Q&A With Austin, TX Based Hip Hop Artist NuffxSaid

Please tell us how many years you’ve been making music? For those unfamiliar, please shed some light on your background in the Hip Hop game. Please detail.

I’ve been rapping since I was 12 and writing since I was about 9. The day I knew that I wanted to rap is when I walked in on my mother’s boyfriend (Ray Ray) and a gang of his cousins in the living room.

They were freestyling to the instrumental version of ATLiens and it was the flyest shit I ever saw. They tossed me in the cypher and made me rap, I never felt more alive. I started out on the midwest circuit polishing my skill set crashing house parties, pick up basketball games, car shows, etc doing tons of cyphers. I would rap anytime, anywhere and about anything. I didn’t see a future for my music living in Ohio so I moved to the east coast when I was 21. But nothing became real serious out east until I was about 26 and that’s when I was cutting tracks with producer The Best Kept Secret out of D.C. (Wale’s producer). During that same time 2008-2010 my team and I were working with Loud Records/SRC Records. Unfortunately, after a couple years things fell off due to some conflicts. We got one of my people signed with them, a trash 360 deal mind you and things went south quick. So I walked away from the business side and it became a hobby rather than a career pursuit until 2013. Before I left the east coast for Texas, things started heating up again from 2013-2014.

I started rocking shows with Statik Selektah, Termanology, R.E.K.S., Latrell James, Cousin Stizz, Token, Edo G., Moe Pope, Wordsmith and so many other talented east coast artists. The studio I had been working out of housed Joyner Lucas, Token, Justin Clancy, Sip and myself. I was in real good company, clearly. But Texas was where I wanted to be. Nothing slowed down once I arrived in Austin in late 2014. Right out the gate I was rocking with Tory Lanez, Cory Gunz, Lil Flip, Macc Grace, Devin The Dude, Yukmouth and all the local legends from Austin along with all the new up and coming talent in Austin. I had a large well established network on the east coast that I worked on for years.

The processes I went through on the east coast helped me build another large network in Texas but much faster. Recently DJ VIP (Nipsey’s DJ) reached out to me, we’ll see where that goes. He gave me some game for sure and I appreciate that. It’s been an incredible journey to say the least. There is much more to it all, but that’s the short version.

Please shine some light on the Austin, TX underground Hip Hop scene? Is it bubbling?

If Austin keeps it’s trajectory then it could be the next big Hip Hop city. Austin is known for Rock, Blues and Country, of course. But the level of Hip Hop talent in this space is astounding from homegrown artists and those that have come here from Atlanta, L.A., Detiort, Chicago, Boston, ect. I have to list some people that deserve the shine and mention right now. Some of the most well known in the city would be Quin NFN, Kydd Jones, Smackola (Dirty Wormz), Noah North, Lil Bully (DoWrong), Cha’keeta B, Mama Duke, Blacklight, RuMuzik, Ben Buck, Zeale, Nick Cruz, Mic Trey, The Culprit, The Teeta, Sertified (Die Slo), Era Wandi, Levi Deadman, Chino Loc, Tribe Mafia, Country Cousins, J Killa, Tone Birgante (P.I.E.), J Soulija, CP Loony, Mingo The Flow Fiend, Whiteside, Loonar, Tone Royal, Shirt Off Fe, Tall Kyle, D.R.O.I.D., Penny, Nicholas Whipps…I can keep going, but you get the picture…

There is just so much talent that is going uncultivated into a larger space, it’s almost unfair. The “machine” is selling themselves short by not farming Austin for Hip Hop talent.

There are even some dope podcasts and interviewing platforms like Beautiful Drunk Show and The Rare Xperience. We also have some great radio personalities like DJ Hella Yella on 102.3 The Beat
and on KUTX 98.9 like Confucius Jones and Fresh. KAZI 88.7 has always supported the local scene as well.

Do you find most of your fanbase familiar with you from your old projects, or do you feel that you’ve been discovered in recent years more so on the merit of your music. Please detail.

Most definitely more discovered in recent years off the merit I feel. I think it has to do with how much I have moved around the country and the internet not being the immense marketing space it is today, back then.
Shit man, I’m from the MySpace music and SoundClick days 2005-2008. So the net was there, just real new to a majority of folks. I was actually the 1st rapper in New England to crack 1 million on MySpace, that was large back then funny as it is now. I even went by a different rap name. So I’ll perform older tracks sometimes as they’re still fresh to new listeners. I have fans that have always been around of course, but it has grown into different states and countries over the past few years.

When compared to other artists, what is it about NuffxSaid that stands out and makes you unique from the pack. Please detail.

I would say how I can blend different hip hop regions and sub cultures together in my music. I use west coast, east coast, midwest and down south rhyme patterns and slang all in one on every track to any style of beat. Then I can also completely commit to one style and it all sounds genuine and original. I like to think I take the best parts of each space and incorporate them together. Some Bruce Lee JDK type shit, The Method of No Method in a sense. That all has to do with how well traveled I am and all the artists I have worked with on my Hip Hop journey. Storytelling combined with lyricism I would say is my forte and I’m an earworm with hooks. Not a hook I can write that won’t get stuck in your head. I get compared to other rappers, Nipsey, Pouya, Yelawolf, etc. But I just don’t hear it, nor do I care because I’m doing me.

Wow, your latest project “Foundations of a Hooligan”, is a true BANGER in our books! Tell us the story behind your recent project, And a little about the album cover concept.

F.O.A.H. came to be out of pure necessity to create something meaningful for myself. While sharing some life experiences of violence, turmoil and overcoming with fans, family and friends new & old. It helped me deal with some wrongs that had been done to me and my loved ones early in life. I definitely had fun with it and talked my shit. But I wanted it to have a deep serious undertone to it. The release date is actually a numeric anagram of my birth year, funny how that worked out. The cover is me at age 9 dressed as Al Capone at my grandmothers in Raleigh, NC and the rear cover is one of the townhouses that I lived in when I was in Ohio. The CT Fletcher intro and outro are hella important as he is a huge life inspiration to me. Him blessing the album was nothing short of amazing. Being one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers and body builders adds to the impact of him actually being part of the project. That was the one and only feature I wanted for the project and I managed to get it done. It was a fun experience creating F.O.A.H. and I’m looking forward to completing my next project.

What’s your favorite track off your latest album, and why? And please reference your favorite bar from this song that highlights your elite level lyricism.

I love Gangsta Moves as it highlights all the great things I do as an artist in one track. Beat selection, hook, storytelling, lyricism, different rhyme patterns, etc. But, these verses from B.O.A.T.S (a beat that was produced by Statik Selektah, one of my favorite producers) is what made Black Rob, one of my favorites growing up, sign off on my skill set. So it would have to be between those. B.O.A.T.S definitely means more to me personally. Co signs mean a lot to me. When your peers recognize how talented you are, specifically those you look up to. Nothing feels better. Not a Grammy, not a check, nothing. It motivates me even more. One of my favorite bars has to be from B.O.A.T.S. “Still standin’ on my own two howlin at the moon/lettin’ all the pain and anguish illuminate the faces ah the haters and the racists tryin to keep us seperated”.

For this new year 2021, what do we have to look forward to when it comes to new NuffxSaid music? Please reference your forthcoming projects that you’re at liberty to speak of.

We are currently working on my newest project “Live Long and Prosper”. There is no release date, but it is going through the creative process and I would like to have it completed in 2021.

But, I don’t like to rush creativity and quality not quantity is what I live by. I did recently release a Screwed & Chopped version of my track “Gangsta Moves” on all streaming platforms.

Since I’m in Texas we actually thought about doing the entirety of F.O.A.H. in a Screwed & Chopped version as a nod to Texas Hip Hop culture. That’s still up in the air.

Due to the pandemic, how are you pivoting with making music around this whole Covid 19 situation?

I used 2020 as a break, I needed it. I was doing so many shows that the exhaustion was setting in rapidly, people always expected to see me. Shit man, from 2014-2019 I did well over 200 shows from the Boston area and all over Texas. 2017 was the wildest year I did over 60 shows. So to say I need a break is an understatement. I used a lot of the time to spend with my son and my girl. I did perform 2 shows during this whole situation we’re in though. I have always been a “out the backpack” or “footwork” kind of hustler when it comes to music. So I love to be out on the scene making moves and celebrating wins with everyone. So it’s been tough for me in that aspect. I had friends lose venues they spent a lot of time and money building. I watched people get uprooted from the Austin scene and have to go back to where they came from for family support. Even some that had left Austin for L.A., NY and Atlanta had to come back to Austin. Just to watch the work people put in for years get wiped off the table by Covid is depressing.

However, we’re artists so of course people got creative. Doing different show formats, writing more, recording more, selling more merchandise, etc. It’s a miracle people were able to stay inspired.

We have to ask, with all this social discourse and revolt, protesting and rioting, exposed police brutality toward minorities, how do you guys feel about this? Not to mention, the huge wealth gap between the 1% and the rest of us. We would love your perspective on the climate we are living in right now?

There are so many factors that go into each one of these situations and I feel these are long form conversations we need to be having out in the open without bias.

I’ll speak on protesting and rioting first. I used to protest a lot, I’ve protested against KKK and Neo Nazi marches in the Midwest, I was at the Boston End The Fed protests and many others over the years. I feel it can be somewhat effective if done properly, but most of the time it just falls on deaf ears. With that being said, I find rioting to be unnecessary and damaging as it accomplishes even less than good protesting does. I’m not a big believer in government but it’s our way of life and change comes from within, right. So you have to go vote and vote for the right people. Be a well informed voter, not a low information voter if you’re going to vote. I see it every 2 or 4 years, people vote then things I was telling people about particular candidates come to light finally. Then people act surprised and say “Well, if I would have known that. I wouldn’t have voted for them”. That’s on you then, you have to be better informed. People have to stop falling for all the tricks the establishment and media pull with the two party bullshit. We have other options and we need to explore them. The saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Well, it’s broken and we need to try new things to get a fix at this point. People keep voting for the same two parties and expecting different outcomes is literal insanity. We must do better to receive better if we’re going to move forward even further. We need to hold ourselves accountable as citizens and humans in general. That doesn’t mean just voting from an informed perspective either. It means being better examples in our communities and to our children.

I was raised in several different Black and Hispanic households so I have witnessed things firsthand that many white folks just don’t. When it comes to police brutality, my perspective has evolved over the years. It used to be “fuck the police” all day, every day, no matter what. I am a product of the system myself, I made choices that had consequences and I didn’t like the end results. So it was fuck them, instead of fuck me in those situations. Those were my failures, no one else’s. With that being said, I was set up a few times, I was targeted and tossed around a time or two. But not because of my skin color. At times I felt like it was because I was in a black family and dating a black woman. Though nothing was ever said to me that made me think that way, it just felt that way. Maybe because the “all cops are bad and they’re all racist” language I was fed growing up, I don’t know. I did watch the same things happen to some of the Black and Hispanic folks I was raised with. Sometimes we asked for it because we didn’t want to get locked up, other times it was abuse of power, clearly. In those instances of being treated unfairly, it was fuck the police and still is. But I’m not sure if it was over their skin color or not. Maybe criminal history, still not fair. Maybe a racist cop, definitely not fair. As a friend says to me all the time” I’m black every day”. I don’t know what that feels like to have that mindset. I was around it enough to have an understanding as to why that mindset exists though. What I do know is all of us that were in trouble with the law had no fathers and our mothers were working too much or doing shit they shouldn’t have with kids at home. I also know kids that came out clean in the exact same situations. So there has to be accountability there, just as there has to be accountability with the crooked ass cops.

We do need good police that we can trust and that comes with better training and evaluations during the hiring process. The police need to use their funds wisely and in a manner that is consistent with the needs of our communities.

Here’s a wild example of misappropriated funds. A particular police department got $10,000ea for a bunch of night vision goggles for their SWAT team. They will never use that shit, ever. So why wasn’t that money allocated to training?

You also have to understand that can’t ask for better policing and then defund the police, that’s counter intuitive as fuck. Those are the changes we need to seek out, better training, better hiring and being better in our own communities and households. I feel police need to get out of their vehicles and get back to “walking the beat” more often. So they can build healthy relationships with citizens and I feel ride alongs for younger kids should be encouraged. That way you will hopefully have people from your community that grew up there becoming police officers in that area. The police unions need to be struck down, they protect bad cops all too often. I mean, I know for a fact that over 70% of complaints about officers come from other officers to Internal Affairs. Yet, it seems nothing is ever done to the bad cops. There are a ton of underlying issues here (poverty, racism, class, education, etc) and there isn’t one simple answer by any means. We all need to take personal accountability and hold others that are doing wrong accountable if we want change and we all have to contribute something positive.

The wealth gap is such an economic conundrum and it has way more to do with the government than big business in my opinion. Not to say there are not shady ass business leaders shafting people left and right.

But they’re allowed to do it based on laws put in place by the government. So many people are financially and economically illiterate that it’s tougher than it should be to have these conversations. I find more times than not when having these conversations. That most people have no idea that any of this is going on or how any of it really works. I believe that is by design within the public school system. They don’t want a well educated population, just a marginally educated one because they’re easy to manipulate. As I said earlier I am not a fan of the government, but I get that it makes people comfortable, I guess. I’m more for the government in a very limited capacity. With that being said, I don’t feel we should be getting taxed like we are and I mean everyone, top to bottom. It’s the government that is robbing us blind. If we’re going to have an income tax, it should be a flat 12% for all. However, I don’t believe we should have an income tax at all. If we had more of our own money, we would save, invest or spend and two of those things stimulate the economy. It’s been done before, you cut taxes for everyone, more money ends up being spent and the government ends up with a bigger tax surplus. I believe JFK was the last to do it. More buying power to the people, the more you make off sales tax, which I am okay with a sales tax that is reasonable. Gas tax pays for roads and infrastructure and property tax pays for police, fire, schools, etc.

So why tax our income? I’ll tell you why, so the government can pay off the loans they take out in our names and we get nearly nothing in return. Bloated military budget, our money being sent to other countries, raises for do nothing politicians, etc. You raise taxes on the wealthy; it only pisses them off, like it does when they do it to all of us regular people. They raise costs, cut jobs, close facilities, etc. I’m not sure how many times that has to happen before people realize it greatly accelerates what businesses already tend to do to increase profit. This is another one where there is no perfect answer. But there is a space where we can exist and be happy as a country. I don’t think the American dream is dead, but it’s on fuckin life support because of the government. If it was dead people would have stopped migrating here years ago, but they haven’t. So that gives me a bit of hope to know others still believe in us, even if we don’t. To keep it a buck, if you make 30k per year, you’re the 1% to damn near the rest of the world. That doesn’t mean you’re not struggling here on wages like that and it also doesn’t mean I don’t think people should be paid more, I adamantly believe people do not get paid enough. I’m just not a believer in forcing people to do things they do not want to. Which is why I say vote with your money for everything. There’s a reason I shop local much as I can and I don’t fuck with Walmart or Amazon at all. I get that may be the only option for a lot of people. But that just proves those companies have too much power and they got that power via the government as there are no rules in place stopping the businesses from influencing them with fat checks and favors. So both parties are wrong, but the government is supposedly some arbitrator of moral authority and they’re clearly not. I could go on and on about this, but I feel I’ve said enough.

Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.

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Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I'm dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.