Nik SB on Rap in the Internet Age: "Me an My Homeboys Refer to It as the ADHD Era"
On his song "hYena," Miami's Nik SB raps: "All my bitches do drugs and I love 'em for that/Especially when she pop two of her sex appeals/Or Ms. Sims' first name for the extra thrills/I know her brother praying that she change/But what he expect when she watched him sell 36 ounces just to put some jewelry around his neck."
Drugs, lust, and greed mixed with regret ... That's the deep, dark vibe that pervades most of the Pro Club rapper's ambitious eight-track mixtape, Reparations
Crossfade caught up with the Pro Club rapper to speak about Reparations, his role models and idols, and keeping a rifle next to his Bible, all via Skype.
Why Skype? Because gas prices are still too damn high.
Crossfade: Your mixtape Reparations is a very heavy dose of reality, especially for a new act to present in just eight tracks.
Nik SB: Basically, the new situation right now, me and my homeboys refer to it as the ADHD era, where people just want to hear what you got to say in a short amount of time. So basically, we tried to wrap up my whole life up until this point in eight tracks. It's 30 minutes, but it's 30 minutes of the reality of my life. I go by the motto, "I rap what I live, I don't live what I rap." So whatever you hear, you can definitely believe it. And me and Nuri had worked on this project for maybe three years. I went through a whole process of some legal troubles to having to be away from my family and my homeboys for a little minute. So you hear all that in the tracks.
Listeners may automatically look to the tracks that featured B.Way, Vurn, and Robb Bank$. But the one that stands out to me is "Idols."
That's Nuri's favorite track. That song right there, it was like, I mean, we went through this whole situation not planning anything. None of the tracks were titled until the very end of the process. "Idols," man, I just remember I'd always come to Nuri's crib, you know what I'm saying, on 95, I'm like, "Yo, I gotta think of a hook." And the situation that my family was in, just paying homage to my whole family tree. All those people you hear like Tuwan Johnson, Robert Johnson, Kenneth Johnson, Milton Johnson. Those are all my family members.
What I got from that song is that you realized who in your life is worth being idolized. When did you stop idolizing those who lived the street life in favor of idolizing your family?
I guess for me it kind of goes one in the same, because all my family members were tied to the streets. All the females in my family pretty much made it, but all the males, all my mom's brothers and shit, they were just tied to the streets. Brainwashed by the system kind of situation. I feel like it goes hand-in-hand. I pay homage to them because of all the stuff they did in the streets that is frowned upon but they didn't do it for no reason. Everybody who hustle, everybody who do they thing be it school, music, the streets, they doing it because they got a bigger picture at the end of the road. They doing it for they're family. That's how I feel about me. my uncles did it for my family. Not because they had money and they chose to do it because they thought it was cool. It's 'cause they had no other options. My people came up dirt ass poor.
My mom murked it. My mom had a jit when she was 15, and now she got a black card. I'm just saying, though. And she's a black woman who had a jit at 15, and where ever she grew up, the 60s or 70s, whatever it was, you don't bounce from that. She was a stereotype. She murked it. Big ass crib. Put me through school. Paid for my fuckin' lawyer situation. Everything.