Nickelus F burst on the scene in 2000 when he was featured as the “Unsigned Hype in The Source Magazine. Being crowned a seven week champion on 106 and Park Freestyle Fridays and eventually making into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Nickelus F set his name in stone. With the release of his third mixtape of 2010, Season Premiere HD, he sits down with Parlé Magazine to talk about the journey.
Parlé Magazine: Season Premiere HD is a re-release with 7 new songs. Why not a new CD?
Nickelus F: I just had so much music, we put out three mixtapes in the past few months and I felt like some of the songs can come back out again. We’re doing videos for them also and I had a whole bunch of material that I could add to it.
Parlé: This is your third mixtape this year, what’s your motivation?
Nickelus F: My music is very personal and a lot of it is speaking on my thoughts on the day-to-day. My life experience and issues are what I would most likely write about. My music is my life and I live life everyday so I have something to write every day.
Parlé: “Crushin’ Your Toes” is an ill track, what’s the story behind it?
Nickelus F: I spent a lot of the earlier years of my career talking about the hardships. [On this record] I just wanted to floss a bit more. This was more of a fun record.
Parlé: You release a mixtape, what’s next?
Nickelus F: Our strategy is to get the visuals for the songs that people like. If people like the whole mixtape we’ll make a video for every song. We put out videos and do shows to connect with people and to get a core following.
Parlé: You were first noticed through 106 and Park’s Freestyle Friday. How was that experience?
Nickelus F: It was interesting, it came out extremely random and it wasn’t anything that I prepared for. My manager calls me one Wednesday night and he’s like, “you got to come to New York tonight, you just got on 106 and Park tomorrow.” Then I stayed on for seven weeks!
Parlé: That was pretty good.
Nickelus F: It was pretty interesting and I was relieved that it was over. For those seven weeks I was tormented. Battle rapping is like art but more of a sport.
Parlé: It’s a good way to hone your skills.
Nickelus F: You have to walk through the fire to come out stronger. It was a way for me to gain confidence and followers.
Parlé: What do you think about the longevity of battle rapping now, is it still a good first step?
Nickelus F: I feel like there will be an avenue for battle rapping. Truthfully the battle rappers now are extremely talented.
Parlé: Do you think a battle rapper can achieve mainstream success?
Nickelus F: It all comes down to the music that you make. Even though I came up through battle rapping, I spent years studying the art and honing my skills. I look at Jay-Z, Nas and Andre 3000 and study why people love them so much. There are reasons why they are good and it goes beyond them being able to put together some good punch lines. Battle rappers are so focused on the lines and the technical aspect they forget the human side and the personal side of the music thus lacking success. It possible for them to get there but they have to train their mind in the right way.
Parlé: With the new school emerging, where do you think you fit in?
Nickelus F: I consider myself a premiere artist in the new school. I embody the true lyricism of it because I focus heavily on my content and promoting a positive message.
Parlé: What has the internet done for your career?
Nickelus F: The internet is the great equalizer. The labels make it so hard for an independent artist to get on the radio that we’re constricted to Sunday nights and midnights too. With the internet I can get my music to the whole world in a matter of minutes.
Parlé: What can we expect from you?
Nickelus F: Definitely more music and more shows from me. I’m working on a short EP with producer KyRizzle. I want to put out another mixtape before the year is over.
Parlé: Every rapper wants to be successful. How far do you want to go?
Nickelus F: I want to go to the top like performing at the Super Bowl. People say my style can be considered underground but I think its mainstream, they just don’t know it yet. I have a message I believe in and I feel that the maximum people have to hear it.
Nickelus F is ready to entertain his viewers so stay tuned there’s more to see.
Check out his blog: F’s Blog http://nickelusf.wordpress.com/
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