Q&A: Nitty Scott MC On Moving To New York, The Boombox Diaries Vol. 1, And Blurring The Line Between Mainstream And Underground


Nitty Scott MC is fresh out of her teens and she’s already had three career changes, though she’s remained a writer throughout. Within the last few years she’s made a name for herself among New York’s tough crowds as a legit MC who only includes organic hip-hop ingredients in her dishes.

Nitty—who just put out her first official commerical release, The Boombox Diaries, Vol. 1 (Boombox Family)—took some time off from penning lyrics in Brooklyn to chat it up with SOTC.

Let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from originally?

I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I moved to Florida when I was five, and I started school in the central Florida area. There are actually a lot of New York transplants [in the area], but it’s still too slow out there. There’s not much of a scene. People always think of palm trees and Disney World, but where I’m from it’s cows and endless fields.

Obviously we know why you came to NYC…

Yeah, I always had intentions of pursuing my dreams in the big city. My dreams are too big for where I’m from. I was very unhappy in Florida. Then in the summer of 2008 I got an internship at the Daily News. Journalism was originally the more academic plan for my life; I was editor-in-chief of my school paper and yearbook.

But you didn’t even wait unitl high school was over before you moved to New York.

That’s right. Domestic dysfucnction and instability. Plus crashing my car, so I was officially a high school senior on public transportation. Lost my job as a character performer at Disney World. Lost that job because of my car wreck. No job, no car, no motivation.

Why not at least finish school?

I went to Osceola County School for Arts, which was a special school. Senior year, though, they implemented new uniforms, new ID badges… the artistic atmosphere was gone. I was miserable and I wanted to leave Florida. My folks let me go to New York, even though I was 17 and they could’ve made me stay. So I researched schools up here, made sure I’d be able to graduate on time. And I did. I was able to graduate in 2009 from John Jay Secondary School for Journalism in Park Slope.

Haha. Good shit. So now you’re officially a New Yorker because you went to high school here… sorta. Where do you stay?

Living in Coney Island. Pretty cut off from everything. I started in Queens but moved to BK once I got into school at John Jay. Seems like there are so many transplants who are trying to be in the center of things in Brooklyn like me.

What set off your rap career?

Nitty Scott MC started with the “Monster” freestyle. We put it on my YouTube and it went viral and was being buzzed about. Popular media outlets were covering it and I started acquiring fans. I took advantage of that momentum, even though I really didn’t feel ready, and I started building on that. I didn’t feel ready because I was growing and I’m a perfectionist in all honesty I didn’t feel like I’d be comepletely polished for the situation. I improve, I grow I get better but on the same note I never feel like my work is done, it can always be better.

Tell us about your new project.

The Boombox Diaries Vol. 1. Big moment for me because it broke the top 30 on iTunes’ hip-hop chart. With no real marketing dollars? I’ve been tripping all morning about that. It’s a commercial release. First time for me, because everything prior was free music. This is my first all original body of work. It’s musically cohesive, fusing different genres and moods and sounds. Mood drives the the EP.

Who’s your favorite rapper?

3 Stacks [Andre 3000] is my favorite. He had this song on TLC’s CrazySexyCool. I was 15 or 16 [when I first heard it] and I was so affected by it. I wanna make people feel how he made me feel that day.

He’s my favorite rapper too. What’s your take on the state of affairs in rap today?

I think the lines between underground and mainstream are blurring. We can make whatever music we want and still go on tour with Drake and have your cake and eat it to. Rappers like Tech N9ne, Mac Miller and Curren$y are making the music they want and still amassing a crazy following and touring, traveling the world and having success on their terms. I wanna be the female face of that.

The release party for The Boombox Diaries Vol. 1, with DJs Large Professor and Audible Doctor, takes place Saturday at 285 Kent.

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