Last week the Down to the Beat boys sat down for another interview, this time with up and coming rapper NG. The London native has only released six tracks, but his philosophies with respect to the craft carry weight.
NG is aware that he’s growing in real time. It’s not as if he doesn’t record music, he says, but you can be really into something that months later doesn’t reflect your energy or your sound. He reconsiles his sparse discography with a quality over quantity mindset, working to perfect the pieces he sets free.
He fell in love with recording later in life than most of our other guests, but this reflects an authentic homegrown passion for music, which stemmed from a half-baked freestyle over the Shook Ones Pt. II beat in a freind’s studio.
The 25 year-old emcee offers a sobering perspective on the rap game. He wants his lyrics to reflect the genuine emotions that are often sidelined in favour of bars, brags, and bitches in the hip-hop industry. Yeah it’s sick to whip a G-wagon, like in his “Feel Bad” music video, but everyone knows it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorn pussy on the way up.
And this is a sentiment that reflects the zeitgeist of modern rap: It used to be that if you talked about how your baby mama’s stressing you out or how you’re struggling with your mental health, you came across as vulnerable. You’ve risked your credibility and your image, which is what pays the bills in this industry.
Now, artists like Juice Wrld, Lil Peep, and XXXTentacion let a generation of anxious teenagers feel okay about expressing what they were going through, and there are inumerable Drake cuts to fall back on when your double text gets left on read.
NG knows that it’s okay to let your fans know why “Percocet, molly, percocet,” is your daily routine: “Some of these guys are in the studio like ‘yo I’m popping percs, popping percs,’ but there’s probably something deeper to it, they’re just not sharing.” He aims to get rid of that stigma.
At the end of the day, self-expression is the reason we make art in the first place, and when you set up self-expression to be the driving force behind your process, it’s hard to go wrong. Keep an eye out for this guy, or he might be making you feel things drunk in the back of an Uber before you know it.
Colman Brown & John Balser