Ever since he announced that he had twins on the way, Nasty C has captured the attention of music fans across the world (yes, the world) in anticipation of the release of his sophomore album, Strings and Bling.
Following it's release, many were surprised by the maturity in his sound, the honesty of his lyrical content and the length of the project which almost felt like a double-disc project.
The title - 'Strings and Bling' - refers to the two moods encapsulated by the album; reflective romance juxtaposed with the brazen braggadociousness often embodied by rap.
On the one side, we have a more emotionally vulnerable Nasty, speaking to his partner and reflecting on their relationship thus far in songs such as Everything (Feat. Kaien Cruz), SMA (Feat. Rowlene) and Mrs. Me. On the other side, we have a more grown-up version of the Nasty C we have come to know - misogynistic, braggadocious and straddling the line between confidence and insecurity - on songs such as King, Legendary and No Respect.
We recently sat down with Nasty to get a better understanding of his thinking and to find out what's next for the rapper who has been doing the promotional rounds for his album over the past few weeks. One of the most noticeable things about Nasty is that he has grown a little.
He is also expanding on the things he chooses to speak about, including being more open about some of the highs and lows of his relationship with his girlfriend, Sam, his goals and ambitions and his Zulu heritage.
Despite the very brief use of Zulu in his introductory track, rapping in Zulu is something he doesn't feel he needs to do.
"I probably could do it justice, but I feel like, if I do that, it'll distract people so much from what I'm saying and what I'm trying to send across. They'd just be focused on, "Oh, he's rapping this ... It's really great." I don't want you to miss what i'm saying here. I don't want it to distract you," said Nasty to Okay Africa's Sabo Kpade.
He went on to add that he feels as though rapping in Zulu is limiting as he wishes to have his music played far and wide. In addition, he says it's all he speaks in his downtime.
I then asked what his intention with the messaging of this album was, to which he responded, "it's not something that I thought about when making the album but it's something that I discovered and kind of like a spirit I kept and that's being mindful... and having extreme goals without being afraid of what people might say about them."
Long-time fans of the rapper have stated that they are starting to worry that the youngster no longer has a story to tell but at the tender age of 21, can you really blame him?
"I'd say they're deaf! I don't know if they're deaf or they're not really listening..." said the rapper in response to this.
Nasty is an avid fan of learning something about rap or making music from the rappers he listens to but when asked what other learners can learn from Strings and Bling, he said "just... being bold... and being unapologetic, in all the things that you stand for, your purpose, your goals."
He went on to add, "people need to learn that self-confidence is 100% free, you don't need anybody to give it to you, you don't need validation in order to get it."
In the lead up to this project, Nasty says he did a lot of reading and that a lot of the material he read helped shift both his perspective and his mindset. He also revealed that he's considering writing a book of his own.
"... that's a long-term project, I still need to experience a lot. I could write a book right now but then it would have to have a continuation."
'Strings and Bling' is available on all major digital platforms. Get it here.
What to read next: Nasty C finally introduces us to his 'twins'
Main image credit: Kay Selisho