Featured Article - Who is Nu' The Mayor part 1

Who is Nu’ The Mayor?
A candid chat with the man, the myth, the maverick... 

This is the first installation in a three part series with Nu’ The Mayor, CEO of GOV Life Entertainment, rap pioneer, and mogul. I was intrigued with him because he is a rapper with the business savvy of a CEO, or he is a CEO with a ridiculous flow that garnished him the title of one of the DMV’s best rappers? Either way Nu’ The Mayor is a colorful character who caught my attention.  So I set out to find out Who is Nu?
Who is Nu has been a question asked so frequently that in 2010 Nu, The Mayor released the Who is Nu? Vol.1 mixtape to try to answer this loaded question. I call it a loaded question because the answer is not a simple one by any means. Wait, let me start at the beginning so I can really introduce Niles “Nu’ The Mayor” Numan.
Niles Numan, better known to most as Nu’ The Mayor, hit the DMV {DC//MD//VA} rap scene in 1998 rapping under the moniker The Mayor. He got the streets buzzing not with his distinct flow, but with his unheard of marketing tactics. Nu’ didn’t need media to take note of him nor to beat down his door for interviews as he was interviewing himself weekly on his YouTube channel. These interviews quickly became the talk of streets for a few reasons: 1) most couldn’t believe dude was interviewing himself, 2) because most thought he was a genius for doing it, and 3) nobody outside of his camp could believe he had the balls to label himself The Mayor of the city not to mention the best rapper coming out of the city. Whatever the reason, Nu’s marketing tactic was working. The streets were buzzing with talk of The Mayor.
Riding the wave of the street buzz Nu struck while the iron was hot and dropped his debut CD, “My Life My Way.” The CD was released in 2004 on his Grown A$$ Man Ent label and produced the hit single “Whats Inyo Cup.” This single found its way into regular rotations on one of Washington, DC’s top radio stations, WPGC. The CD moved an astonishing 15,000 units, an accomplishment never heard of in the DMV by an independent label.  Nu has been quoted as calling the project his Reasonable Doubt. With the success of “My Way My Life” the streets were now roaring with chatter about Nu’ and he was quick to let all know he was just getting started.
In 2006 The Mayor released the follow up CD, “Politically Incorrect.” The 18-track offering was once again released on his Grown A$$ Man Ent label. He described it as being “mid-East (mid-East is DC/MD/VA in Nu lingo) tempo, 80 and 90 BPM, slow, funked out, perfect to get high to music. With East Coast lyrics, Southern production, and West Coast swagger.” “Politically Incorrect”” was a gallon of gas being thrown onto the fire. Once released, The Mayor was now considered undoubtly on his way to becoming one of the best rappers in the DMV.
But the question persisted, Who is Nu’? Even after founding and becoming the CEO of GOV (G.ame OV) Life Entertainment, a company that specializes in marketing and branding management while functioning as a record label, as well as releasing two highly successful projects, Niles Numan, now known as Nu’ The Mayor, on March 10, 2010 released the first of three mixtapes titled “Who Is Nu’?” Vol. 1 hosted by the legendary DJ Quicksilva. Nu’ called it “the soundtrack to life” as he believed it had a song for every occasion or situation life threw at you. He felt the project covered all bases and had something for everyone. It produced the #1 single that kept the DMV partying, “Whole Time.” It also gave us the “Where They Do That At remix” that had a bevy of top DMV rappers blessing the track with killer verses. Coming off the success of Vol. 1, on May 25, 2010 he released Vol. 2 which picked up where Vol. 1 left off. Vol. 2 kept the party going and once again contained something for everyone.  Finally, on Election Day, November 2, 2010, he released the third and final mixtape in the series “Who is Nu’? Vol. 3” once again hosted DJ Quicksilva and filled with hit after hit! It was definitely a must have project that closed out the series on a strong high note.
So now that Nu’ The Mayor released not one mixtape, but three mixtapes, to answer the question Who is Nu’? that was the end of it right? Wrong! The three part series only created more questions of who Nu’ The Mayor is, what his secret to success is, how to describe is flow, and is he a rapper or a CEO? With all these questions swarming I thought it fitting to sit down with the man himself and finally get some answers.
On October 26, 2011 right on the heels of the release of his current project, “Mayor Back”, I caught up with Nu’ The Mayor to discuss the short lived merger of the DMV powers know as The Celtics, the severing of his ties with RaRa The 1st Lady, his body of work, and his much anticipated upcoming project “No Brakes.”
On August 18, 2011 the DMV awoke to news of a major power move by arguably 3 of the area’s best rappers, Nu’ The Mayor, RAtheMC, and Bear Witnez, joining forces under GOV Life forming what they had named The Celtics.  Many celebrated the merger but there were few that felt strongly that this merger couldn’t, nor would it last. By lunch, RAtheMC was tweeting that the press release was false and she was not in fact signed to the GOV Life label. This was swiftly followed by Bear Witnez denouncing the union. The Celtics had been formed and demolished all before the evening news. Rumors and speculation began to swirl regarding what some reported as Nu’ The Mayor’s overzealous press release. Nu’ has remained tight lipped on the situation only saying he wishes both RAtheMC and Bear Witnez nothing but the best, as well as much success on their future ventures. He holds neither grudges nor ill will. He understands it’s all business and that the powers that be threatened to make it difficult for those involved in The Celtics if they didn’t disband. When asked what, if any, impact did these situations have on the upcoming release, “No Brakes”, Nu’ was quick to say “it had absolutely no effect on “No Brakes.” I actually attempted to move up the release date and change the title of the CD to address their departure, and then decided to just do me. So I’m back on my No Brakes shit.” That was all he said with a calm even disposition. It was as if the major disappointment was an actual victory for Nu’ and his GOV Life movement.
Feeling he was blowing smoke, I asked directly what happened with the RAtheMC / Bear Witness situation.  With a smirk he looked at me and said “I get this question every interview. It was a great idea. We could have made history, instead we all quit.” [laughs] Then ask “what was the last thing you heard from either of them?” Before I could answer he continued “RIP the Celtics!” [laughs] “Now we [GOV Life] gonna do it Mavericks style… role players that make the team the superstar. It is the life! We are on our Patriots shit! Even though I have not spoken to either of them in months He asks [shrugging] “What is the answer everybody wants?” I didn’t even bother to answer because he had begun to speak again as if to imply that was a rhetorical question. “I am not going to dog them out… I’m not gonna say they didn’t shit on me. [shakes head] It is what it is.”
Since we were discussing departures and severed ties I thought I’d ask about RaRa The 1st Lady’s noticeable absence from GOV Life. Nu’ stated first and foremost he wishes nothing but success for her, yet “GOV Life does music for the passion not for popularity and once the music is no longer the priority that becomes a problem that frustrates me. So I felt it best to sever ties and go our separate ways.”  With all the in-and-out, here today gone tomorrow artists, I asked Nu’ The Mayor would he be looking to add any new talent to his GOV Life roster any time soon. His answer was no. The current roster of CHAOS the Rapper, Mr. Chainsaw, Shannon Crystal, Slashwaterboy (a very talented producer), COO Blind, and himself, there will be no further additions. This roster is known as the Mavericks, a team of hard workers that play their position within the music industry.
With the rumors of outside meddling destroying the Celtics, it is not hard to see Nu’ The Mayor has just as many haters as he does fans, so I asked him if he enjoyed being the guy with the target on his back? The grin that grew on his faced mirrored a kid on Christmas day. “Yeah I’m used to the hate. I kill them with success. It is somebody reading this right now with they face all frowned up… they think I’m talking about them now. [laughs] But I have so many haters I’m probably NOT talking about they unimportant ass… I enjoy their discomfort though. Fuck em… see me if it’s like that.”
While we were still discussing rumors I asked about the release date for “No Brakes” being pushed back. I asked if the date was pushed back to avoid competition or to ensure it did the numbers he expected? “I pushed backed “No Brakes” because it was becoming a CD all about how niggaz hate on me and how I don’t give a fuck about them [laughs]. It was not what my life’s work should be totally based on so I revisited some original concepts from the “No Brakes” CD and just decided to go with it. Having [the] “D.amage C.ontrol” CD was bad…the fact I thought I had to do damage control spoke to something I don’t agree with. I don’t feel competitive with DMV artists. I’m competing with Jay-Z and won’t allow myself to think any other way.”
With his announcement of such an accomplished competitor, I decided to switch our focus to what matters the most, the music. I wanted to know his writing process, what he thought about his body of work, and if he thought “No Brakes” was his greatest work to date. “My writing process is simple. I usually wake up Saturday after a crazy night and write about it. I be so busy I don’t write often. If something grabs me I will get a bottle [of liquor to] drink and listen to beats. I pick beats that convey the emotion I’m speaking to. The beat either speaks to a concept in my mind, a memory, a feeling, or a thought. I never pick the “hit” record if I don’t FEEL it.  Then I write. Most of my songs I was drunk when I wrote em.”  Do you feel pressure to deliver “hits”? “Yes I do. Not because anyone that left or was dropped but because I have been a local celebrity. I have done everything on the bottom level that I can do. I have to get to another level of relevance or its no point doing commercial music.”
Sounds like he has matured quite a bit since his 2004 debut CD so I had to know how he had grown between projects. “I was doing club anthems because all I was doing was getting drunk and partying at clubs. Now I’m doing things a little differently so my music reflects that. It’s more mature I’ll say. I look at people differently. I know I can’t please everybody and I also know I don’t give a fuck about how people feel. Love me or hate me,… fuckBOUTyou!”
There is lots of talk about “No Brakes” being Nu’ The Mayor’s best work to date, from the content to the production, this will be his crown jewel. I was curious if he would agree and I was surprised when he did. “Without question this is my most polished and commercial work to date. Lyrically it’s up there. Musically it’s up there. The [distinction] comes because I’m going to win nationally with this one [nods his head as if he is agreeing with himself]. I know this. “No Brakes” is real life situations put to real instrumentation, and a glimpse of the fantasy that we all want to live. It’s going to tell my story. It might sound corny, but it will. I have been through a lot. I have overcome a lot and I’m here. I’m not stopping for no one or no thing… No Brakes! Its inspirational, freaky, fun, and unapologetic. At the same time it’s a good riding CD… a good CD to clean the house to.”
It’s fitting we end this article here and pick up the second of three article as the release date gets closer. Nu’ The Mayor plans to release “No Brakes” on his birthday, April 17, 2012. To give us a little taste, he released “Gordon Gartrell” along with the B side track “The Nigga That I Am” until “No Brakes” drops. (A little side note: Gordon Gartrell, which is quickly becoming synonymous with Nu’ The Mayor, derives from the episode of The Cosby Show when Theo Huxtable goes out and spends an excessive amount of money for a shirt made by, yup you guessed it ,Gordon Gartrell. Every since that episode Nu’ The Mayor associated Gordon Gartrell with “the best shit ever.”)
Stay tuned for part two of this three part series on Nu’ The Mayor where we will delve more into the making of “No Brakes,” the business of running a wildly successful corporation, the marketing of “No Brakes,” and get better acquainted with the GOV Life roster.
~misfit movement let’s make it count!!!
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