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The Unconventional Artist: An Insight into an Anti-Rapper's World

In the vibrant landscape of African hip-hop, Nasty C distinguishes himself as an "anti-rapper," focusing on a path divergent from typical rap culture. His latest album, birthed from personal struggles and introspection, marks a significant evolution in his career. This interview sheds light on his unique approach, deep connection to his South African roots, and ventures beyond music into gaming and esports. Nasty C discusses his artistic journey, future aspirations, and the special bond he shares with his fans, offering a glimpse into the life of a distinctive voice in the rap genre.

Q: You've described your lifestyle as 'anti-rapper.' Can you elaborate on that?

In the dynamic realm of rap and hip-hop, it's not uncommon for artists to deviate from the norm. But what truly sets me apart is my anti-rapper lifestyle. The typical indulgences – fashion, sports, and the like – hold little allure for me. While I acknowledge their appeal, they fail to stir the kind of fervour in me that's often seen in my contemporaries in the industry.

Q: Your new album seems to hold a special place in your heart. What inspired it?

A: My latest album is deeply personal; it showcases a labour of love and reflects my deep-seated appreciation for life– the sheer joy of being alive, surrounded by love from friends and family. It was conceived during a phase when I felt disconnected from everything, questioning the worth of my career and relationships. Despite numerous setbacks in my personal and professional life, this project symbolises my emergence from that dark space. marking my journey to a more positive mental state.

How was the process of making this album different from your previous projects?

The creative process for this album was unlike any other I've experienced. Traditionally, I handle most aspects of production independently, preferring to exchange song ideas remotely rather than collaborate in person. However, this time, I insisted on a communal approach, gathering everyone involved in the same space to capture the right energy and understanding of the album's core message. We experimented with live instrumentals – a novelty in my musical journey. With melodies and samples played live, I collaborated with my favourite producers from various corners of the globe, including London, LA, and Africa, converging in Cape Town's inspiring beachside setting.

What message do you hope to convey through this album?

A: This album's essence revolves around love – its appreciation, celebration, and the propagation of positive vibes. It's a testament to being comfortable in one's skin and savoring the gift of life, rather than merely existing. As a voice for my generation, I recognize the gravity of my influence. My music, therapeutic in nature, is not only a personal catharsis but also resonates with others, reflecting our shared human experiences.

Can you share your approach to collaborations?

A: I'm selective with collaborations. I lean towards those who bring something unique, especially singers; preferring partners who add a distinct flavor to the mix. I've always wanted to sing but found that true singing talent is a rare gift.

How have you evolved as a lyricist over the years?

A: My style has evolved significantly. I grew up admiring technical rappers, which influenced my early, more structured style. But over time, I've learned to simplify, making my lyrics sound more conversational.

Lyrically, this album marks my evolution. Influenced by technical maestros like Lil Wayne and Slaughterhouse in my formative years, my earlier style was structured and punchline-centric. However, I've gradually transitioned to a more conversational style, simplifying my narratives while maintaining their depth.

This transformation in my lyrical approach has permeated my speech, enhancing my expressiveness and articulation. Though not yet a global sensation, I am confident that international acclaim won't alter my core identity as an artist rooted in South African culture and hip-hop tradition. My music, visuals, and fashion continually pay homage to my heritage.

With your growing international recognition, how do you stay true to your roots?

A: My South African heritage and hip-hop identity are core to who I am as an artist. I always incorporate elements of my culture into my music and visuals, ensuring that global recognition doesn't dilute my identity.

Tell us about your connection with your fans and your ventures outside of music?

A: My fans are crucial to me, which is why I've created the Iverson Army, a community for direct interaction and exclusive content. I also delve into gaming and esports, aiming to expose African youth to diverse opportunities in the industry.

“Iverson Army – a community that offers exclusive access to merchandise, events, and direct interaction with me. I also engage with them through streaming, fostering a deeper understanding of who I am and the essence of my music.”

What does the future hold for you in terms of your career?

A: The future is exciting. I'm looking at more albums, tours, and possibly exploring acting. My aim is to extend the reach of my music and gaming company, making a global impact.

Beyond music, my entrepreneurial ventures in gaming and esports aim to open doors for African youth, not just as players but also as commentators and content creators. My childhood home now serves as a studio and gaming hub, nurturing creativity in my community.

Looking forward, I have ambitious plans spanning more albums, tours, and possibly a foray into acting. My mission is to amplify the reach of both my music and gaming enterprise, aspiring to leave a lasting global impact.


Photographer: @Bytunde

Art Direction: @jubi.Jamba 

Movement Direction: @Pauloriakuu 

Creative Direction: @styledbyglo_2

Styling: @styledbyglo

Lighting: @jubistudios 

Assistant Stylist: @rellyluv

Assistant Stylist: @kwazedot_isblack

Producer: @robnewmanili

Design: (@dianeadanna)

PR: @Twosixeight.studios

Writer: Hafeedoh Balogun