The south is undeniably known for the birth of trap music. The terminology of trap music deems back to the 1990s before most of us were either born, or actually old enough to know exactly what these rappers were saying. In the 90s, groups and artists such as Atlanta’s own Outkast, Goodie Mob, Master P, and Ghetto Mafia were coined as trap rappers due to their lyrical content pertaining to selling drugs and physically being in a drug house, also known as the “trap”. After passing the crown off to some of Georgia’s OG’s such as T.I., Young Jeezy, Waka Flocka, and Gucci Mane, trap began to surf on the waves of the production rather than the lyricism. In the 2010s, the faces of trap music became those of Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, and the 808 Mafia. Georgia is infamously known as being thee sound of the south, but in this case, one player added a new swagger to the game. His name is Nash B.
In an era where beat-first listeners have become the majority of consumers, the producer is truly what makes the song. Where most might expect for the bass to thump like thunder or snare to clap like lightening, R&B beats take you in the sky as well, just on a cloud. Hailing from Perry, Georgia, Nash B is that 7’ foot player that knows how to shoot and handle the ball. Unconventional players are never shied away as long as you can create something new and refreshing. From cooking up beats after football practice to having a placement on a top 5 song in the country, Nash B has made his own strides in the game of hip-hop by his hazy production. The ability to create velvety rhythms has most likely come from one of music’s most melodic genres; gospel.
Nash B told Rapfest, “I was a church head growing up. I used to play the bass in church. When creating music, I tend to think from the bottom because the bass is the foundation of a song. I also learned how to play drums and piano from being in church.”
In his mid teens, Nash began making music after school following his football practice. Finding his niche in creativity, it didn’t take long for him to make the full transition from sports to music. Nash went on to tell us, “I got into producing with my world geography teacher. He used to bring his whole set up to school with him because he made beats too. After football practice that would be my move. In high school I was really sports based. I wanted to play college football, I was good too. I was a 3 year starter on varsity, but God had something else for me. So after that I started taking music serious.”
Why do you think your world geography teacher invested so much in you as a new upcoming producer?
I honestly don’t know. I was just trying to see what was going on. As long as he saw me trying to progress, he was willing to help me.
“My teacher didn’t think I could make beats or play instruments at first when my principal told him, so I had to show him. And then we just started working together.”
That was years ago. And now you and Jacquees have a top 5 song urban in the country with “B.E.D.” How did y’all link up?
Jacquees was working heavy with K Major and I already knew K Major. Sooner than later, we were in the studio together. We started recording at 14th street studio. That’s where we made “IDGAF” on 19. He (Jacquees) showed me what a real star was and how it made me feel. I knew from when I first met him that he was a real star. No jewelry, no watches, no necklaces,etc. No nothing, just star power.
And now y’all have more than a few projects with one another such as MOOD & Since You Playin, in addition to Fuck A Friendzone with Dej Loaf , plus Jacquees being on your very first EP, Why I’m So Playa. Which one was the hardest to record and why?
I would have to say Since You Playin. It was just a lot, riding around on that bus. At the time we were on tour with Tory Lanez so we were traveling every day. We went to North Dakota, Texas, New York, Kansas, etc; everywhere. It was a lot physically, and it was hard getting shit to pick up on the mic. I did a lot of work on that project. I was really making the beats. Then Quee would come back up and say he was fucking with it. Then my engineer had to put his tweaks on it and we had a song. I did the MOOD tour with Jacquees too but I only did about half of that one, this one required a lot more.
“Jacquees and I had a point where we were just working. With Fuck A Friendzone, The intro “Fuck A Friend ZONE” and “No Better Love” was all done in one night. We didn’t even hit the studio. I pulled up to Jacquees’ crib and Dej was sitting in the living room; we just started recording. “
There’s been an obvious rise within your career and your accomplishments. Typically artists want to escape from the life they used to live but it’s interesting to consider that from a producer’s standpoint as well.
It’s kind of crazy because I dream real big. I like that B.E.D. is top 5, but now I wanna get to number 1, and get plaques. I dream so big that I guess I’m still realizing it. It’s about making music,when I got my first placement it felt good but I wasn’t fully comfortable.
“If you really got a passion for something, chase your dreams. I’m trying to be the best in the game. I’m trying to be like Dr. Dre, he’s going crazy right now. He helped out a lot of people; that’s what I’m trying to do with The Playlist”
Considering the success of “B.E.D.”, how do you now create a record that hits even harder?
I made that beat at my mom’s house on the ironing board. With any beat I’ve made, I never tried to force it. I go with the flow. I’m a real musician and Jacquees is a real singer. It’s easy for a lot of producers to get placed in a box; I ain’t in no box. My big bro DJ Spinz told me when I was in the 12th grade, “no matter what, don’t stop doing you, don’t stop doing that shit. You just gotta keep doing you. That’s how you’re gonna be where you wanna be.’
You’re the highest charted Georgian producer on the charts right now, hitting the game with an entirely new flavor. What separates you from the Metro’s, The Southside’s, and the Zaytoven’s of Atlanta?
I just stay in my own lane. It’s not hard when you got something new and refreshing. If I had to compare myself and my music to an NBA player, I would compare myself to Allen Iverson. The game was in a different spot for AI. He brought a whole look to the game. He played with tattoos, and sleeves, and had a lot of attitude, a whole lot of swag.
“Having one on one conversations with one of my idols, The-Dream, changed my creative process a lot. He’s given me a lot of game.”
Although you differ so drastically, would you still say that there is a sense of unity among artists and producers in the city of Atlanta? I would assume so considering how you have songs with Future, Cash Out, K Camp, etc.
Absolutely. With cash out, I was just going in there (the studio) with DJ Spinz. DJ Spinz will take you in the room and be like, “There goes Cash Out.” So we started working together. That same day I gave future the beat for “Turn On Me”. In Atlanta, you can be in the studio and make a song with whoever is next door. All the collaborations happen because we’re already there. I remember with T.I., I walked in there and told him I had some beats, and I played them. I caught him in the same studio I caught Future in.
You also mentioned that you rather break artists. Who are some people that you have been working with that we should be hip to?
Of course, Me and Jacquees are still going up. The other two cats I’ve been working with are from small towns like myself. I’ve been working with an artist named Pat Soul. And right now I’m also working with this artist named Foreva. I met Foreva some years ago. I played some beats for his cousin because that was my best friend at the time. He even gave me a lil bread for the beats he used. With the bread that he gave me, I went and bought a hard drive because before that I couldn’t save any of my beats.
We often see the brotherhood of artist and producer blossom from the studio sessions to the award shows in its success. Its early to tell, but not too early to know that Nash B will continue to bring out the sedated and secluded realities of the artists he works with. Just years after graduating high school, he’s earned credits with Georgia’s finest rappers and singers. Once you establish yourself as a notable producer, artists go after your beats just as much as you send them out. Now, more than ever, we are realizing the importance of a producer because they really do make the song with their ability to capture the ear. What’s insanely important about Nash B is that he is pleasantly odd in comparison to the other producers from the south. His sonic ability to capture the mellow vibes and use of the most abnormal samples has propelled him into a category of no other. If the industry is factually moving in a beat first direction, then the movement is spearheaded by the south’s best; one of them being Nash B.