We got a chance to sit down a talk briefly with Nuke about growing up and hip-hop after his show at Hattie’s Tap and Tavern. We caught up with him at Soule Jukebox’s Studio while he was working on some new music.
Whats your background?
I come from Portsmouth, Va. I come from a musical family. My Pops was in the band in high school and then in college. My Mom would dibble dabble with piano. I always had music around me I guess because of that. My dad used to point out musical pieces in the songs.
I was also in the band and stuff too. So I also understand music from the theoretical side as well.
I can play trumpet, baritone. A little bit of trombone. Percussion. One thing a lot of people are shocked I don’t know is piano. I know my chords and stuff and notes from playing other instruments but as far as getting down and Ray Charles-ing that.
— Charlotte Sound (@cltsound) November 8, 2016
With the varying styles of rap and hip-hop around, do you have a preferred variation?
What do I like the most? Better than the other. Nope. It’s a touchy subject on who is better. Each region does their damn thing very well. I like East Coast better though, thats my home team right there. The East Coast and the South.
Influences then and now. Have they changed?
Yeah they’ve changed. From what I used to listen to, when you’re young and dumb you listen to that type of stuff differently. Like I was listening to Waka Flaka and just cutting up. Now you know, being a little more mature and living life with new experiences and stuff I’m listening to Joe Budden and Nas on the daily. And Scarface, because thats where Im at now. More substance.
Lets talk about writing and then producing.
Umm. I go through phases. Yeah phases. Where a couple months all I’m doing in writing. Then I hit a writers block. So then I’m just making beats for four months, then I get beat block, and I’m back to writing. And so on. I bounce back and fourth.
I was writing first but I was always (drums on the table) making beats and shit like that. I got in som much trouble and shit for that in school.
Is the music scene different from Va. to NC?
Yeah and No. Hip-hop right now anyway is, I hate to use this word, but its all generic ya know. Everybody raps about the same thing, everywhere, the same type of way. The only thing that changes is the terminology and your swing – the beats. I try to not do that.
As far as you know, the type of people on the scene, every place has there rare gem or jewel. But other than that they are pretty much the same to me.
With the venues around here closing, how you think that will effect the music here?
Somebody got do to something. I mean shit. Whether it be an artist or that one person that knows the dopest artist in the city. As far as music goes you know there are other venues for everything else in the city like comedy and ballet. But as far as music goes, and I’m talking rock, hiphop, venues are damn important to us because we can’t get out of the city unless we do it here first.
You have some local musicians you like to work with her and back in Va.?
Oh hell yeah. Here especially. I got a couple guys at home. Mic Rob, as far as Virginia goes, is my damn favorite. That’s my guy right there. You got Precise, he’s straight. Levy’s on the album.
Wanna talk about the album?
I don’t have a lot to give right now, just the concept. I don’t really want to give that out yet. i’m trying to get everything together. I’m working on an EP right now. And that’s actually called “The Mixtape Before the Album.”
That creative name came because I actually did not have a name. So I’m gonna call it “The Mixtape Before the Album EP.”
So for that one. What I have so far I’ve got some cool stuff there. Some features coming. But as far as the beats and concept and marketing and management it’s all going great. It’s all going great for that.
Im hype as shit about the cypher that is coming up (with Railz the Principle and Malcolm Chester and some other artists) for two reasons. One, I like to hear other dope rappers and two, I like to shit on other dope rappers who aren’t as dope as they think they are. Im not sure who is all in it though so I know Railz and I respect him.
What are you doing right now in the studio?
Right now I’m about to make a beat using three or maybe four records I bought. Got this Bach joint picked out by Levy. We got Will Ackerman’s Past Light, I picked out that one. We got Yellowjackets- Four Corners,another jazz album picked about by Pharaoh. And I got Modern Times by Al Stewart. Looks like some hippie shit. Bought those at Rep Records, gotta plug.
I do it (buy records) for various reasons. I like to get high and listen to music and make beats and chop ’em up. I know the one I made the other day was a monster.
What do you do outside music?
Outside music I drive trucks for ITC. Job security. This (music) is what I do for a living. This is the means to quitting my job, not right now, but I don’t want to do that forever.
Where you want to play next year?
Bojangles Collisuem, The Pavillon. Im trying to pack it. But I have only done one project all year because I have been making business moves. Poised for a big 2017. The last mixtape I did, “The King Mixtape” receipted very well. The new EP will be out February 6th. I think I’m going to do two videos for that because I got to work on this new album. It’s more than music, I’m going to connect with everybody on a level that hasn’t been tapped yet.
Music is like that. It has the capability to do that and hip-hop is not one of those genres that’s usually associated with like psychotherapy but I want this album to be.
Check out the “King Mixtape” here.