The Break Presents: Nessly
Nessly is bringing some brand new flavor in your ear every time you get a notification that he has uploaded a song to SoundCloud. The Atlanta rapper, whose music can be heard on OVO Sound Radio, wants to take his sonics to an untouchable level that will challenge the industry. He most recently dropped the mixtape, Still Finessin, which consists of nine riveting tracks that stay true to the phrase “expect the unexpected.”
While some may compare his sound to the likes of other Atlanta-based rappers, Nessly’s goal is to continue to create his own lane and provide “new sauce” in the process. Get familiar with the kid from the ATL, who already has 10 years of experience making music under his belt and is a mastermind with finessin’ Auto-Tune.--Aleia Woods
Hometown: Stone Mountain, Lithonia and Atlanta
I grew up listening to: "The first rap song I ever remember listening to was 'Go DJ' by Lil Wayne. I literally remember that's the first rap song I ever heard -- at least that I can recall. I probably heard things here and there, but didn't really attach to it. My mom is from Belize, so she listened to a lot of stuff, but not necessarily rap. I know she was up on Shyne a little bit since he's from Belize. But, I didn't really catch any of that. It was more so the 'Go DJ' that caught my ear. So I listened to a lot of Lil Wayne growing up."
"Being young, Soulja Boy definitely made me wanna rap though, just because I'm like, This kid's like me. What the fuck? He's from Atlanta.' What's crazy is, in Atlanta, we all knew who Soulja Boy was years before he put out 'Crank That.' We already knew, so it showed us that it was possible to do it where we're from. Drake when he first came out, like 2009-ish. I started rapping in 2007, so I would count it as an early listen."
Most people don't know: "What they really don't know about me is that I really tried to take a stab at doing the real conscious rap for a good six months to a year span. And, it was just not me. I went right back to picking up the Auto-Tune. I started doing Auto-Tune, even when I was 12. My first song had Auto-Tune on it. This is 2007, before the wave. It was a commercial wave, but independent artist-wise, no one was really using Auto-Tune. It's either they didn't know how to get to it or when they started recording it didn't sound how they expected it to sound 'cause they wanted to sound like Lil Wayne or Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak.
"But no one knew how to do it 'cause it's a thing about how you move your voice, rather than just talking and then putting it on the program. You still sound like trash if you don't know how to sing. Well, at least hit notes. I think a lot of people just don't know that I used to actually try to take very sampled acoustic beats and I really tried to be that kind of rapper, but it wasn't really for me. Honestly, it just wasn't my thing. I'm a little more flashy and in your face with my sound and even my personality in real life. So, it's just like I think I was doing that just because I really respect the culture and I just felt like that was the way you should do it if you respect the culture. Then again, if you respect the culture, you should contribute [to] it in your way."
My style's been compared to: "A lot of people will try to put me in this Future [category]. I don't know why they say Post Malone either 'cause I actually don't listen to him, so I would never know. Of course, I listen to Future. I'm from Atlanta. They really just like to say Future a lot. Like, post-Future rapper, but what they really don't know is, Future is a result of the sound that was being built even before Future was out in Atlanta. There were artists who kind of already had a similar vibe and moved their voice the same, had similar beats selection, worked with [the] same producers. So these are the guys that didn't make it. Future was literally the chosen one.
"You have guys like Kwony Cash, even people like Yung L.A. and J Money kinda started using those kind of beats in the beginning. And this is not a new sound for Atlanta. This is something we've been doing. It's still early, but like two years prior to 'Racks' [by YC] even came out. There were guys who were already doing that sound. I think Future is definitely one of the best at it, if not the best from that circle. I wasn't really a part of that circle, but I was always aware because it was going on in my city. You had all these groups and rappers and they all kinda sounded very similar.
"I won't lie, I pulled a lot of inspiration from that because it was the Atlanta sound. Even if somebody were to say, 'Oh, Nessly sounds kind of like Travi$ Scott or something,' 'cause I've heard that, but I can never ever even agree with that. It's just for the fact that Travi$ Scott in my opinion—and I really like him—but [he] kinda sounds like an Atlanta rapper. Because I know where the roots come from with these melodies and just the beat selection and everything. The modern trap sound is a derivative of Atlanta beats."
My standout records and/or moments to date have been: "My standout record, the fans or the listeners may disagree 'cause as an artist you have your personal favorites, but I can listen to my song "Giddy Up!" a thousand times. The first time I heard the beat, it sounded like a horse was galloping and I had the hook in my head. Second I heard it, I was like, 'Oh 'Giddy Up!' Like, snap of a finger. That's definitely my standout record, in my opinion. Some people say like, "Thirsty Hoe," "Crying In Codeine," "Vogue," that's the ones that the fans really like. They like "Giddy Up!" too though, just as much. But it's always an argument online. Maybe I'm these kids' wave or something, but they will literally argue about it.It's wild, I'm like, 'What the fuck? Oh, thank you though. Thanks for listening.' [Laughs]
"My standout moment, I can't lie, it was somebody I got an email from. But I cannot say who. One of the hugest artists, period. They flew me out to have a meeting discussing my future [lets] just put it that way. That was a standout moment for me. But I think for the people, a standout moment for Nessly probably was just the amount of love that OVO showed to my music. It played on the station like three times. I think a lot of people are like, We believed in you for this. This is great to see. So, I think a lot of people were happy that one of their favorite artists, or their favorite artist is moving. People really love to see the growth. It's like, they feel [like they're] a part of it."
My goal in hip-hop is: "Honestly, I just wanna affect sound. That's really what I want to do. Sometimes, even where I lack in lyrics, I always exceed with my sonics. Meaning like, the way I move my voice, the way it's mixed, the type of production. I'm just looking forward to furthering sound in general. Not even just hip-hop. I do want to be able to challenge people in hip-hop to approach records differently.
"Maybe I might not be the most lyrical sometimes, but I know I always provide a vibe that is hard to find. Sometimes you hear somebody with a good melody and you listen, and you're like, Wow. They really put no time into the structure of the rhyme. But I always like, whether it be triplets that I rap in, or whatever. I always have a way of going about it that I feel like might not be the easiest for every artist to do, so I just feel like I provide a new way to look at sound in general."
I'm gonna be the next: "I'm going to be the first Nessly. I just feel like my skill set is a lot larger than a lot of people -- just in general. I think I have a large skill set because I've been doing this for almost 10 years and in 10 years, you're looking for somebody to do a video, you're looking for somebody to do a photo shoot. You're looking for somebody to edit something, make something, make a beat. But in those 10 years, especially being so young, no one knows how to do that shit when you're 12. No one knows how to do that shit when you're 15.
"I learned all that stuff on my own. I taught myself the camera, I taught myself - I know about everything. I know about lenses, I know about all these programs. I could tell you exactly what to do on what program, if you're asking for a certain result. I just have this skill-set. The only person that I feel like I can relate to, I would say Kanye. But I wouldn't say I'm the next Kanye because Kanye is Kanye. I wanna be the first me. I want to be respected on that level, however. I wanna be looked at on that level and it's gonna take some growth, it's gonna take some time 'cause Kanye wasn't always on that level. This is like the beginning for me."
Follow Nessly on Twitter and Soundcloud.
Standout: still finessin
"Til It Hurt"
"crying in codeine"
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