Natia The God lives one of the wildest lives you’ll ever read about. The young rapper from North Inglewood, Calif. lives in the streets, literally. For the past seven years, Natia has been homeless, hustling between his raps to make some extra cash. The gang-banging skateboard kid loves living life on the wrong side of the tracks, fitting since in 2015 his breakout moment came when he dropped “The Wrong Way,” off his stellar Newport Diaries EP. The Earl Sweatshirt-approved record finds Natia rapping about living life the wrong way while smoking packs of Newports and doing cocaine.
“I love living life the wrong way,” he tells XXL. “I was doing a bunch of blow. Everybody, they get to sip lean in their videos and they get to talk about it. How come I can’t talk about what I’m doing? So I did my shit and made the song for the people who fuck with that shit and who love living the wrong way and also regret it, all in one.”
The following year in 2016, Natia used videos to display the perils of homelessness and capture the bright spots of summer, while also showing listeners that he can rap. Natia idolizes Eminem, which you can see and hear when you listen to his music. The controlled chaos is what draws you in and makes you want more. But it’s not about the antics that make Natia stand out; dude can spit. But don’t call him boom-bap rap.
The 24-year-old rappers adds, “It’s just real hip-hop shit and now I hear it’s called boom bap, like what you talking about? This hip-hop. Hip-hop a little bit got fucked up and I like to stick to that original shit ’cause now people are saying I’m doing something old but they’re like, ‘Damn it’s really new though.’ I got my own twist on it.”
His debut album, 10K Hours, which dropped this past summer in July via POW Recordings, is Natia’s best work by far, showing a growth and a sharper focus. As he bullies his way around the underground scene, learn more about Natia The God here for The Break.
Name: Natia The God
Hometown: North Inglewood, Calif.
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to Eminem, Wu-Tang, Big L, Big Pun, real raw cats like that. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Max B, all the greats. I remember making music at like 12 years old. I used to read this book called Angry Blonde by Eminem and it had all his rhymes in there. And I used to rap his verses in school and say it was me [laughs]. Then I started writing.
“I wanted to sound as hard as Em or at least just compare to. But I got way more work to do. He’s too talented with how he makes words sound. Like he talks but it just happen to rhyme. I came up with ‘The Wrong Way’ and my boys back home know Earl [Sweatshirt] and Odd Future and Earl tweeted it. So I said, ‘Niggas fuck with this shit?’ So I just wanted to keep it going. My life is like a movie. It’s pretty bad, so it might as well go that route for the legal shit.”
My style’s been compared to: “I describe my sound as old school but with a twist on it. That new shit. People really compare me a lot to Eminem. And for some people who don’t know rap or hip-hop they say Wiz Khalifa [laughs]. But most people just say I got my own little style.”
Most people don’t know: “I’ve been homeless for almost seven years. I was sleeping on a tennis court, in the trenches, doing whatever I can for money. Not no weird shit but you know not the stuff they teach you in school [laughs]. Drugs, acid, all that shit is me. My girl in New York and L.A., that’s me. New York needs me. I don’t really fuck with my family but I have a family, The Renaissance Family.”
My standout moment to date: “My most memorable moment was the whole Newport Diaries EP when I recorded that shit with the “Wrong Way” on it. I was going through it. I was doing mad drugs. I would go to the studio and sleep outside that night. Wake up that morning and get a text saying it’s studio time and boom. Sleep on a tennis court then go bang it all out. I felt like that was a real good time for me.”
My goal in hip-hop is: “Be the greatest man that ever did it in my generation. To have kids and teach the kids like, this is what I’m doing in hip-hop. I’m not doing no trap or hip-pop or whatever they doing. I want to kids to know the shit that [I’m] doing is hip-hop. So I just want to teach the kids. I want to be that man.”
I’m going to be the next: “I’m going to be the next Nas, the next 2Pac. That’s what I want people to say. Just how he talk to people through his music. He can change the whole mood, he can change the whole day. I want to be able to touch them like that.”
Standouts: 10k Hours
“NATIA” Featuring Escobar Rich
“The Wrong Way”
“Blood on the Hypeman”
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