Interviewed by Big Momma ‘Miz’
Hip Hop Forum digital magazine’s Big Momma ‘Miz’ meets half of the quintessential Philly ‘power couple’ – NTG – who speaks about her latest release ‘I’m real’ and recent collaborations with indie artists from Russia, Africa, California, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana .. and, of course (bringing it back home) Philadelphia.
HHF: So how’d ya day go today?
NTG: Good, ya know, always working & promoting, how about yaself?
HHF: That’s wassup, today was a chill day for me. I got a lot of work done yesterday, so we just did some family stuff today.
NTG: That’s always good
HHF: Yup, soooo getting right into it, tell me a little bit about NTG the artist, the MC, the DJ!
NTG: OK, well actually it’s me & my husband, we do our thing together.
HHF: That’s’ wassup!
NTG: Thank you! Yeah it’s important to us, we wanna represent black unity, showing positive examples of couples together, in love, putting out feel good music, and other music representing how I’m feeling at the time, but for the most part we try to keep it positive.
HHF: I like that, I like that, I was watching your latest video ‘I’m Real’, I was kinda digging that part in the hook, “recognize when you talking to a G” I know that’s wassup!!
NTG: I appreciate that, and thank you for checking it out. I definitely been pushing that jawn hard, its actually in the charts right now, we check up on it every day, because as an artist you want to make sure you stay up on promotion and see where you are as far as digital tracking for radio airplay. Right now, were #35 for independent artist out of the top 100, for any genre. For the majors, were standing at #191, that’s with Drake, Rihanna and all of them, so were pretty proud.
HHF: As you should be, that’s your hard work paying off.
NTG: Yeah we’re trying, it’s a lot, but we’re trying.
HHF: That’s good! Can you tell me what’s message behind the song ‘I’m Real’, what are you trying to say?
NTG: That song is a feel good song, it’s a song that you put on when you tired of everybody putting you down, putting you in a box, you just wanna be like, look, this is who I am; I’m real, I know how to go out and get it if I want it and I can do what I wanna do, having confidence in yourself. Also, it’s just about having fun.
HHF: That’s good, you said the message is for those putting you down, do you encounter that a lot in this industry? If so, how do you deal with it?
NTG: (scoffs) YES! Coming up as a kid, I always considered myself standing up for the underdog, the ones that weren’t picked in the game’s first, or picked for anything, so I’m saying; if I can do it; you can do it. Its ways to feel good about yourself without selling your body and selling your soul. That’s the message that we’re tryna represent.
HHF: Alrighty! So what do you think you are coming to the game with?
NTG: (pauses for a sec) Aww man, it’s a lot. It’s definitely more than just tryna make money off of music. I mean everybody wants to be successful, but my husband and I want to be a good examples. We don’t have children, but I have a little brother, nieces, nephews, & lil cousins, so at the end of the day I want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about what I’m doing and my message. A lot of music today is detrimental to our youth, and I hate to see the kids getting caught up in a lot of crap believing what they see and hear is real, and it’s really not, the artists are just doing it for the money and since they don’t know that, they try to go out and emulate what they see in the videos and what not, so we try to put out a different message without the drugs and guns.
HHF: Right, I noticed that. So what would be your message to people about supporting local indies, I like the billboard challenge that you had, how did that go?
NTG: I appreciate it, it’s still going, and it’s ongoing. She laughs and says, a lot of people have been sending me fake pictures, you’d be surprised. Even when you’re giving away, it’s very hard to get support. I would say it’s very important to support local artists, indie artist in general. When Beyonce drops an album, everybody goes out and grabs it, but if ya cousin, sister or friend drops an album, they’re like whatever, I’ll get the bootleg, it’s important to support the people that you know so they can be successful!
HHF: I always wondered why that was, I see that a lot too. People seem slow to support you on the indie level, but let you blow up and be on that Rihanna & Beyonce status, they’ll swear they was riding with you the whole time.
NTG: Yeah, that’s why a lot of celebrities cut people off because they aren’t grass roots. If you’re not shooting with me in the gym, why should you be chilling on the yacht with me?
HHF: Real talk, that’s right.
NTG: Support! it can help people that have different messages come out, the reason why we have so many people with the same kind of music is because they are getting support from the industry, and the industry wants to degrade us, especially black people, they want to make it look like the women are loose and the men look like drug dealers, they don’t want you to see the positive side of hip hop, or the positive side of our music period! So you gotta support those local people that are trying to be positive, it’s important.
HHF: I definitely get that, do you do a lot of collaborations with other indie artists?
NTG: Absolutely! We have collaborated with people from Russia, Africa, California, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Philadelphia which is where I’m from, my husband Draw is from Chester, and we’ve collaborated with artists all over, to me it’s the best thing because you can blend your talents together, and build new fans, it’s really a good mix.
HHF: What are some big names that you can say you’ve had the honor to work with?
NTG: O.G. Tweed Cadillac (Penthouse Playas Clique) he was under ruthless records back in the day, he knew Tupac, he does radio now, kinda moved past the rapping part, now helping other artists. We did a performance with one of the pioneers of hiphop; Curtis Blow, and that was really exciting, we actually got to spit with him, everybody was digging it, and from there we kept doing shows and performances trying to build and expand to let people know who we are.
HHF: Off the subject but on the subject, as a black woman what’s your opinion about what’s happening today with the police and our men, as quiet as its kept, the attacks on us as black women are starting to surface now, what’s your opinion if you have one?
NTG: I totally do! It’s hard, because every day you just don’t know what’s going to happen because you don’t feel safe. I don’t’ want to get to deep because I may seem a militant, but the bottom line is; I believe as a race we really have to unify, and if we don’t we’re in so much trouble because it’s obvious these officers aren’t getting any type of punishment for their actions, so the only way we can sustain and survive as a culture is if we start putting the dollars back into our communities, making our own businesses, supporting and uniting with each other otherwise were gonna be extinct. It’s so important to support black businesses and grow our community. Also, when you see another brother or sister, stop being mean and start speaking to one another so we can gain that connection that our ancestors once had before they were invaded. Unity is definitely needed in this culture.
HHF: I agree to the fullest, kill that crabs in the barrel mentality…
MOB OUT ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS LADIES FIRST VOL. 2, what’s that about?
NTG: That was a CD that I hosted, shout out to MOB OUT, they have me DJ different cd’s for them, and ladies first is important to me because it’s an all-female mixtape, so it was great to mix it down with females from all over the world. Currently I’m working on a compilation with artists from all 50 states, so everybody can get the same type of exposure and radio play as the major artists but on an indie level. That’s also a goal.
HHF: Tell me about SFR Radio.
NTG: That’s the radio station that I D.J. for, shout out to DJ Ize & the whole crew. Also, I want to plug in the Fathers Stepin Up Organization, they’re talking about fathers taking care of their kids and doing the right things, so if anybody wants to donate make sure you hit up SFR RADIO 24/7, a very good cause.
HHF: Are there any last words, message or motto that you wanna have on print?
NTG: Power couple; NTG we wanna represent something different and new. We want it to be about real hip hop, not to discount anybody else’s music, but I do think we are over saturated with the same sound, so we want to be that refreshing music that makes people feel good again, for every age and everybody. So make sure y’all stay updated with what’s up with us, it’s so much going on, there’s a show on 8-18-16, Coast 2 Coast Philly edition, performing our new single ‘I’m Real’, it’s on hiphopDX, allhiphop, getyourbuzz, probably over 100 sites. It’s pushing up the charts, grab it off of iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal. Just keep supporting us and support your local artists, and we appreciate all of the support.
HHF: Okay! Well Natalie it was certainly a pleasure talking you!
NTG: Thank you for calling it was a great interview, I like the questions, gave me a chance to talk some.