I was listening to DJ Premier's “Live Headqcourters Radio Show".. and heard a joint with a sample that i wanted to flip alittle while ago... but the way this dude was flowing on top of this beat... I had to find out who it was.... so i did some research and tracked it down.. and I listened to more of his material... the man is TOP NOTCH! Meet NapsNDreds,
Whats up my man,.. thanks for allowing Official Crate Music to interview you. Give us a brief history of NapsNDreds… where are you from?
NapsNDreds: Born in Jamaica, St. Andrews. Been living in South Florida for over 20 years.
How long have you been rhyming? How did you start?
NapNDreds: Started rhyming in 7th grade, thats a lot of years rapping right there. Was a big wutang clan head at the time. I memorized GZA and RZA rhymes off 4th Chamber in band class. In High school and college I was heavy into battle rap. Battle rap was the thing to do in the cafeteria. And even though I was into that, my dream was to hear my music on cassette tape. At that time we were transitioning from cassette to CD format. The first computer I got I made sure it had a cd burner on it. I started messing around with sound recorder and a cheap ass radio shack mic. Burned my first cd, which sounded garbage, but that was the spark that started this whole love of making music. I linked up with Deacon the Villain in College who at the time was signed to Freshchest Records, he was in a group called Cunninlynguists with producer Kno and SOS. Deacon put in a good word for me at the label and let them hear my music. After that I got signed to Freshchest in 2001.
My first album was Blackboard Jungle at the time. In 2003 I released the first single on 12” vinyl record called Im free Produced by Panik from the molemen and doing my thing D.M.T produced by Mumu. The LP never came out on freshchest as the label folded shortly after. I Remained independent ever since.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
NapsNDreds: Precise. Perfectionist, fan of the art, and fan of the music. I can rhyme to anything but prefer more boom bap material than anything else. And I stay a sucker for a ill sample with drums and a dope baseline. I can’t say I’m stuck in anyone particular style. I like being descriptive in my thought process when I’m writing. I listen to a lot of grimy hiphop, my personal preference!
The first joint i heard was “Clownin” on the DJ Premier “Live Headqcourters Radio Show”… i was looking for who did it and when I found out… i instantly copped it. The lp straight FIRE my man. “No Love”… “Voltron”… etc… You and Bishop Lamont did your thing on “Clowning”…. Nottz is definitely a BEAST on the beats….how did you hook up with him?
NapsNDreds:: Thanks bro! much appreciated. Im kinda mad I missed that Premo segment. I heard through word of mouth. Shout to DJ Eclipse who I appreciate for putting Premo and Vinnie Paz on to my music. I had a lot of fun working on those Nottz tracks for Bloodclaat.
Actually I just reached out to Nottz directly. He asked to hear some music and he was feeling it. Ever since then, I been rocking wit him. Nottz got jamz for days. 1 of my favorite producers hands down. My style fits to a lot of his beats so I just try to stick with what works.
After hearing “Clownin” and “Blackboard Jungle” (I copped that too)… i was surprised to hear you are from Florida. What’s the hip hop scene like in Florida?
NapsNDreds: Thanks for coppin the first album. That album had way more features than Bloodclaat, and I was just getting my feet wet, but still I’m proud of the progression. Im in south florida right now. But I lived in tallahassee for 8 years and the hiphop scene there is pretty dope. A lot of shows and venues to showcase ya skills. I hit up orlando every now and then for shows and shooting music videos. The scene is dope in Orlando as well. Shout out Murdoc holding it down in the ozone. South Florida’s has more party centered venues but I’m a Florida nigga, I don’t need anything to change down here!
What's your opinion on the current state of hip hop right now?
NapsNDreds: Hiphop now a days is for the younger generation. I can’t even knock it cause I listen to. I try to keep up with whats new. I got kids I need to know whats poppin’. I need to know whats out so I can stay relevant my damn self. maybe throw a slang in ery now an then. Theres a lot of trap music out. I’m from the south but I listen to more of the older south artist like jeezy, ti, outkast, scarface, ugk, playa fly, rick ross, cash money, project pat.. all dat.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
NapsNDreds: Currently Im working on 2 projects. The first one dropping is this album with Nottz. Nottz produced all the beats. Still thinking about the name for the album. It’s a Crazy project, my best work to date. The second project is another album with producer Nasty Chopz. That one is called Nasty Naps.
Who have you collaborated with in the past and who would you like to collar with in the near future?
NapsNDreds: In the past i’ve collaborated with a lot of artists. Off top these are the ones I can remember.
Copywrite, Jakki da Motamouth, Deacon the Villain , Bishop Lamont, 5thLegend,Pace, Nasty Chopz, Quest Eonz, Tunji, Doncerino, Praverb, Ness Lee, Oddisee, Superstition, Emilio rojas, Muneshine, Kool G Rap, illmind ,Nottz, Ayatollah ,Thirsting howl da 3rd ,Murdoc, Croup ,Domingo , Ayatollah, Mphazes, Darien Brokington, YoungCee, I know I’m missing somebody!
Producers I would like to colab with, Jake One, Madlib, Khrysis, Kanye, Havoc, Adrian Younge, Dj Premier, Just Blaze, Alchemist, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, Qtip, RZA, Buckwild, and NO I.D
Artists, MF DOOM, Ghostface, Raekwon, Black Thought
What can we expect from you in the near future?
NapsNDreds: Near future, expect more music videos from Bloodclaat. But the next project upcoming is def that Naps N Nottz Album. CRAZY!
Who are your top 5 emcees all time? Who are your biggest influences?
NapsNDreds: RAEKWON, MF DOOM, GHOSTFACE, NAS,
ANDRE 3000. Im basing that solely off their impacts in my life. That top 5 shit is too arguable for any of us to all agree on.
My biggest influences coming up was mainly reggae, soul, pop, gospel, funk. Im a drummer so music has always been huge in my life. I used to go to a lot of old folk parties growing up so, I was up on a lot of old school reggae conscious, dancehall, and lovers rock as well as 80s music. west coast and new york hiphop were my first influences in rap. I feel I’m influenced by everything i’ve listened to growing up but if I had to put a finger on it, id say either between raekwon and mf doom.
Any advice you can give to anyone trying to follow in your footsteps?
NapsNDreds: I'd say, be a fan of the music first. If your not a fan of the music and just want to rhyme, I think your missing the whole history and culture of exactly what your trying to do. After that, get you a lil studio where you can record your own music and figure out what u want to sound like on a record. That takes time, years even. But thats the ultimate freedom. The ability to record your own music and not worry about booking studio sessions. I'm not knocking studios, I’m all for someone else studio if the quality is right. Ive paid studio time and recorded music that didn’t sound good coming out of there. Its not what you have but how you use what you have. I’ve seen producers make dope beats out of fruity loops, and I’ve seen big studios with tons of equipment and they got no beats to show me.
Anything you want to add? Any shout outs?
Shout out to GOD, who all things are possible. Shout outs to the fans who continue to search and look for dope music. Shout out to Murdoc mah Culture Cousin. Check out that Kareem Abdul Jabbarz mixtape! Shout out to Nottz, Nasty Chopz, Supastition, Bishop Lamont, Croup, Dj Eclipse, Vinnie Paz, Premo!
Go cop that "Bloodclaat" lp at iTunes by clicking the iTunes logo.