She gets to the gritty of what this hip-hop thing is all about. In just a short 20 years of life, this artist has acquired the know-how and ambition of a seasoned veteran in the game. Her still-relevant Cassette Chronicles is the predecessor to her upcoming EP, and formal introduction, The Boombox Diaries Vol. 1. Exponentially, she's been gaining attention from several media outlets because this Michigan-born, Florida-raised emcee (don't call her a rapper) is anchored in the principles of the culture. If you're looking for the self-promoting, lyrical assault combined with a raw honesty of storytelling, say no more! VIBE Vixen is proud to introduce, Miss Nitty Scott MC. -Niki McGloster (@missjournalism)
Who is Nitty Scott MC?
Nitty Scott MC is a backpack rapper with a rocket in that backpack [Laughs], and by that I just mean that I’m a down-to-Earth, around-the-way fly girl who lives and breathes hip-hop and wants to represent it on a higher level, on a global level. That’s me. I’m an emcee, not a rapper. I definitely stress on that because I just feel that rapping is what you do; it’s an action, and hip-hop and emceeing is a lifestyle. So, I’m an emcee, not a rapper, and I’m here.
I appreciate you clarifying that because a lot of people can’t distinguish the difference between the two.
They sure don’t [Laughs].
How did you start rhyming?
I was always a writer. Growing up, it was therapeutic for me; it was a form of expression; it was very much for myself. But I would always find creative ways to express how I was feeling, the experiences I was having, etcetera, and I was always a music lover, always exposed to classic music. At one point, I remember just thinking that I wanted to merge the two worlds for myself. I came up in the 90’s, not in the way that I was aware of this golden age of hip-hop going on around me, but I recognized at about 14 years old that music wasn’t the same anymore. The music I grew up on, the music I was hearing in the street or in my house, the music that my father would expose me to, it wasn’t the same. It was relatable anymore for me, it didn’t make me feel the same and I just felt this need to become apart of the culture instead of just appreciating it and just being a fan of it. As someone who was lyrically inclined, I took beats and took these poems on top of them, and it was just really putting rhythm to things that I had already written and calling it a song. It was a transition from a writer-slash-poet to a musician. Even now, I’m still making that transition, as far as making really good records.
What has been your grind thus far trying to get into the game?
At 14 years old, I made my own homemade demo, and I passed it around all the local bars and clubs, even anywhere that sold hip-hop clothing. It was more of an experiment to see how people received me, but all my peers liked it and from that point on, I really embraced it. That’s when I seriously started to pursue it as a career—finding a manager and getting my material up.
You’ve been grinding for about six years now, and you’re really doing it. I’ve spotted you at a couple places, and you have a genuine love for the hip-hop culture. You’re not a fame seeker, by far.
Yeah. There are several things that I could do right now if I wanted to be famous. I could do the reality shows, all the publicity stunts and whatnot, to make sure that my face is everywhere, but it’s not about that. I want to be recognized for progressing this culture and preserving this culture at the same time because it is 2011, and we can’t be stuck in tradition but at the same time we have to also preserve the roots. I think there’s a very fine line between that balance where you can still appeal to this generation and still appeal for those who were around for the golden era of hip-hop and not lose that hint of nostalgia and authenticity. I’m definitely about hip-hop, and it’s bigger than myself.
Awesome. Well, talking about growing up and the golden age of hip-hop, what do you say to people who think you’re too young to really know and understand the culture?
It also has to do with this day and age, ya know? The Internet enabled us to get the modern-day version of dusty fingers. Back in the day, you would go check for your favorite vinyl record, [but] the modern-day version of that is going online and seeking out what it is that you want. At this point, you don’t have to be spoon-fed; you don’t have to accept what [a] radio DJ tells you is hot. Not to take away from what is in rotation, but in this day and age, it’s too accessible to get your hands on music that came before your time. As simple as a Google search [you can get] Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke. Look it up! You can get familiar with music that helped to shape the world, the genre [and] the culture. When people say that I’m too young to have an appreciation for music, it’s like, I might not have been around when these artists made their impact, but I have access to them. I don’t have to live in a world where if it’s not on Hot 97 and it wasn’t created in the past five years it’s not relevant to me. We’re not limited to that, so why be limited to it?
Exactly. It’s about the research. So who would you saying are you main influences for emceeing?
Lauryn Hill is definitely one of my influnces. Jean Grae, MC Lyte…
Why these ladies?
I admire them for different reasons. A lot of it just has to do with the honesty and the soul that they represent. It’s also from a career standpoint as well. I respect the longevity of their careers. I respect the fact that it wasn’t about the 15 minutes; it wasn’t about getting a few hits under my belt and then I’m out. It was like, yo I’m here to impact the world via my music. Just their evolution over time, the development of these artists, the different ways that they’ve expanded and changed and grown, I just really base myself off of that. I’m here for longevity; I want to evolve and grow with my fans, develop new sounds and master my craft more and more everyday. The people that have done that, I have the utmost respect for them. The Wu, Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, you know? That’s my shit.
The real, real hip-hop. Now, out of all the freestyles and songs that you’ve done, which one means the more to you?