Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Listen To My Voice!" with Andre Nickatina

When I first ask Andre Nickatina for permission to tape an interview, he responds with a serious “Hell naw. I don't want you recording that muthafucka!”
I assume that Nickatina is a man of principle, weary of media outlets twisting his words around for the purpose of sensationalism.
The paranoia he conveys so expertly in his music, from his 1992 debut “Meet the New Jim Jones” to his latest release, “Booty Star,” may be more than high drama on wax.
Turns out I was wrong. On the phone, he's just Andre, rap cat with an affinity for reading, writing and Michael Jordan references.
“I just don't do interviews because they're boring,” he later told me with a laugh, after a brief interview during which he downplayed the symbolism and messages in his music or the imagery on his album covers.
Nickatina, along with fellow San Francisco rapper San Quinn and Pittsburg-rapper Jacka, will headline the Fox Theater Friday night in Salinas. Local rapper Mic Quin is also on the bill. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m.
Nickatina's raps are filled with super-charged pimp talk and aggressive tales of sexploits and elicit drug use.
His signature songs, including the street anthem “Smoke Dope and Rap” and the woozy, psychedelic “Ayo (For Yayo),” make passing reference to cocaine abuse that set his style apart from typical Bay Area street rap.
That is part of his appeal — fans know that Nickatina is not interested in presenting one side of the story. When pressed, he is reluctant to lay claim to any sort of creative process.
“It's not really no process, man. I'm a rap cat from the nose to the toes. That's just it,” he said, sounding very much like the confident, slick-talking MC that shows up on records. “Growing up, I was a reader and a writer, not necessarily schoolwise, but growing up I was a reader and a writer. That's what I do, I read and I write. So that comes across in the rhyme, I guess.”
Nickatina spoke with “The Beat” earlier this week in anticipation of his weekend show in Salinas. To listen to the interview, click here.

No comments: