During the 2017 SXSW festival I had a chance to meet a lot of dope artist from singers, writers, producers and rappers. I met Nate Runnur at the #NowYouKnow day party and had a chance to talk to him at the last day of Fader Fort. Nate Runnur is a Philadelphia native that takes lyricism to another level with his heavy and catchy beats. Just by listening to one song like “Dem Days” produced by Nineteen94, it will have you thinking that this guy really has something to say and you would want to continue to listen to more. I believe that, that is one factor that a good rapper/artist will have, someone that draws you in and keeps you interested. I sent Nate some questions about his sound, this generation of rappers, the status of East Coast rap, his inspiration and more. As mentioned below you can follow Nate Runnur on all social media @naterunnur and his website http://www.runnitupnate.com for music and more.
1.How would you label you’re style/sound of rap?
A: Umm… I guess I would say I try to mix bass heavy/catchy beats with good lyricism but I don’t really like putting a strict label on my sound because there’s so much I still want to do with my music. I don’t really want to box myself into a category just yet.
2.Where do you get you’re inspiration from?
A: My life, my experiences, the people I’ve been around, the girls I’ve dated. All that type of stuff plays a significant roll in my creative process.
3.Who are your favorite rappers?
A: I came up listening to a lot of Wayne, Ye, Hov… Drizzy. But I like a lot of different rappers for different reasons. I guess you can say Ludacris was one of my favorite rappers too, I used to be a big fan of his flow and delivery.
4.What are your favorite albums of all time?
A: Sheeesh this is a hard one cuz I have so many. I’ll name a few though, definitely Ready to Die by Biggie, In my Mind by Pharrell, Doggy Style by Snoop, MBDTF by Kanye, Reasonable doubt, The Black Album… There’s so many more I could name.
5.How do you feel about this generations style of rap?
A: I think it’s cool. I listen to different types of rap for different reasons like if i’m at a spot pregaming for a function imma definitely throw on some Uzi, Carti, Migos, etc. I just don’t like how a lot upcoming rappers try to shoot for that same sound instead of trying to be original. But I do respect the young rappers who have something going for em whether it’s the flow, the brand, the melodies, if it’s resonating with people they must be doing something right.
6.How long have you been rapping?
A: For like 3 1/2 years now but I started taking it seriously about 2 years ago.
7.Does your style influence you’re creativity?
A: Defenitly, you can hear my swag in my songs. My lyrics let you know how I’m coming style wise (haha). I also have a merch line dropping this spring to show people the type of looks I’m into aside from my music.
8.How does your environment have an impact on your lyrics?
A: It’s everything. How and where and where I lived at certain points in my life bring truth and energy to my lyrics.
9.What you think about the status of East Coast rap?
A: I think it’s in real good place right now. You got guys like Dave East and Don Q outta NY bringing that real sound back that the game’s been missing. There’s also a heavy amount of upcoming talent right now like myself coming out the east.
10.Do you have any upcoming projects?
A: Yup, right now I’m working on a 4 track EP Called “The local lover boy experience” This one is gonna be different from anything I’ve ever done before so I’m excited about it. I’m also gearing up to start working on my Debut LP Project I think I’m gonna call “Woke up looking ahead.” I’m gonna drop that sometime next winter.
11.Where can people follow you and keep track of your music?
A: My social media handle is @naterunnur on all platforms and you can also stay updated on everything I have going on through my website: www.runnitupnate.com
12.Did you’re experience at an HBCU influence your music in any way?
A: For sure. I started rapping while I was at Howard so my experiences there sparked a lot of the subject matter that I talk about in my music. Lately I’ve been playing around with a lot of different melodies in the studio as opposed to just rapping. I was around so many beautiful women on a daily basis at school so they definitely inspire me to want to make songs with vibes I know they’ll appreciate.
13.How do you feel about the status of your music and how it’s being received to your listeners?
A: I’m really proud of my progression as an artist. I came a long way from freestyling in my homie’s basement a few years back. The reception I’ve been getting from listeners is really dope. I feel like every time I drop I gain new fans so that keeps me going, But I know I still have a long way to go.
14.I can see how it can be hard starting a rap career, how do you stay focused and committed to what you’re doing?
A: Yea it definitely gets hard at times because I know my potential and I know how major this thing I have going on can be but I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I think that keeps me going the most. There’s so many people who genuinely believe in me and I feel like I’d be letting them down if I didn’t keep focused. Plus, I enjoy making my own vibes.
15.Talk about the producers and the team that you work with…
A: So right now my brothers DJ Padwan and ace Ducket been cooking up with me behind the scenes helping me craft my own distinct sound so that soon as you hear a song drop you know it’s that runnur sound. I also been rockin with this kid named Merlexskate he’s definitely next to blow as far as producing goes. Aside from that we got the dreamteam over here, my manager Kenny is the man who makes things happen behind the scenes and my bro Hez is in charge of all my marketing and creative roll out. there’s other people that help me out but that’s my base team.
16.Are there any rappers out of Philly that you look up to?
A: Honestly, I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who made it big out of Philly at some point. Philly’s one of the hardest cities to come out of.