Young Nudy is a star. He’s the rare rapper appreciated by older purists for his rawness and authenticity, while maintaining a reputation as an artist teenagers can’t get enough of, either. His most recent project, Nudy Land, made waves, bringing a new level of attention to Nudy and going far enough to find itself on a range of best-of-2017 lists. It only took him a year, but Nudy’s carved out a lane for himself.
The second you press play on Nudy Land you’re ushered into the young artist’s world. The first Pi’erre Bourne tag transitions into a downbeat melody on the project’s introduction (“Judge Scott Convicted”), a deeply cynical foot to set off on. The cover art, featuring Nudy posted outside of an abandoned amusement park with a Chucky Doll approaching from behind begins to make perfect sense; the world you find yourself in is an unforgiving one, filled with stormy clouds and blinding fog. Perhaps the most impressive feat Nudy pulls off here is his ability to maintain that haunted vibe throughout the project’s full runtime, even over brighter production on songs such as “Ferris Wheel.”
Today, Young Nudy is here with his video for “Barbecue,” which features one of the most engrossing Pi’erre Bourne melodies on Nudy Land. The video presents Nudy’s version of a barbecue. There are burgers and popsicles, sure, but it also has Nudy lurking in the dim fluorescent-lit shadows.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Atlanta plays a major part in your music. What about your experience in the city is so special?
Shit, I don’t goddamn know to tell you the truth. I don’t know what’s so special about this shit. I guess it’s just Atlanta shit. We got swag that’s all, we just got lingo. Niggas don’t just be rapping, niggas be having fun. You know it is what is out here.
Slimeball really felt like your arrival.
Yeah that was my arrival. That’s when I knew if I was gonna be for real with this shit or not.
Is Nudy Land the project that solidified you or do you think that hasn’t happened yet?
I’m still waiting on it. At first, it made me feel like folks ain’t fucking with it. But it did more than what I thought it was gonna do. I can’t really say too much about what I thought it was going to do. I don’t know shit.
Are there any artists specifically from Atlanta that influenced you? How about outside of Atlanta?
Hell no. I like Cash Money but don’t nobody influence me.
When did your cousin 21 Savage first realize that you wanted to rap and take it seriously?
Shit, I don’t know, Slimeball 2.
How did the official “The Race (remix)” with 21 come about? Did you ever speak to Tay-K about it?
When we had the show in Dallas, Tay-K’s manager Ezra came out and showed support. When it was time for the remix he reached out and I hopped on it.
Is it tough being around a superstar like 21? Do you sometimes feel overshadowed or does it bring opportunities?
Hell nah, anybody any way is trying to get an opportunity. And I ain’t no shadow. I’m me, you know what I’m saying? My name ain’t 21. Nudy. My name Nudy.
When did you and Pi’erre first start making music?
Like five years ago or four years ago. One of them motherfuckers.
Were you guys vibing instantly?
Shawty was fire and I was fucking with him.
Is there something you specifically look for in a beat? Because your production choices are definitely something that separates you from the pack.
I just be looking for the craziest shit. I don’t be knowing what the fuck I be looking for til I get it. I might not even be fucking with the whole beat, I be stuck on one lil noise and that shit just might be the best melody in the world. Go with the flow.
So tell me about the “Barbecue” video. Is this one of your favorites from Nudy Land?
Man, I don’t know. I like “Barbecue.” “Barbecue” is really my shit. I fuck with that “Barbecue.” Shit what’s your favorite song?
Probably “Ferris Wheel.” But where did you get these song names from like “Barbecue” and “Loaded Baked Potato?”
Shit, I don’t goddamn know shit. I just wanted to be trying something different. It be like that.
A lot of people been wondering if that collaboration project between you and Pi’erre is still happening? What’s it called, Slimierre?
Hell yeah, man. I got to, it’s only right. But we might change the name.
Where do you want this next project to take you?
I wanna go get me some Grammys and shit. Gonna go collect my Grammys, smoking on a big, big blunt for a lot of Grammys. Go up there and thank everybody that was hating on me.
Have you been watching Dragon Ball Super? I heard you’re a Dragon Ball fan.
Hell yeah I watch that. You watch that a lot? You been keeping up with the episodes?
I’m behind. You caught up?
Shit man, I’m on it, I’m on it! My boy Vegeta man, he a stand up nigga. Even though he be getting that ass whooped. But he still be standing up.
I’ve always been a Trunks fan.
Nah, nah, that nigga ain’t shit. You talking about the old episodes I’m way past that shit. You bout 50 episodes behind me. You must be watching that shit on Adult Swim, man. I done watched all them motherfuckers!