The Come Up: Nitty Scott, MC

XXL: Your grind has been well-documented through your mixtapes. Now, you’re finally putting out an album.
Nitty Scott, MC: I think my fans have waited for a really solid LP from me for a while. I was always down to give it to them, I just think it had to naturally occur. It had to organically be timed for me to create this body of work. So, even though Boombox Diaries was a very well-received EP, I took my time with this one. I was working on it since the beginning of 2013. I’ve been talking about it. If you go back in my tweets and stuff, I’ve been talking about it since last summer. So, it’s been a real process and I even got a little anxious along the way as far as wanting to put it out. But, the way things pan out, it is always the way it should be. I trust that.

Let’s talk about your transformation. You are into mediation and living a more relaxing lifestyle.
I sort of come into my own in some ways. I was still like 19 or 20 when I came on the scene. So, a lot has happened since then. I’ve gone through a lot of emotional and mental issues, really. I kind of had to re-address life as an adult. I think you are raised to be a certain way. And this is what I want people to know too. The Art Of Chill—that’s not it either. In two years, I could be on something else. I’m embracing my right to do that. My right to grow. My right to flow wherever my heart is at the moment. That’s what it is right now.

What were some of the personal struggles you were going through?
I had a very dysfunctional childhood. I had experience some abuse that really traumatized me and scarred me. I went through a lot of things in New York as a 17-year-old with no support system out here. There were a lot of things, even homelessness. There was a point in time where I didn’t know where to live out here. So I went through a lot of things that kind of damaged me mentally. I wanted to restore myself and heal myself and believe that is possible. There was a lot of digging through that and dealing with that to come out as a stronger person.

Now, that you feel stronger, how has that affected your songwriting process now?
Even my songwriting improved on this album because the records are bigger. They are more descript. I’m playing with the structure of records. I am singing a little bit. I’m OK with going into unexplored territory. That’s what it is all about. It’s about saying that I am not gonna stay in this safe, familiar place. I’m gonna venture out and I’ma experience the world and experience myself. It’s a new sound. I’m telling new stories that people have never heard that specifically pertain to me. It’s all fresh.

You are originally from Florida and moved to New York later on. Would you identify yourself as a New York rapper now?
I do. I’ve been in New York going on seven years now. So I’ve been out here since my late teens or whatever. I don’t feel you can say that I am not apart of the artistic community here. I am absolutely apart of the scene. I am at the shows. I am at the events. I’m friends with everybody out here. I’m definitely apart of what is going on in New York. I even came up as an MC in New York. I don’t feel like just because my childhood per say wasn’t here. I still became Nitty Scott, MC in Brooklyn, performing at Southpaw (R.I.P.) and all these venues that literally shaped my craft. I came up here knowing how to write and knowing that I want to spit, but there is something about being in these streets and being on stage, just really being apart of the neighborhoods that I think is apart of me. I think it is actually apart of me and I am proud to represent it. I feel totally embraced by the people here. It’s my home and it’s the only place that I ever lived as an adult.

Some of your influences that you mentioned before like (Q-Tip, Slum Village), do you still draw from them today?
Slum Village. Wu-Tang, especially Slum Village. My favorite song ever is “Fall In Love.” That record just inspired me at a very young age to be in hip-hop. I was just like, “Wow, I want to do this. I want to make people feel the way he’s making me feel right now.” And naturally, the way that I wrote, the way that my style of writing and my style of expressing myself was naturally very New York. And being from Florida, I didn’t really have that Southern sound or cadence or anything like that. So, when I was in Florida, it became very obvious to me that I go be where I’m going to be appreciated with this type of lyricism and this type of sound is what’s dope.

What songs should fans be checking out for on The Art Of Chill?
Other really dope gems are “Generation Now,” “Lily Of The Valley,” and “Still I Rise.” Those are all special in their own way. I feel like there’s no filler. There was no like, “Oh, I am just gonna put this on here cause I had a record laying around or whatever.” Every single record has its place in the project as far as making it one cohesive story. I sampled some real Tibet, bold mediation that I used. So it is like binaural beats and everything. You can actually meditate to the project if you wanted to. Certain portions of the project there’s real meditation being used. You can actually catch your chill by listening to it.

At this point, you have a following for your music. Do you admire anyone’s moves in the industry?
I really have respect for like Tech N9ne and Curren$y. I love how they have been able to really carve out their own lanes and make the kind of music that they want. They have huge, ridiculous followings that support the shit out of them. To me, that’s living the dream. They are touring. They are getting money. They are branding themselves the way they want to. I don’t feel there’s any female that’s been able to do that. I feel like it’s been super underground or you are going for this mainstream gusto kind of thing. I definitely aspire to have a movement that is independent yet, lucrative, powerful, known. And also get respect from these mainstream artists and the labels as well.

With conflicting opinions of who is running hip-hop right now for females, where do you see yourself in the picture? Are you the competitive type?
I feel like right now I am in the place where I have the freedom and creative control to what I want because I am not necessarily making that crossover move just yet. It’s something I see happening in the future. But right now, I am definitely enjoying what I find empowering about my whole movement. Just because, when you do move to the next level, there are mad pros that come with it. You are a fuckin’ star. You had all these budgets you never had before. You have opportunities. I totally see how that is awesome, but it is also a lot of pressure and you give up a lot of things as well. So, I am enjoying this stage of my career at this point just because my following it just gets stronger everyday. I feel like I am able to be true to myself and put out what I want.