“She said, ‘Aren’t you Adrien Brody?’ / I get it all the time except he’s more boney.”
NSR belongs on stage. His natural charisma and ability to connect with an audience is apparent as soon as he steps into the spotlight. Heads gravitate towards the Upper Westside Emcee’s witty word play and earnest showmanship. I mean, anyone who can rock the mic rockin‘ boat shoes and calf-cuffed jeans and not get Sandman’d off Apollo style is doing something right. Right? Thats the thing about Hip Hop - there’s room for everyone. Well, anyone that comes spit game tight.
We caught up with NSR following his crowd-turning performance at the Rock Block Fest. Read on as we discussed witty word play, Asher Roth, and of course, wearing boat shoes!
TCM: The-Quotable.com here with NSR. How you feeling?
NSR: Yo, I’m feeling blessed to just rock a huge stage with Styles P. I’m fucking exhausted. I feel great, man. You know, it was uh, its just a blessing for me to be able to get this platform to showcase shit. And this is a sound, this is what I’ve been doing thats kind of been hovering on the low, and its just great to be able to put it out there. And if people are receptive to it, thats amazing. You know what I mean, if not, its all good. I’m just happy to be here, man. I’m blessed. I’m blessed to have you come up and want to hear from me. You know what I mean? Honestly. Thats how I feel.
TCM: And honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from your show but you had heads knocking throughout. [That] “Adrien Brody” opening - you put all the bullshit on the table immediately [before it could be brought up by others] - where did that song come from?
NSR: It came from...honestly, it came from hearing people calling me Adrien Brody constantly. Like, I would go out, and it would be like 3 or 4 times like “oh you know who you look like?’ ‘Yeah. Adrien Brody.” But there was the one night - my producer Turns lives in Boston, and I was in Boston - and I heard it like 4 times in a night while I was there. And it was like the last straw. I was chilling in his crib and this girl came over and she was like ‘you know who you look like?‘ And before she finished the sentence, I ran into my man’s room, we got on the MPC, and we went in that night. And we made the beat, wrote the song that night, recorded it the next morning. And then that was it. It started as a joke, honestly. It started just as like a fun song. I can’t even say it was a joke, it just started as a fun song, you know? And it turned into, people were really receptive to it and feeling it. You know what I mean? It was weird. But at the same time like - and I hate to categorize it as a joke because its not - but its almost commentary on that aspect, that social dynamic. Like people are like, all the time, just in regular discourse, like ‘yo, you remind me of‘ or ‘yo, you look like‘ or, etcetera. I’m sure you’ve got it before. I’m sure everyones gotten ‘oh, you look like this person...’ celebrity or otherwise. And in school I got it so much I gotta speak on it.
TCM: Now, one of the lines on there was - “if I really look like Adrien Brody, I’ll play him on Broadway and win a Tony.” It was witty. The whole track was packed with clever witticism. You had a lot of clever rhymes in there.
NSR: Thank you man.
TCM: So what obstacles do you see ahead of you? And the comparisons are - like Asher Roth is out now and he plays a lot off witticism. How do you plan to separate yourself?
NSR: For sure. Like I said in one of my jams, “Know I Couldn’t”, I mean, I feel like I’m a...sometimes I’m a funny dude. I like to take humor in a lot of things. And I also like just to talk about shit that I know about. And I feel like thats one of the most amazing things about Hip Hop - that the wackness and the fake shit will get weeded out regardless. And the real shit...Thats why - and I hate to bring [up] Asher. Asher’s whatever, but Asher has his lane. Hip Hop has been in the suburbs for years and they have a spokesman now. And he has cosigns from Beanie Siegel, Ludacris, etcetera, all these big people. Because I think they can sense that genuineness and that authenticity. But Asher aside, I grew up on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. I went to a New York City public school. I grew around Hip Hop. I grew up around Nirvana. I grew up around Pearl Jam. Um, so, in terms of my game plan, I just, you know, I just try to make fun music, man. Music is about having fun to me. I go up on stage [and] I have the time of my life, man. And I think there are a lot of people that take themselves too seriously. Especially as a white Emcee. You have to know as a white Emcee that you’re entering into a black art form. You have to get that through your head, truthfully. And I feel like I have fun with my music and people are receptive to it, you know what I mean? And not to say that shit to joke. I talk about politics. I talk about that girl and guy at a bar. You know what I mean? I talk about shits thats in my life. I like to read the New York Times. I like to have sex with girls...
TCM: You like to wear boat shoes.
NSR: I like to wear boat shoes, you know! I talk about what I want to talk about. Yeah, and its funny, if we can make good songs and the people are happy and people have fun - if people come to the show and they’re fucking smiling and having fun - thats what its about. I’m good with that. I’m content with that.
TCM: Is there anything you want to say to Quotable Nation?
NSR: I have an EP coming September 1st. Its called the Darling Limited. Its a playoff the Darjeeling Limited the Wes Anderson/Adrien Brody movie which is one of my favorite movies. And essentially what this is is a diverse/serious project that I put out and I almost see it as my darling, as my baby. I mean this has been like a year in the works. At the same time its a limited representation of what I’m doing and I’m already looking forward to the next project. So thats the title of the EP. Its produce exclusively by Turbz (my DJ tonight). And its available for free download at IamNSR.com. For free. September 1st. The Darling Limited. Please man, download it. Tell me you hate it. Tell me you like it. Hopefully you’ll respect it.
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