NYCHE

BRONX, NEW YORK | NYCHE

BRONX, NEW YORK | NYCHE

INTERVIEW: TERRELL “REALIFE” BLACK [@REALIFEVMG]

VALIDATED: BEING RAISED IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF HIP-HOP, THE SOUTH BRONX, WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP CULTURE?

NYCHE: MY OLDER BROTHER DJ, WOULD WATCH VIDEO MUSIC BOX AND HAVE ME RIGHT NEXT TO HIM, THIS WAS WHEN I WAS A BABY PROBABLY ABOUT 5 YEARS OLD. WE WERE LIVING IN FOREST PROJECTS AT THE TIME. I REMEMBER HE WOULD TAKE ME TO GET HAIR CUTS WITH HIM, HIGH TOPS AT THAT AND I EVEN HAD A PONY TALE IN THE BACK. LOL HE WOULD CARRY ONE OF THOSE THROWBACK BOOM BOXES. IN THOSE DAYS EVERYTHING WAS HIP-HOP FROM THE WAY YOU SPOKE TO THE WAY YOU DRESSED. I GUESS IT WAS BEING PROGRAMED INTO ME FROM A YOUNG AGE WITHOUT ME EVEN KNOWING.


VALIDATED: YOU GREW UP IN A SINGLE PARENT HOUSEHOLD WITH YOUR OLDER BROTHER AND YOUNGER SISTER. YOU FOUND YOUR VOICE THROUGH WRITING POETRY WHICH LATER EVOLVED INTO HIP-HOP MUSIC. CAN YOU RECALL THE MOMENT THAT SPARKED THE TRANSITION FROM WRITING POETRY TO WRITING RAPS?

NYCHE: YES I CAN, IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE I REMEMBER IT CLEAR AS DAY. MY BROTHER DJ AND COUSINS SLEEPY AND FABU WERE WRITING RAPS PLAYING AROUND, SO I DECIDED I WAS GONNA TRY. I STILL REMEMBER THE VERSE, I EVEN HAD A RAP NAME, THE KEY MASTER. LMAO I WAS ABOUT 6 OR 7, THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED I ACTUALLY ENJOYED PLAYING WITH WORDS AND AT THAT AGE I WAS VERY GIFTED WITH WORDS.


VALIDATED: MUSIC RUNS IN YOUR FAMILY, WHAT ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE DO YOU FEEL THAT'S HAD ON THE MUSIC YOU CREATE?

NYCHE: I HAD A LOT OF ADVANTAGES, MY MOM WOULD ALWAYS CORRECT ME IF I WAS SINGING A SONG AND WENT OFF KEY, WE HAD A GRAND PIANO IN OUR LIVING ROOM. I HAD A OLDER COUSIN NAMED O.B WHO ACTUALLY WAS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS. HE WAS A RAPPER SO HE SHOWED ME HOW TO BECOME A COMPLETE ARTIST AS FAR AS LEARNING TO PRODUCE, PERFORMING AND TEACHING ME HOW TO PROTECT MYSELF AS FAR AS COPYRIGHTS, PUBLISHING, ETC. I WAS ALWAYS WELL INFORMED AND THAT HELPED, BUT IT ALSO MADE IT HARD FOR ME WHEN I BEGAN TO CLIMB THE LADDER. PEOPLE FELT I WAS TOO INFORMED AND IN SOME CASES DIDN'T WANT TO WORK WITH ME.


VALIDATED: WAS THERE ANY PARTICULAR SONG OR ARTIST THAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE HIP-HOP?

NYCHE: I WAS INFLUENCED BY A LOT OF ARTIST MOSTLY TUPAC, JAY Z AND DMX IN THE 90'S, BUT NONE OF THEM REALLY MADE ME WANT TO BE A RAPPER. I WANTED TO BECOME A RAPPER BECAUSE I FELT I WAS REALLY GOOD AT IT AND IT WOULD BE OUR WAY OUT THE STRUGGLE. ME AND MY COUSIN FABU WOULD RECORD THROUGH HEADPHONES ON HIS RADIO AND MAKE FAKE ALBUM COVERS WITH SONG LISTINGS. LOL WHAT DROVE ME WAS THE FEELING I GOT FROM MUSIC. I MEAN I CAN LITERALLY REMEMBER EVERY VITAL MOMENT IN MY LIFE WHEN I HEAR SPECIFIC SONGS. I REALLY HAVE A PASSION FOR MUSIC THAT GOES BEYOND ME WANTING TO BE A RAPPER BUT TO BE HONEST I LISTEN TO R&B MORE THAN I DO HIP HOP. HIP HOP IS JUST THE ART I CHOSE TO PRESENT MY CRAFT. IT'S REALLY JUST ABOUT MUSIC.


VALIDATED: IN 2006 YOU WERE INTRODUCED TO FAT JOE AND YOU TWO ENDED UP DOING A COUPLE OF RECORDS TOGETHER, "CRIME CONNECTION" AND "NIGGAS GET KILLED FOR LESS". WHAT DID YOU LEARN MOST FROM THE EXPERIENCE AND WHAT EFFECT DID IT HAVE ON YOUR CAREER?

NYCHE: SHOUT OUT TO MY BOY WHITE JOEY FOR THIS ONE, I NEVER REALLY GOT TO TELL HIM THANK YOU. I'LL NEVER FORGET THE DAY I GOT ON THE PHONE WITH FAT JOE, IT WAS UNREAL. EVEN THOUGH ME AND FAT JOE COME FROM THE SAME PROJECTS I WAS VERY FAMILIAR WITH HIM, BUT ACTUALLY TALKING TO HIM WAS AMAZING. I WAS ABOUT 20-21 YEARS OLD. HE TOOK ME EVERYWHERE WITH HIM. HE GOT ME ON B.E.T., THE "MY BLOCK" SEGMENT WITH DJ MADD LINX AND I SPIT A FREESTYLE THAT CREATED SHOCK WAVES THROUGH THE BRONX. LOL IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF IT ALL. HE INTRODUCED ME TO RUSSELL SIMMONS AND KIMORA LEE SIMMONS AT THEIR BABY PHAT EVENT. I ALSO WAS THERE AT REMY MA'S "CONCEITED" VIDEO SHOOT. I MET JIM JONES AND NEYO, ETC. AFTER IT ALL WAS SAID AND DONE WE WERE RECORDING IN BUCK WILDS STUDIO IN THE BRONX. I LEARNED A LOT IN THAT MONTHS TIME. HE TOOK A STRONG LIKING TO ME AND WOULD FEATURE ME ON NUMEROUS RECORDS, IT WOULD JUST BE ME HIM AND THE ENGINEER WORKING. HE WAS PROFESSIONAL, HE DIDN'T DRINK OR SMOKE, I'M GRATEFUL FOR WHAT HE DID FOR ME. WE RELEASED TWO RECORDS ONE PRODUCED BY ALCHEMIST CALLED "CRIME CONNECTION" AND ONE PRODUCED BY L. V CALLED "NIGGAS GET KILLED FOR LESS". THE CRAZY THING IS RECENTLY I FOUND OUT HE RE-RECORDED THE RECORD, TOOK ME OFF AND FEATURED JOEL ORTIZ ON IT. NOT TOO SURE HOW THAT RELATIONSHIP FELL APART BUT I'M GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED.


VALIDATED: IN 2011 YOU RELEASED "RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT", FEATURING JADAKISS AND RELEASED THE MUSIC VIDEO SHOT BY DIRECTOR MILLS MILLER, WHICH WAS FEATURED ON A LOT OF TOP MUSIC BLOGS, INCLUDING XXL MAGAZINE. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE RESPONSE TO THE RECORD/VIDEO?

NYCHE: OKAY SHOUT OUT TO JADAKISS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, HE WAS GENUINE, COOL AS HELL AND FUNNY AS HELL. I GREW UP LISTENING TO JADAKISS, HIM AND CAMRON INFLUENCED MY MUSIC A LOT. AND THE RECORD "RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT" WAS THE SINGLE OFF OF MY 2011 MIXTAPE "FALLING UP" WHICH WAS HOSTED BY DJ GREEN LANTERN.


VALIDATED: DID YOU EXPECT IT TO GET THE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION THAT IT DID?

NYCHE: TO BE HONEST IT WASN'T MY FAVORITE RECORD ON THE PROJECT BUT IT WAS THE ONE TO PUSH. IT HAD A SPECIAL IT FACTOR AT THE TIME. IT GOT MORE LOVE THAN I EXPECTED. AND ONCE THE VIDEO WAS SHOT BY MY BOY MILLS MILLER (BIG SHOUT OUT TO HIM WITH HIS SUCCESS ON THE LIL WAYNE UPROAR VIDEO.), EVERYONE SUPPORTED. I HAD A HUGE VIDEO SHOOT, BIGGEST ONE I EVER HAD. IT WAS PLACED ON MTV JAMS, IT WAS ON DEMAND ON CABLE, IT JUST DID OVERALL GREAT AND I HAD NO LABEL BEHIND ME JUST GREAT MUSIC AND STRONG CAMPAIGNING. DON'T GET ME WRONG I GOT A LOT OF HATE AS WELL, PEOPLE WERE MAD. LOL I FEEL LIKE OTHER ARTISTS KNEW OF ME AND DIDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW I JUST LEAP FROGGED OVER THEM. LOL THEY ALL HAD DEALS AND I HAD MY TALENT, MY TEAM AND GREAT MUSIC. IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO GET FEATURES BY OTHER UP AND COMING ARTISTS. SMH I STAYED HUMBLE, KEPT IT MOVING AND STILL WENT ON TO GET FEATURES FROM ARTIST THAT WERE WELL KNOWN AND SOME LEGENDARY.

VALIDATED: IN 2012 YOU RELEASED THE SINGLE 'ZIPLOCK' FEATURING CAM'RON AND FRED THE GODSON. HOW DID THE ARTIST FEATURES FOR THE RECORD COME ABOUT? WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE CAM'RON AND FRED THE GODSON FOR THE RECORD?

NYCHE: SHOUT OUT TO KILLA CAM AND FRED THE GOD ON THE "ZIPLOCK" FEATURE. FRED IS FROM THE HOOD, WE BOTH WERE FAMILIAR WITH EACH OTHER. WE NEVER HUNG OUT OR NOTHING BUT WE WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOLS, I'M HAPPY FOR ALL OF HIS SUCCESS. CAMRON IS A LEGEND, I HAD ALL OF HIS ALBUMS. MY FAVORITE SONG FROM HIM WAS "WHAT DO I GOTTA LIVE FOR". I GREW UP ON 163RD AND KELLY INTERVAL AVE. AND HAD A CONTACT NAMED REEM WHO WAS APART OF DIPSET. MY BEST FRIEND AND MANAGER AT THE TIME K-STACKS REACHED OUT AND MADE IT HAPPEN. I RECORDED A SONG NAMED "ZIPLOCK" PRODUCED BY ONE OF MY PRODUCERS FROM JAPAN NAMED KUT, AND WE FELT IT WAS ONLY RIGHT TO GET CAM ON IT. I ASKED AND HE MADE IT HAPPEN, SIMPLE AS THAT. THEN WE ROLLED OUT TO FRED'S SPOT OUT IN THE BRONX AND HE HOPED ON IT TOO, HISTORY WAS MADE. IT WAS UNREAL KNOWING THAT I HAD A TRACK WITH CAMRON ON IT. LOL I WAS PILING UP FEATURES, DOING SONGS WITH ARTIST I USED TO WANNA BE.


VALIDATED: WITH ALL THE UPS AND DOWNS DEALING WITH LABELS THAT WOULDN'T DELIVERING THE WAY YOU FELT NEEDED, YOU DECIDED TO GO INDEPENDENT AND PUSH YOUR MUSIC AND BRAND THROUGH VIRAL DISTRIBUTION AND PARTNERED WITH SOME WELL KNOWN DISTRIBUTOR'S. A LOT OF ARTISTS WOULD'VE GIVEN UP ON PURSUING THERE MUSICAL DREAM AFTER A SETBACK OR TWO BUT YOU'VE STUCK WITH IT. WHAT'S KEPT YOU FOCUSED OVER THE YEARS AMONGST THE SETBACKS?

NYCHE: MAN, I JUST STAY GROUNDED. I ALWAYS HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF OF WHY I GOT INTO THIS. IT WAS THE LOVE, THE FEELING AND THE POSSIBILITY OF IT BEING THE THING THAT CHANGES MY LIFE FOR THE BETTER. IF I NEVER MAKE A MILLION AT LEAST I TRIED, I NEVER GOT INTO THIS THINKING ABOUT FAME OR GLAMOUR. I WAS JUST A SOUTH BRONX BOY WITH DREAMS OF TAKING HIS FAMILY OUT THE STRUGGLE. I ACCOMPLISHED MORE THEN MOST CAN SAY THEY DID OR EVEN DREAMED OF DOING. I'VE BEEN AROUND THESE ARTISTS AND PRODUCERS AND MOST OF THEM AREN'T REALLY HAPPY. YOU WOULD THINK THEY'D BE HAPPY BUT IT'S NOT ALWAYS LIKE THAT, HOWEVER THE CARDS PLAY OUT IS HOW THEY PLAY OUT. I STILL HAVE MY FAMILY, MY WIFE, MY KID AND MY TALENTS. THESE LABELS HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS. AND THESE DAYS IT'S NOT THE SAME, THAT FEELING ISN'T REALLY THERE IN THE MUSIC. I'M NOT ONE TO SAY HIP HOP WASN'T SUPPOSED TO CHANGE. I CHANGED WITH IT, EVERYTHING EVOLVES BUT WHERE IS THE LOVE? I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND IT ANYMORE. I FIND MYSELF LISTENING TO THE OLD S*** ALOT. LOL


VALIDATED: YOU RECENTLY DROPPED YOUR FIRST OFFICIAL ALBUM "CLAIRVOYANT" ON MARCH 8TH. WHAT CAN HIP-HOP FANS EXPECT FROM THE ALBUM?

NYCHE: "CLAIRVOYANT" IS MY FIRST OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASED BY ME WITH NO OUTSIDE HELP OR INFLUENCE, I DID THE ARTWORK, THE MIXING, THE CAMPAIGNING STRATEGY, ETC. IT'S DOING REALLY GOOD. MY STREAMS ARE RIDICULOUSLY PILING AS WELL AS MY DOWNLOADS AND PURCHASES. I TEAMED UP WITH A GREAT COMPANY FOR THE DISTRIBUTION. I'M HAPPY ABOUT IT. IT'S ALL ABOUT PASSION LIKE I SAID, IT FEELS LIKE THE EARLY 2000'S BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE NOW. THE PLAN IS TO GET THE NUMBERS UP AND THEN GET THE VIDEOS SHOT. I'M GOING TO PUSH THIS S*** UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF. A LOT OF ARTIST RELEASE PROJECTS AND KEEP IT MOVING, YOU HAVE TO PUSH YOUR PRODUCT OR ELSE WHAT WAS IT ALL FOR.


VALIDATED: WHICH PRODUCERS DID YOU WORK WITH ON THE PROJECT?

NYCHE: MY COUSIN RUNNA JAY IS A UP AND COMING PRODUCER OUT IN GEORGIA, HIS STYLE IS TRAPPY. THIS IS THE TRAP ERA AND I CAN HONESTLY SAY HE'S AHEAD OF THE CURVE. HIS SOUND IS VERY DISTINCTIVE, HE HAS A GREAT TRADEMARK SOUND. HE WILL MAKE NOISE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. BREEZY WAS ONE OF MY LABEL MATES AND ARTISTS. WE MET BACK IN LIKE 2005-2006, HE WAS MORE LIKE A BROTHER TO ME. HE BASICALLY LIVED WITH US AND HELPED ME BUILD THIS WHOLE THING. HE'S BEEN IN AND OUT OF PRISON, BUT HE'S HOME NOW AND SHIFTED HIS FOCUS FROM RAPPER TO PRODUCER. BECAUSE WE'VE WORKED SO CLOSE TOGETHER FOR SO LONG WE MESH PERFECTLY. HE PRODUCED TRACK NUMBER 2 "DEJAVU" ON THE ALBUM. SHOUT OUT TO MY BRO BREEZY. AND THEN THERE'S MY BOY SYER, HE'S A BEAST, HIS MUSIC IS SOULFUL YET TRAPPY AND THIS IS OUR FIRST VENTURE TOGETHER OF MANY MORE TO COME. THERE WERE OTHER PRODUCERS ON THE ALBUM BUT THE SONGS WERE PULLED AND WILL BE PLACED ON MY FUTURE PROJECTS, LIKE MY BOY DOUBLE TRAX AND LOUNATIK.


VALIDATED: WHAT ARTISTS FEATURES CAN WE EXPECT?

NYCHE: I KEPT THIS ALBUM CLOSED IN I DIDN'T WANT ANY FEATURES REALLY. PEOPLE ALWAYS EXPECT ME TO HAVE MAJOR FEATURES BECAUSE IN MOST OF MY PROJECTS I DO. BUT THIS PROJECT HERE JUST HIT TOO CLOSE TO HOME. I ONLY FEATURED MY COUSIN RUNNA JAY ON A HOOK AND MY WIFE ON A TRACK CALLED "KOOLER". I WANTED THE FOCUS TO BE ON ME AND ONLY ME.


VALIDATED: WHAT'S THE LEAD SINGLE FROM THE ALBUM?

NYCHE: BEING THAT THIS IS THE DIGITAL ERA WE HAVE OUR ADVANTAGES. WE'RE ABLE TO PRESENT OUR MUSIC AND GET DIRECT FEEDBACK VIA SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS. I PLAN TO SEE WHAT SONGS DO THE BEST AND GET VIDEOS SHOT FOR THOSE SPECIFIC SONGS AND THEN REPACKAGE THEM AS SINGLES AND PUSH DIRECTLY TO THE BLOGS. OF COURSE I STILL HAVE MY FAVORITES THO, "GETAWAY", "CALL IT" AND "RAMEN NOODLE".


VALIDATED: HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU'VE GROWN AS AN ARTIST SINCE YOUR FIRST MAJOR FEATURE WITH FAT JOE IN 2006?

NYCHE: I'VE GROWN A LOT SINCE 2006, BACK THEN IT WAS MORE ABOUT NOT KNOWING AND LEARNING, NOW IT'S ABOUT DISPLAYING WHAT I'VE LEARNED. I'M DEFINITELY 10 TIMES BETTER THAN BEFORE IN EVERY WAY. YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT AND DETERMINED TO SUCCEED IN THIS GAME. ALSO YOU CAN'T BURN BRIDGES, THIS INDUSTRY IS SMALL BRO, EVERYBODY KNOWS EACH OTHER. AND MAINLY, YOU CAN'T TRY TO BRING EVERYBODY WITH YOU, I TRIED THAT AND IT HURT MY CAREER IN WAYS THAT I CAN'T EVEN EXPLAIN. FIRST YOU GOTTA GET IN, THEN YOU PULL IN YOUR PEOPLE'S. I SOMETIMES WONDER IF THAT WAS THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK WHEN I WAS WORKING WITH FAT JOE.


VALIDATED: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM NYCHE FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2019?

NYCHE: TO BE HONEST YO, I DON'T KNOW. I JUST GO WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. I'M LIKE A ROLLING STONE IN THIS S***. WHATEVER DOORS PRESENT A OPENING, I'LL PEAK IN AND IF IT SUITS ME I'LL TRY TO GET IN WHERE I FIT IN. BUT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE MUSIC.


VALIDATED: WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET?

NYCHE: YOU CAN GO TO MY WEBSITE NYCHE247.COM OR FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER AT NYCHE247. I CAN'T STAND FACEBOOK. LOL