Recently I was given the opportunity to speak with Cinematic artist Mobsquad Nard. For those yet to hear of this rising star, Nard is a witty quick-spitting southern emcee who’s quickly carving out his own lane in the industry. To sleep on him would be a big mistake. Check out our interview with Mobsquad Nard below and get in tune with his movement.
How’s it going man? For our readers that may not be familiar with you and your movement why don’t we start out with you just introducing yourself and letting fans know where you’re from.
My name is Mobsquad Nard and I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida.
Alright cool. Can you walk me how you began making music?
Well really, first of all I’m big on family. I grew up just on some normal hood shit. You know the summer times we used to sleep over at our aunties’ house and our grandma’s house. You know have big sleep-overs with the family, Stuff like that. And really I started making music just hanging out like that. Me and my partners we were close like family you know, so we would just stay the night at each others house and make a song. We really would just hangout and make music out of the house and that’s how it get started.
That’s awesome. It sounds like you certainly have been working on perfecting your sound for a while. I know you have mentioned before you are influenced by artists such as Tupac, Lil Boosie and more, but aside from other artists what things around you do you find really influence the music you make?
Like I said, I’m big on family. So that’s one thing. I have a big family and how we carry ourselves is, you know we keep our business within the family. That’s just how we are. We have our values that we stick too. So when I’m rapping, everything I rap about is stuff I have lived. I’ve seen it or experienced it. I would say being around my family and the everyday experiences are the biggest influences in my music. I can relate to other artists when I hear them talk like that. When they are rapping about having their families and their people they look out for, you know I can relate to that. Then when I see or hear others talking about that you know, it motivates me to make my own music for my family or my squad.
I see. That makes sense. At what point while you were making music out of the house as a kid, did you began to realize you could really make a career with your music?
Once I saw how people were consuming the music I realized it. You know when people started coming up to me and buying CD’s, when they started clicking on the Myspace page, putting my songs on their pages, adding our songs to mixtapes and stuff like that I really began to notice I could do this and be a rapper. I realized it wasn’t just me who liked the music, other people wanted to hear it. You know what I’m saying? When you make music, sometimes you’ll be the only one who wants to ride around and listen to it. Sometimes nobody else is feeling it. And some people even make music that they can’t even ride around and listen to. So with that in mind, when I noticed other people was riding around and listening to my songs I was like, “Ah yeah I could be a rapper.” That also was really my dream anyway. I wanted to be a rapper so when I saw it working I rolled with it.
Damn so you’re really out here living your dream!
For sure. I always wanted to make music. I always wanted to be in front of big crowds. You know what I’m saying? I always wanted to be able to just be, and be the “it” factor for my family and my people.
Speaking of being in front of large crowds, how has the experience been on The Smokers Club Tour?
It’s been great. Everything’s been going good on the tour. Fans showing us love, us showing them love. Lots of positive energy and meeting new people. There’s been a few circumstances where we weren’t able to perform in a couple cities, but other than that everything has just been going great man.
Glad to hear it. It’s too bad we missed you in Chicago this time, but I will be watching for the next time you come perform here. Okay, so it’s been great so far, but what has been your favorite experience on this tour?
Just riding around and being able to live this and enjoy this and smoke with my people. My favorite cities are the ones that have legal weed. I like to go to the dispensaries on my off days and test out different strains and different types of weed. So my favorite two stops have been either Los Angeles or Denver, Colorado. There was a lot of love out in Denver, I enjoyed it.
That’s a great way to spend your off days. Aside from touring, last summer you signed with CMG (Cinematic Music Group), could you go through how that all came to be?
Well, I’ve been rocking with Shipes, him and I have been cool for awhile now. Way longer than the summer. This ain’t no new relationship or some industry relationship. I actually had linked up with Shipes in my city way back. Shipes actually came to Jacksonville, and a lot of people have never been out here, so you know that’s what was significant to me. A man from New York came to Jacksonville in search for people like us. Then when we did meet, it was all love. We clicked from the first quarter. Both of us chilling doing our thing. You know, bro’s a little older than me but it was all love. He’s very down to earth and when I met him we just clicked from there. We’ve been rocking for years now. It has probably like eight or nine years since then. Honestly when he came down I was a shorty, its probably been eight or nine years. Maybe seven. We just signed the deal last summer in 2015 after I got out of jail, but I’ve been rocking with CMG. They’ve been there helping me. It was just once I got out of jail it seemed like it was time to sign and make it official.
Having that relationship before signing is big too in already knowing both you and CMG could work together. You also somewhat recently dropped your project titled Everything Clean But Da Ashtray, now that you’ve been on tour for a little how have fans been reacting to the project? Or how do you feel it is being received? Are fans showing love?
Hell yeah man. The fans are loving it. Really they like the title. Everything Clean But Da Ashtray, that’s what really draws ’em in. They love the content that’s in it too. It’s everything they want in music right now, so it’s definitely been received well. Everybody has been embracing the music one hundred percent. Everybody has been hitting me up, Face-booking me, DM’s, following me on Snap-chat, commenting on Instagram just letting me know they are feeling the project. After I perform, if I get the opportunity I’ll get off stage and go hangout at the merch table. You know, holler at fans and chop it up with them. When I do that a lot of people come and tell me how they fuck with the show and music.
That’s what’s up man, that has got to be a great feeling. While making the project, what was your favorite track to work on?
My favorite track is “Squad Shit”. I just felt like I was really in the zone when writing and recording that one. Everything with that track came together how we wanted. It was towards the end of the album and when we recorded the track we had full momentum going. Then we did the video and it just captured everything we wanted it to, you know what I’ms saying. It was one of my favorite final products on the project.
“Squad Shit” is definitely one of my favorites as well. Do you have any projects you are currently working on?
Yeah, I’ve got a whole new project finished and done already.
Damn you work fast, can you give us the release date or any more details on that project?
Ah I can’t give you the date. The date isn’t set in stone yet so I can’t give it to you, but it’s already done and ready for release. I’m going to release it soon. It’ll probably be called, Nardo Davinci. That’s my nickname. Mobsquad Nard aka Nardo Davinci. So I’m thinking of just naming it Nardo Davinci. This one is a true mixtape too. I’ve got original work on there and I’ve got some remixes to industry beats. I went at it from both ends recording my own work, and then I cut up on some industry beats at the same time.
Nardo Davinci, I’ll be watching out for that one no doubt. Where do you see yourself in today’s hip-hop industry and what is your vision for your movement?
Really I think we are going to be the gateway back to gangster rap. The way we are going, I think down the line when anyone wants to fuck with gangster rap or talk about gangster rap they’re going to have to fuck with us or talk about us. The same way that people who do trap music fuck with Gucci and stuff like that, that’s how it’s going to be for us and gangster rap. Anyone who’s spitting gangster rap and real shit, they are going to have to fuck with us cause that’s what we are. We pride ourselves on being real with our music, and keeping it A1.
I see what you’re saying. If you had the opportunity to work with any artist from any generation, who would you choose to work with and how come?
If I could pick any artist I would say B.G. I would choose him because he carried on a real legacy as far as his time period in gangster rap. You know that’s real, I would love to make a track with him when he gets out of jail. Free B.G.
That would be a cut both you and B.G. on the same track. Now, I know you stay busy, but when you aren’t out on tour or working on music in the studio what are some hobbies you have?
I run a Bail Bonds service. So when I’m home I’m working on that a lot. Also always working on building up the brand, taking care of the community, finding ways to help out. You know, whether it is coaching football, or giving out food, or working with the bail bonds we just try to help people out and bring the community closer together.
Giving back is great. That’s awesome to hear. If you could offer any advice to younger artists coming up in the industry looking to pursue a career as a rapper, what would you tell them?
My advice would be to keep your backbone and be real with what you rap about. Stand up for what you stand up for. If you are a rapper talking about finding a plug and doing this or doing that, then go find yourself a plug. Just be real and be about whatever it is you are rapping about. Make sure fans know you stand for something. Also, don’t fall into gimmicks or jump at the first offer cause that’s how careers get killed. Make sure you have a relationship with the people you are doing business with and be smart and aware of everything going on. That way you can make the moves that will be most beneficial for you and your people.
Those are some good words of wisdom. Lastly, is there anything you want to remind fans or make sure they are watching out for?
Just that I got that Everything Clean But Da Ashtray out now. Go get that. I got Nardo Davinci coming out real real soon. And God first, I can’t do nothing without God. Also shout out Fashionably-Early for taking time out to interview a real one. Just remember when the red carpets get to rolling and things get to moving, Fashionably-Early was on board first. Thank you.