DXnext: Nitty Scott
The Orlando-to-Brooklyn transplant explains "the pretty girl syndrome" within Hip Hop, and previews her "Doobies and Popsicle Sticks" project.
Nitty Scott is easily one of the most determined and inspired rappers that this new school of hip hop has seen. The 21-year-old Orlando native has taken the genre by storm since the top of 2011. Riding off the momentum of her famed “Monster” freestyle, Nitty used this summer to her advantage- appearing at rap festivals nationwide, on internet radio shows and most recently on television sets everywhere as a part of BET’s Hip Hop Awards’ cyphers (listen ).
She uses every opportunity to showcase her versatile flow as noted on her spring 2011 release, The Cassette Chronicles. Her adamant drive has led many to believe that she may very well be one of the best newcomers we’ve seen this year. Add classical beauty to the mix and you have a flame spitting, boom-bap inclined emcee who’s had to fight through what she’s coined “The Pretty Girl Syndrome.” Nitty accepts compliments graciously but prefers to disarm doubt-filled listeners by use of her skill rather than her looks, making her all the more intriguing in this current age of popularity gained by ‘look-at-me’ antics.
With her upcoming mixtape, Doobies and Popsicle Sticks slated to drop this fall, DX was able to talk to Nitty Scott about her summer successes, battle rapping and having a dollar and a dream as a teen in NYC.
The Beginning: “I was 14, 15 years old living in the Orlando area, and I put together this homemade mixtape and I wanted to try the whole Rap thing. I didn’t know how it was gonna be received by my friends. It was just something I was interested in doing and I was a writer, and I was kinda like, ‘Let me just fuse these worlds and see what happens.’ And I got a great response. Very small, it wasn’t released in any kinda way, just locally. And when I saw that people accepted this ‘Nitty Scott, the rapper,’ I was like ‘Alright, I’m start doing this.’”
“That’s when I started to take it so seriously that I was like, ‘Hold on, I can’t even be in Florida anymore. There’s no opportunity for the level I wanna take this to.’ And I just started to develop this whole vision of this movement, the Boombox Movement. I’d been visualized the Boombox Family when I was 14 years old, so I’ve been trying to make it come to life for almost six years now. I moved to New York and I was just like, ‘I know this is supposed to be the land of opportunity and making dreams come true.’ I was out there for a while before being able to actively pursue the dream and that’s how it all happened.”
The ‘Pretty Girl Syndrome’: “The ‘Pretty Girl Syndrome’ is the automatic reaction that I get a lot from people who don’t know who I am necessarily. They look at me, they see this petite, kinda pretty girl and they don’t expect much from me. I’ll tell them, ‘Yo. I rap.’ And they look at me like, ‘Oh, that’s cute. Whatchu gon’ talk about? Lip gloss, handbags? That’s what’s up.’ A pat on the head. But I’m like, ‘No! I spit! Take me seriously!’ So I call it the Pretty Girl Syndrome.”
“It was something I was kinda trying to overcome for a little while. But I think, as much as it’s a disadvantage, it’s an advantage as well, because when I do deliver, and show people this skill based emcee that doesn’t rely on how I look, you won’t really find a bar with me talking about how I look… Ever. I never rely on the physical, so when I give you that, thaere’s this shock value that comes with it. Where it’s like, ‘Wow. I. Did. Not. Expect that from you.’ So it kinda ends up working in my favor anyway, there are two sides to it, but that’s the ‘Pretty Girl Syndrome.’”
Battle Rapping: “Me and my boys on the block used to get it in all the time. A lot of times after I go, they’re like, ‘I’m good. That’s a tough act to follow. I’m good.’ That’s happened before so, you know, I enjoy bodying emcees. [laughs] Especially when I kinda play it off, they’ll be in a cipher and I’ll be in the corner, nodding my head, and sometimes if it’s not my usual crew that I chill with, they don’t even know that I spit, let alone, spit, the way that I spit. I’m just in the corner quiet, then I come through, murder, and they’re just kind speechless after that. So yeah, it’s fun. [Laughs]”
The Meaning of Doobies and Popsicle Sticks: “Doobies and Popsicle Sticks was meant to be kinda random and silly. That was my summer diet, I just wanted to encompass what this summer was like for me and there was a lot of blowing it down and cooling off and Hip Hop shows and festivals. Just… Rap life. I wanted this mixtape to be a little more fun. I’m a serious person and artist in general and I always have this aura kinda like, ‘We gotta save Hip Hop,’ but I wanted people to know that I loosen up too. I can have fun, I can do a feel-good record, do a record that isn’t necessarily about how serious it is that we fix this game. It was meant to be a little more relaxed than the rest of them, so I think they’re gonna enjoy it, the fans.”
More About Doobies and Popsicle Sticks: “I’ve been in New York since I was 17 years old. I’ve been in New York for a while but I consider this my first summer in the game. This is my first summer as someone who’s really being checked for in the Hip Hop industry because of that there were so many things I got to see, people I got to meet, experiences I got to share that I was only dreaming of last year. You know what I mean?”
“So it’s almost to help document my journey and I think it’s really dope because my fans get to see that with me and they get to say, you know, they’re not really late on anything. I get to say, ‘No. You’re doing this with me. You’re experiencing this come up with me.’ And I think it’s really good to just document what’s been going on and that’s what Doobies and Popsicle Sticks is for, one of the joints on there, “Doobcicles-Summer Recap” is really me just recapping my entire summer in a verse, and it’s meant to be this storytelling thing and if you’re a fan, it’s dope for you to hear like, ‘My girl’s getting on! Look at all the things she did!’ and if you don’t know anything about me it’s sort of a good little, ‘Oh, okay, so this is what you do.’ So it works.”
“It should be dropping in the fall. It’s very much a ‘farewell to summer’ mixtape.”
Nitty's Reasons Behind Perseverance: “Really it’s because I wanna break barriers. I never went into this thinking it was gonna be easy. But it was even harder than I thought it would be and at times as an independent artist, it’s very hard to wear all the hats, it’s hard financially. It’s hard to do things for yourself when you don’t have that backing so it’s very difficult but I know that in doing what I do, I’m setting an example and I’m also helping to break barriers for the next young girl who’s coming up and wants to do the same thing as me. I’m making it not so difficult for her to embrace her dreams and to be accepted by the hip hop community. So I understand that as much as I do benefit from what I’m doing, it’s much bigger than myself. I’m assisting a generation. I’m assisting hip hop as a culture. I’m helping to preserve this and progress it at the same time and I think it’s just so important to be a part of something that can help you have such a purpose.”
Family Affair: “I’m the oldest, the first-born, I have a whole bunch of sisters and brothers, but I’m my daddy’s baby. I’m a complete 'daddy’s girl.' They’re really excited about it. It’s interesting because you don’t think about when you start to pop off, how it’s gonna affect other people who know you or are related to you. They almost get a little taste of fame if you wanna call it that. My mother calling me telling me that her co-workers are sending her emails like, ‘You know my son makes beats!’ It’s hilarious. It’s kinda funny how they’re getting their share of shine with me. They’re really excited, really proud of me.”
“I know that they were definitely nervous at one point about me just making the decision to move to New York on a straight- ‘dollar and a dream’- and pursue something that a lot of people are trying to do and not everyone comes back with a success story. So I think my parents they were just nervous about me not necessarily choosing something that was safe. The safe thing is to go to college, get a job, get married… Just very structured. I think they were kinda alarmed when I said, ‘No. I’m gonna drop all orthodox kinda plans and go follow what I love.’ And I think they’re just proud of me for having that bravery and actually accomplishing what I said I was gonna accomplish, in the midst of all kinds of B.S. once I moved to New York. I had to get my diploma, hold down everything around me, I had to survive everyday and to be able to do that and finally do what I said I was going to do, I think they’re very proud of me.”
A Dollar and a Dream at 17: “I actually moved in the beginning of my senior year. I knew it was such a gamble because per the Florida standards, I was able to graduate, all I had to do was pretty much come to school everyday, and I was guaranteed a diploma at the end of the year. I moved to New York and my credits were cut in half. I was technically behind, just because of the way their school system is. So I was behind in credits and I did that to myself because literally I felt I had to be out there in New York.”
“I was researching for weeks. Calling around to schools, trying to see what the procedure was. I ended up going to the Secondary School for Journalism at John Jay [High School] in Park Slope, Brooklyn. That was a great experience and they helped me. They assisted me in graduating on time. I had no family, no friend, no people. It was the most spontaneous, crazy thing I’ve ever done. My parents were… Not… Feeling it… And technically I was 17 years old, they could’ve said, ‘You’re not going anywhere,’ but to this day, I really don’t know what let them, let me go. They love me and they support my dream, so for me to come back and say, ‘I did it!’ and hopefully one day, buy my mom a house… All the things people dream of, it’s really dope.”