A refreshment of artists from unforeseen havens have been keeping up a high degree of noise. Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T. are putting Alabama and Mississippi back on the radar with their flows and dexterous productions. Comparably evident are the New Orleans natives, Nesby Phips and Curren$y. With the release of his latest project, B-Side, his catalogue of production credits, and his ventures among the Creative Control team, Nesby Phips is strategically executing his mark in all aspects of the industry. In a recent phone conversation, we discussed his latest tape, upcoming projects with the Creative Control team, and his thoughts on the revitalization of Roc-A-Fella.
Nesby Phips is the epitome of a musical hybrid. He not only delivers rhymes, but he also generates compositions. He has produced tracks for artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Chip Tha Ripper, Stalley, Smoke DZA, and Lil’ Wayne. An amalgamation of his bars and messages have been the source of him garnering attention. He is steadily, but surely advancing toward an unforgettable name in the music realm.
He doesn’t consider music to be a career, rather a craft to be specific. Nesby was musically inclined from the start. As musicians skilled on the violin and snare drums, he irrevocably inherited the trait from his parents, but his upbringing in New Orleans is truly the source of motivation. “With New Orleans being a musical city, its attitude, people in the city, and a lot of different things added to who and what I am now.” Just like any lover of sound, Nesby indentified with it, resulting in the birth of his infatuation with hip-hop. “I reflected the attitude and felt the energy from it. Being an 80’s baby, I watched it go mainstream.” Reminiscing, he says, “It just hit me. I was a highly impressionable kid, so hip-hop took over like a disease. Being a poet and MC became natural to me. Growing up I listened to Big Daddy Kane, REM, EMF, just music period. The overall sound had an impact on my style. From the protocol of Rakim with “Nobody Smiling”, to my approach when performing, and the New Orleans rappers always reminded me to keep my accent.” When asked about what influenced him to start producing, he responded, “As a fan of rap, the beat grabbed me. I was a fan of how things worked so I started to pay more attention to the beat.”
What sets apart Nesby from other artists in the game is his non-limitation to just one genre of music. “I’m as original as my fingerprint”, he says. “I have an unique angle on music and sound, turning into a new product. I don’t like to repeat stuff, kinda like a tailor. I like to bring originality.” His attribute of ingenuity comes to light in his alternative group, Fat Tuesday. Working under KLC’s No Limit production crew, the group consists of three members: January Walker, an out of work porn star, Harper, and Don Hennessy who maintains the group when everyone else is off the wall. Fat Tuesday, which is a French translation of Mardi Gras, have been recording for two years and have been in talk with Pharrell. Apart from working with his group, he also is the owner and operator of his own production company, Bakadahouse Music. “Ultimately”, he says, “I want it to be a staple in hip-hop, develop and work with artists, and come up with new sounds.”
Nesby Phips stands behind the concept of “brand of product”, originating as Phipstapes. The 1st edition of the Phips Files titled, “The Phipstape”, showcased him as a producer over 25 tracks, with him rhyming on the last 25% of it. B-SIDE, the other side of The Phipstape, was recently released. When asked about how he has grown as an emcee and producer from his first project to now, he explained, “I’m closer to being a master of things. I’m more confident and I trust my creative mind. Unconsciously, my speech has changed. I’m becoming more balanced. Music has grew me up, and I’m teaching myself craft and business and infusing them.”
Nesby has been also been recognized for working with his long time friend Curren$y. They have joined forces to create tracks such as “Top of the Money, Mazaltov, and Prioritize (Beeper Bill). When asked how the experience is working alongside Ski Beatz and the Creative Control, he blithely responded, “I absolutely love working with them, it’s the ideal creative environment. I never saw it coming. It’s a blessing to be around Ski and Dame. Everybody understands what it takes, it’s a creative exchange.” As much vivacity he holds for working alongside them, the same applies for his views on the state of the hip-hop and the industry. “I love it. The direction it went made moves for cats like me, but time will tell who belongs and who doesn’t. People are crumbling. The death of the industry equals the birth of independent artists.” Ironically, the deah of Roc-A-Fella was rebirthed with the selecton of a well-respected independent artist. Asking about his thoughts on where the dynasty is headed, he replied, “I don’t know, it’s very interesting. This time around it’s much broader than Roc-A-Fella was originally. It’s based in an art gallery and now it’s all about music. In the past it didn’t have a print shop or live studios. It’s just a lot of different factors.”
Nesby has numerous projects to be on the lookout for in the future. He’s working towards a project release under BlueRoc in May, working with Tabbi Boney on his project titled “Fresh”, and soon he’ll be remaking some of Miles Davis’ music with Ski Beatz. “Five years from now”, he says, “I see myself being a pacemaker in music, scoring films, DJing, and producing instrumental albums. Ultimately, I want to maintain a peace of mind, create music, maintain my integrity, and fullfill life.” Since joining the realm of music, he states that he has been his biggest competition. “My race is not the same as everyone else’s. The only liable limitation is yourself. Nobody has ever been in my place.” Nesby Phips is a being of great competence, knowledge, and tactics. Watch what he does. Watch his feet move.
~ Brianna Giddens