6 albums. 6 mixtapes. 150 videos on YouTube. Hundreds of songs given away. That’s Nova. You know what. His passion still burns. Nova is an Atlanta by way of Pittsburgh (you already know he repping Steelers for Sunday’s Super Bowl vs. Green Bay). As a matter of fact, he’s repping so hard, he took offense to Lil’ Wayne dropping “Green and Yellow” yesterday. He took offense so bad that he rallying Pittsburgh MCs’ to stand up and answer Lil’ Wayne’s anthem with their own “No Pack No” Super Bowl anthem. And they went in. Who is this man? Read below and start to understand a little bit more about the man called Nova.
Kinge: You’re in Atlanta. But hometown is Pennsylvania.
Nova: I grew up in Western, PA….back and forth between about 3 place throughout my life. A ghetto of ghettos, a ghetto with a hint of civilized, and rich white people heaven (lol)
Kinge: How long have you been in Atlanta, GA? What prompted the move?
Nova: I moved to Atlanta, GA in May of 2008 for that ‘risk’ in life….that ONE BIG RISK…..so i had no regrets when it was said and done….and i have changed ENORMOUSLY since moving here.
Kinge: Atlanta is the NY and LA of the south. Why did you choose ATL instead of either one of those two? If the risk does not pay off, even though you don’t have regrets, do you feel as if you accomplished something while here. What’s next for you? How long will you continue on?
Nova: I have no regrets. You nailed it. The risk was I take a chance and live with the results. I’ve progressed, I’m better financially, physically, mentally, spiritually, artistically, there is nothing i’ve lost from that move. I could do this forever….it’s in the spirit man….i’ve tried to stop it. Nothing in the fucking world can stop me. Im an ANIMAL and i want what i’m owed.
Kinge: How has Atlanta treated you?
Nova: My friendships with people like Fort Knox, Jawz of Life, Big Tah, the entire Tru Skool family has been instrumental in my time here. They made it feel like home. Shout out to Dungeon Family Jawz,
Strongarm, All my Tru Skool family. They made it feel like home for me. That’s my hip hop family right there.
Kinge: What has life been like?
Nova: When i was 13 i nearly died from a rare blood illness. The doctors didn’t know what it was….and to this DAY i have no idea what was wrong. That was the day i found GOD personally.
My friend Miguel was murdered a block from my house a few years ago…shot in the back. Grew up with him. Also a friend of mine Andre, was killed, set up by his baby’s mom / girlfriend. Many friends from childhood ended up going an entirely different direction with their lives then intended. I often wonder ‘what if’.
Kinge: Your near death experience, death’s of friends. All that sounds pretty intense. Has that changed you in any way other than finding God?
Nova: I think you appreciate every single second MORE. You almost feel like your dead when you DON’T appreciate those seconds you have. In
music….i suppose it’s affected me by never EVER taking my chance and my gifts for granted….everyday counts. I live like it. Nothing on this EARTH could stop me from making music.
Kinge: You were recently diagnosed with possible early diabetes and don’t feel as if you will achieve your goals in time. Considering your past experiences, do you fear death?
Nova: I think that I DID fear death. I know people who have died from Diabetes not taking care of themselves. I want nothing to hinder me on this journey. It’s like climbing a mountain but your leg got a CRAZY cut
on it. I can climb the mountain…just makes it a bit more uncomfortable. I don’t fear death anymore……nothing can stop me. I’m built for this purpose and it will get done. Regardless.
Kinge: Tell us about your family. Are you an only child?
Nova: I am the youngest of 4 kids. Only son of my Father. My mother and father were never married. My dad is a Mechanic , Mom is an artist/poet/teacher/nurse aid. My mother was diagnosed with Diabetes in the past year…..my number one goal in music is to achieve greatness….before either of them pass.
Kinge: Ahh, I see. So it was past down to you right? Have you ever heard your Mom’s work?
Nova: Yeah my mom is a genius. I love you Mom. She could take a wallet size photo of Whoopie Goldberg and turn it into the Mona Lisa. She is an EXTRAORDINARILY talented woman. Without question i get that from her.
Kinge: How long have you been creating music?
Nova: My first time ever to record music was back in 1993. I have been writing and recording music every year on the year no matter how ghetto…since.
Kinge: What was the first song and inspiration behind it?
Nova: A girl. The song was called “Danger Love“. I had some Freddy Jackson swagg back then…..that ol Billy Ocean vibe….lol!
Kinge: *Sings “Caribbean Queen“* After that, you’ve been writing ever since. What stories do you have from the journey?
Nova: I had near ‘signed’ experiences with So So Def, Poe Boy, a brush with Wiz’s Khalifa Rostrum Records, and a gaggle of unknown Pittsburgh squads.
Kinge: What happened with the Wiz offer and So So Def?
Nova: Wiz’s team, Rostrum Records, never really extended a full offer. I spoke with some of them from time to time…i’d opened for Wiz on several occassions…they just never felt the need to extend me an offer. So So Def management came across me on myspace. They felt the music i had just wasnt very good and told me straight up. That was that. Shout out to Shauna Danielle.
Kinge: Wiz Khalifa shouted you out in a video on YouTube. You both started out at the same time. Yet, the label that you flirted with really help his career move forward. What are your thoughts on Wiz and his new found success?
Nova: I see it as a friendly rival. Wiz Khalifa is the greatest rapper in Pittsburgh History. I take nothing from him. It’s sweet to see that man win for the city….i’m from 724 but i rep 412 so it is a beautiful thing he’s doin up there. I believe i am one the greatest artist of my generation. You have to believe that to do this AS LONG as i have without the help of a label. I am one of the best to do music in decades. Style for Style. I am happy to see Wiz win on the level he’s winning. I’ll continue to win on mine no matter how small.
Kinge: You recently rocked the stage at last years A3C. It was a stellar performance that really caused people to pause in their tracks to watch your show. You told me that you were actually booed off stage in 2004 at a challenge show which changed your perception of the stage. You put a lot of effort and energy in your shows. Did that become a driving force for all your future performances?
Nova: Not the driving force…but i definitely don’t go out there with a sense of entitlement or something like that. I go out and I don’t give a fuck….it’s from my gut. You can enjoy it or I can…and i have more control over me enjoying it than i do over YOU enjoying it. I blackout on stage and i perform from the heart now. I don’t wait for people to like me, I like myself too much to hurt me like that.
Kinge: What drives your passion?
Nova: Desire to live up to MY OWN expectation and love for the art. I want the respect of the legends of this game and the great artist that have come before me….newcomers or old timers. I deserve to be here doing exactly what i’m doing. I expect to be dope…..and i like to try to prove it to myself time and time again that I am. I have a baby girl on the way in May of this year…the 3 year anniversary of moving to ATL. A life changer indeed. I’m planning to drop my album in APRIL and dedicate it to her.
Kinge: First congrats. Second, after it’s all said and done, do you think this was your purpose and reason behind choosing Atlanta. Will this push you harder than ever?
Nova: I don’t know how it cant’. It’s my daughter. That’s me. She’s me. We don’t die. We win. Period. Championship on the line. Nothing stopped me before….trust GOD himself would have to break my microphone for me to even slow down.
Kinge: What is the title and release date for your upcoming album?
Nova: APRIL 1ST is the release date for my new album “Tall Slimmy“.
Kinge: Why “Tall Slimmy“? Any story behind the name other than basketball height (he’s 6’4 people)?
Nova: HAHA! It’s an introduction of self to people. Something i haven’t done is kind of make an introductory album and i think this is the time for that. Often people say “What’s the slimmy”…you know…like…”what’s going on”. In hip hop i am metaphorically saying “I’M what’s goin on….I am that big deal”. So it’s just hip hop man.
Kinge: You’ve worked with El Da Sensei of the Artifacts and Spectac. And 9th Wonder responded to your music! What are your thoughts on that?
Nova: Shout out to El Da Sensei, a very cool dude. Very helpful and inviting and just all around down ass cat man. No ego nothin. Artifcats and i were possibly going to do something gotta see about some moves being made right now…but hey…i rule nothing out. Shouts to Spectac the one that put 9th on to my music. I think it was one of the NICEST things anybody has done for me. I don’t think 9th really has time right now with his new artist like Thee Tom Hardy and all that….but it was REALLY SURREAL to finally break that glass ceiling. That was the proverbial foot in the door for me.
Kinge: So you and Clinton Sparks got into a Twitter fight a year ago? How do you get in a twight or tweef with Clinton Sparks? What happened? Who won?
Nova: Clinton won man…he probably don’t even remember me. He was pushing this shitty techno typical sounding ass rap record saying its SO HOT…and i said “man….that shit ain’t hot” basically….he said i looked like a fake ass Spike Lee….i said he should stop shopping in the 14 year old boys section for coats…..and we lol’d those tweets and kept it movin. Clinton’s cool man he got a lot of ego….but hey….he been winnin. More power to him.
Kinge: What goals do you have in mind for your career?
Nova: My goal is 3 grammy’s, 25 million records sold. I don’t believe anybody can tell me HOW to reach this goal. There is no HOW…..so i have no idea what i’ll will need to sacrifice to reach that goal. I believe i will make the best decisions I can and I WILL BE the first to do it MY WAY. I’m a man first and foremost. I protect what i love. But whatever needs to be done will be done. This is me. This is what i do. I can’t fail. There is no way. To build the NOVATRIBE brand into an entertainment garden. I believe NOVATRIBE can be a hell of a lot of things. It’s gonna be something i know that. I’ve built a brand from nothing by myself for 6 years now. It’ll be bigger than me when the time comes.
Appreciate Nova for taking the time to do this. Check out the video to his latest single “What Will I Do” from his upcoming album. You can cop it on iTunes or Amazon. Dope song and visuals. I also included the Wiz Khalifa shout out.