Self-Portrait: NAPPYNAPPA

NAPPYNAPPA’s world begins with feeling. A soulful core roars with painful potential energy; locomotive, like a spiritual engine powering a hoarse raw voice. With his dense, spiralling flow and the compelling imagery of his words, the Washington DC-based rapper and one half of MODEL HOME transforms this energy into creation. He’s a very capable scribe.

That world he’s so carefully curating is ours. The bitter irony of his distance from us, the immense abstracted pain bursting through his music is ours — it’s all too resonant. The pain of the Black existence and its strained, prolonged, agonising reach for identity is repackaged and performed as DC slam poetic speculative fiction. Sparse, industrial production both soundtracks and haunt this world in equal measure. Touching and visceral, the end result is masterful.

For his Self-Portrait mix, comprised of 100% original material, dissonant vocal samples, distorted basslines and pretty piano chords lay a perfect bed for NAPPYNAPA’S playful and euphoric introspection. This sits alongside an interview about his musical background, finding inspiration and his approach to creating.


Let’s start with an ice breaker, what’s your earliest musical memory?

I think my earliest music memory es prolly my grandmas church choir.

Did you have a particularly musical upbringing?

I presume not a musical background en a sense of classical/traditional train’ng but be’ng of african descent I believe music/rhythms come innately but ye idk music was a part of any environment I frequented.

What led you into music production and rapping?

Just waan’ng 2 hear things I think about/lyk.

Are there any producers or artists who have inspired your production?

Ye theres a billion music producers/rappers – lyricists/vocalists/instrumentalists that inspire me, too many 2 name.

Do you come in with a destination in mind before starting a jam?

I come 2 a destination as much as know’ng where I would lyk 2 go da journey es what becomes da process of mak’ng da music.

Are you the type of artist to work on a track until it’s perfect, or are you more of an impulsive creator, happy with first takes and sketches?

hmmm ets many different ways Ive constructed no way en particular all about how I may be inspired en those moments or da moments that lead up 2 da tym of creation.

How much of your material is sample based and how much is original?

I feel lyk ets 50/50 all based on who I may be work’ng with or what I may waan create with.

What’s the most important bits of kit that make a NAPPYNAPPA track?

I think my vocals/lyrics/feel’ng are da most important kits 2 a “NAPPYNAPPA” track.

This mix is comprised of 100% original NAPPYNAPPA material. Could you tell us a bit about it? Any tracks that are particularly special to you?

All da tracks on this mix are special & Id just would love 4 yah 2 dive en.

Anything on the horizon for you? Any releases we should know about?


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