’m The Rapper

naledge.jpgYesterday, I stopped by Power 92 in Chicago to do an interview with my man DJ Pharris and drop off the Kidz In The Hall song ”Go ILL” (see yesterday’s blog entry for song link) The response was real positive and I think it is the type of song that accurately depicts the lifestyle that a lot of kids in Chicago, or any urban setting for that matter, can relate to.

However, a lot of the callers that called in to show support seemed to ignore the music when wanting to ask me questions. Most were almost intrigued and curious as to why I got into rapping if I have an Ivy League degree.

While I love the positive attention my education brings, sometimes I feel like people neglect how much I love hip-hop. I definitely understand that most emcees don’t glorify the fact that they may have attended and/or graduated college but why would hip-hop fans be so scared of a college educated hip-hop star?

If you listen to the words that I write and the songs that we make, I don’t think that you’ll find them any more political than Common, any less cocky that the Clipse, nor any less danceable than anything on 106 and Park, but somehow I guess the fact that I could possibly give my resume to a corporation and get a job outside of music must confuse people who think that hip-hop can only come from “the hood.”

What people don’t see is that we don’t choose what we love, it just hits us. Point blank, I love music, and no other genre allows me to express myself the way I see fit. I AM hip-hop and if you love real shit, whether you can relate directly to my story or not, you will love our music for giving you insight into our lives in a very musical and real way.

What offends me more than anything is that labels and rap fans alike take artists who talk about dealing crack in our community as commonplace and “real” and make them the archetype for what a rapper should be. To think or accept that one style of rap is the only kind that is authentic, to me, is saying that we aren’t smart enough to digest anything else. As members of the hip-hop community, we should all be offended by it. And it’s an even bigger slap in the face to a rap listener that a lot of artists glorify this life even though they have never lived it. We need to open our eyes and accept that it is a new day.

We are from an internet generation that has branded hip-hop globally; to think that we won’t see more and more diverse biographies (see: Lupe, Eminem, Pitbull, etc….) from talented hip-hop artists is absurd. I am from a two-parent home, I was valedictorian in high school, I enjoy my fair share of Polo and Lacoste and, yes, I graduated from an Ivy League school. BUT, I am also Black from the inner city and have experienced racism, death, and struggle firsthand.

For hip-hop to grow, we need balance and all I am doing is finding more and more ways to rap about the everyday life that I feel me and my friends shared growing up. I do this in hopes that I can paint a familiar picture for a lot of the hip-hop fans out there who haven’t had an artist like me in the past to relate to, while still bringing great hip-hop back into the forefront where it belongs. And to me, that is more “real” than pretending to be something I’m not.

Me and Rhymefest had a conversation about the fact that a lot of rappers out right now are “Poverty Pimping” – meaning they are glorifying and projecting a lifestyle for the street for the sake of their own individual wealth with no regard for their community. Sure we have vices and superficial wants/needs. But at the expense of our community? I feel it is my obligation and responsibility to balance my realities about sex, relationships, wanting nice clothes or wanting to drive a nice car with the realities of poverty, struggle, and life as a young Black male in America. I will not neglect my roots, my people, or my city to appease those who would rather drown their fears, hang-ups or frustrations w/ jewels, money and fake realities.

Hello, my name is Naledge: the new breed of hip-hop emcee. Please take this ride with me.

PS: Hip-Hop is Alive!

Check out “Wheelz Fall Off (’06 til…)” from the debut album School Was My Hustle Video coming soon!

Kidz In The Hall “Wheelz Fall Off (’06 til…)”

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    A FUCKING MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  • Rohan

    I have real high hopes for this album…

  • Bol

    Shorter Naledge: Other jigs rap about selling drugs, but I don’t. Because I went to Ivy League University.

  • Maurice Garland

    I fucks with yall man for real…I didnt go to an Ivy League, I went to an HBCU and I feel the same way…alot of the artists I interview, when I ask them if they went to or graduated college its almost like they are ashamed to admit it. Whats even more disappointing is when “fans” actually turn a deaf ear to certain types of music because it isnt hood enough…last time I checked there were also old ladies and niggas working at the post office in the “hood” everybody didnt sell crack and tote an AK…and most of the cats who did sell crack and tote AKs didnt have time to go to the booth and rap about it because they were busy getting killed and arrested…good shit Naledge.

  • Dr Flav

    You can only rap if you’re stupid, I thought you knew that. Bol, “jig is a white racist word.” (Micheal Evans)

  • A. Sizzle

    I have the album and it’s incredible. I love hip hop and I’m black, from the subarbs, and in my second year of college. I make beats and spit, and it seems people don’t wanna hear anything positive or real. They wanna hear “real” drug dealers spit and “real” tales about killing people. I got a lot of respect for ya’ll. Keep doing your thing, I wish you nothing but the best.

  • Knowledge Speaks

    Real recognize real, mayne.

  • rezcuetheghost

    yeah big ups for coming by the chi

  • Pause

    yo Nadledge that shit was too real and I respect what you’re doing. You’re making a lot of sense with this article and I feel you’re movement 100%. At first, I was a little hesitant about the ivy-league educated music and all, but this poverty-pimping thing isn’t cool. Hip Hop and fans needs to digest more, whether its coming directly from the streets or from a hustler who paved his own way through education. Naledge and Double O are really holdin shit down. Keep it up and don’t look back.

  • DJ Main Event

    Bol… got no words for what you just stated. Naledge, keep doin’ what you do.

  • thoreauly77

    bol, its okay that you went to a state school in chickenswitch. really. no, really.

  • Bang

    kids these days are dumb dumbs

  • jawz

    i feel this song right here, I got some respect for yall now man, i like this movement, try to write more about situations though, i love those type of songs, i think ne’yo perfected that….

    bol, chill homey, u just bored and wanna be in shit

  • HatersIzWild

    Wow, this cat is makin sense. Keep doing you Naledge!!

    Big up to the Kidz In The Hall crew

    PS: you b Bringin the music back my dude!!

  • young prestige

    Nah son…regardless if you got a degree or not i dont really consider you a rapper homeboy sorry and after this album drops and you sell 15 records you shall also see that you are wasting your time!!!! Maybe next time my friend..

  • Apollo

    Hey Naledge…I’ve never heard yall music but I respect your view and outllook on hip hop. I’m an educated artist myself and it’s time that people get the other side of the story. I call it second hand smoke; we are effected by the hood just as much as everyone else even though we are not the ones committing the crimes and what not. We need to paint that picture for people to see what’s really going beneath the bling.

  • 420PURP


  • thebestout!

    peep game I think a lotta people got it fucked up about this music shit.It’s not the fact that thses kids of todays youth are any dumber or smarter than the generation before it’s just that times are changing and so are the situations.In my era(born in 81…)ya know it wasn’t common place to see niggas drivin’ all kinda whips gettin all kinds of money and really ballin out, especially off drug money.I think in high school (if you actually went)ere’body knew a drug dealer but the thing was to be lo-key about it. It’s not like dat no more the youth of today are more hungry ( due to a fucked up goverment),more easily influenced, and more cut throat than the last. The point I’m trying to make is that kids want sumin’ the can relate to and a lot of them are pushin’ crack , poppin off!, or jus wildin’ out so it doesn’t entertain them to hear about relevant issues because that rappers life doesn’t seem similar to thiers verses someone who spits about the block.I dunno fuck it all… rap played out any way I fucks wit’ strictly chant music (no tina after singin’ the song wrong in fron of ike after he jus’ blew two lines!)

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  • InAHaze

    Yo thank you. Its nice to know that there is something fresh coming out. I love your guys stuff and you guys are one of my favorites right know. But you know that your not the new breed of rap. I wish u were. But the truth, is i belive that your music wont be felt on a large scale and all the rap coming out will continue to sound like recylcled trash. Damn

  • P.Moore

    This was an excellent piece. Keep doing what you do and life, as they say, will work itself out.

  • Kaisor Sosa

    Wheelz Fall Off is the truth. I like that whole album its only got like 13 tracks but probably the best album I bought this year being real.