You could imagine your favorite signed rapper lying in a mansion, surrounded by Supreme posters framed in gilding, and brainstorming how best to show off his new channel inspired by video game characters to an Instagram Live of 6,278 followers.
But Young Nudy is outside.
Our first call for this interview was rejected. The 28-year-old rapper, born Quantavious Thomas, instead opted to go to a local mall with his family. And when we speak a day later, the sounds of children chuckling and the jingling of an ice cream truck fill the air behind him. His face, forehead, dreads, and blue sky scan the screen in that order as he absently spins the FaceTime camera as he speaks. The air is fresh and he is in a good mood.
“I’m a neighborhood nigga so I always go to my neighborhood and shit,” he says, walking through the crusty leaves to find a quieter place as the voices fade into the background and he nods. to someone who refers to him as âSlime.â âI like to come in here and kick, maybe barbecue and shit. But not on bullshit though, just on cold shit. “
If every rapper is a breath of fresh air, Nudy is the freshness of your first acidic trip. He’s not your most technically gifted lyricist, melody mastermind, or the avant-garde spitter who crushes the brand’s name in every verse. But on the other hand, he’s not some evil troll rap with numbered face tattoos or a memorable lyricist inspiring a cult of followers. Nudy stands in a whole different realm, muttering into a funhouse microphone. It’s a shitty description, but there’s nothing that explains his music easily enough – and that’s what makes him one of the most intriguing rappers in the business today.
To be so idiosyncratic, you usually need some kind of rap predisposition. You know what I mean – the erection every rapper had for the job when their parents played Nas, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z or some other lyricist who was the Michael Jordan of all the hip-hoppers growing up. Not for Nudy. He just started doing it. âI don’t really have the motivation to know why I just started rapping,â he says. âIt was just a little shit I was doing. It wasn’t some fucking plan type shit like, “Yeah, I wanna be a rapper.”
Nudy got into it in 2014 with the release of “Off the Head”. It was rough around the edges, but that’s because it’s green. Then another song, “Learn To Get Dat Money” with LV, came out (and ended up going viral later because of the ridiculously loud way Nudy rapped “GET YOU SOME MONEY”) which proved that Nudy had a long way to go.
But luckily for him, his cousin, rapper 21 Savage, started making music that year, which potentially sped up his development thanks to the success of 21’s debut single, “Picky.” The following year, the first draft of 21 Savage The slaughter belt Quickly found him to become a staple of Atlanta’s buzzing rap scene, as Nudy, increasingly slowly, found his place. Nudy finally decided to take rap seriously after collaborating with 21 for “Air It Out” and seeing people react to her verses.
This period taught Nudy an important lesson that would define his calm approach to the rapper: âYou have to be patient with this,â he says. âYou can’t rush this. I never rushed into this shit – I just took my time and stayed patient.
As 21 Savage escalated, Young Nudy’s growth was halted after being locked up for a probation violation for being near the guns that appeared in the “Air It Out” and “Don’t Beef” videos. â(Another of his early recordings). When you talk to The fader in 2018, Nudy revealed that most of 2016 had led to âone of my worst years,â but there was one major benefit – Nudy’s breakout project, Jelly ball has been unleashed on the masses.
With that, Nudy got rid of his early flaws and he also developed a unique sound anchored by an eclectic selection of rhythms. This was due to the fact that for some of the tracks he worked with burgeoning producer Pi’erre Bourne in a way that pushed both of their careers at lightning speed. First connecting with Bourne in 2015 through her cousin Cory Mo, Nudy said the producer would bring him into the studio so they could work late at night.
âBefore, I had to get up at 1:00 am every time I went to the studio with Pi’erre, because I know I can’t enter the studio before 2:00 am,” says Nudy. âOnce there, I didn’t leave until 8 am. “
Nudy was inspired by Bourne’s work ethic, which led him to push his career even further. âWe would work until 8:00 am, and then he had to go straight to a whole other session,â Nudy says. “So that nigga ain’t even really slept.” That’s why I fuck with him. He really worked for this shit.
After leaving Jelly ball, Nudy has become a popular commodity. At the end of 2017, Nudy had two more projects, Jelly ball 2 and Bare earth, and features with artists like Juicy J, Lil Yachty, and Offset were in the cut. Thanks to Bourne’s production, Nudy’s music became whispers of conscience to beats built around cartoonish sounds – anchored by a fascination with horror, most clearly visible in the covers featuring the killer doll. iconic Chucky of the Child’s play slasher movie franchise.
Of that love for Chucky – Nudy hardly showed it, due to 21 Savage’s close association with slasher movie star Jason Voorhes. âI’ve always fucked Chucky,â Nudy says. “One of my little guys just gave me the idea, ‘Shit, you should fuck Chucky since you love him so much.’ I didn’t want to, because my cousin was focusing on Jason – I didn’t need someone to think I was on some shit like that. But I just went ahead and fucked with and , shit, that worked out fine for me.
In 2018, Nudy’s life changed even more – he signed a major record label deal with Paradise East Records, RCA Records and Same Plate Entertainment, and when he released his Jelly ball 3 mixtape the same year, it became his first project to appear on the Billboard 200. Nudy was finally in the big leagues. A little over a year later, he was nominated for a Grammy for his feature film on the single “Down Bad” from Dreamville Records. After all he had been through, it was finally time. Five years and six projects (including a collaborative project in 2019 with Bourne called Sli’merre it came because they “just wanted to do this shit because we had never given up together before”) later a full debut album was finally on the way.
In any event, the long-awaited LP that hyper-focused on Nudy’s symposium on hypnotic rhythms and even more narcotic lyricism, arrived in February 2020. Its timing couldn’t have been worse: âAs soon as my shit fell , the pandemic hit like two weeks later, âsays Nudy. “That shit really screwed up everything I had in class – but it happened straight away without promotion.”
The pandemic is always goes, depending on who you ask, but that hasn’t stopped Nudy’s work. He released two more albums this year alone, Dr Ev4l and Rich shooter, both of which have been featured on the Billboard Hot 200. And he’s already working on a follow-up, Spaced, inspired by “living outer space, above the clouds”. The pandemic has been a âpaydemicâ for Nudy, and there is no sign of slowing down yet.
Its success boils down to the way Nudy approaches music; instead of focusing on what it will look like, he just goes into the cabin for fun. âI don’t stress out with that shit, because I know I like to rap ganger-type shit on funny beats,â he says of his process. “When I do my songs, I already know how I feel, like this song is going to be” Fuck this ho, that ho ain’t shit. “” This process led to the creation of “Green Bean,” a psychosis-inducing manifesto that indeed mentions its titular vegetable. âWhen I did ‘Green Bean’ my mind was actually on green beans – I was in both like ‘I’m just going to talk about weed and green shit’ and it played out like that. “
âGreen Beanâ turned into a TikTok smash (just like Nudy’s 2017 song âHell Shellâ). Nudy’s fan base is growing, changing lineup, and he hears the continuous calls for new music. But despite having released two albums just this year, Nudy actually doesn’t want to give up in the near future, even though he’s already recording.
âThe reason I don’t like to drop a lot of music is because I’m like, ‘Okay, they had their time for the music of this artist and the music of this artist – now they are still going to need me and my energy, âhe said.
Nudy’s energy is what made the world fall for his music – and, from the sound of voices echoing in the background of our call, is also responsible for a group of people having fun in the street nearby. He’s outside, in real time. There is also a reason for this:
âI’m just discovering the world. I’m just trying to enjoy it all for a minute. And then once I’m done enjoying it and feel what I want to feel, then I’m gonna make some music and fuck you feel me?