[Editor’s note: In “Tweets Is Watching,” Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]
Nitty Scott MC is currently building on the buzz of her RapFix Live cipher performance during the VMAs by readying up her new project for a fall release. Titled The Art Of Chill, it’s a series of songs the MC says were inspired by an emotionally testing time of her life. Appropriately, here’s Nitty talking through her tweets which currently skew toward spirituality, meditation, and the potential psychedelic experience that is a slice of cheese pizza.
You posted up a picture of you eating and said it was a psychedelic experience.
Ha ha, yes! Lately, I’ve really been getting into my own spirituality and a part of that is recognizing the miracle that exists in the everyday things we do. So I definitely had a moment there. It was about recognizing the energy that is in every single thing whether it’s food or an inanimate object. People typically think that taking drugs is the only way to elevate your mind but in reality it’s all about perspective and acknowledging the amazing story of how everything comes to be and is connected. I think that drinking water or having something to eat can actually be psychedelic if you sit there and think about every single hand and every single ingredient the food went through before it got to your plate. When you take the time to do that it makes eating a lot more, I guess, holy. It’s like flowing into god, if that makes any sense.
What were you eating in the picture?
I was actually eating a cheese pizza! A lot of my new-found spirituality is about recognizing how amazing some of the mundane things we come across actually are, and for me having a slice of pizza can actually be amazing.
Was the pizza any good?
Yes, it was actually. It was great.
Where’s your favorite pizza spot, psychedelic or otherwise?
Anywhere called Ray’s!
“you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” #ZENLIFE
— Nitty Scott, MC. (@NittyScottMC) August 29, 2013
You’ve also been tweeting about meditating a lot.
Yes! I try to meditate all the time to be honest. I have a set time when I try to do it as soon as I wake up before my thoughts and emotions about the events of the day have a chance to take over. I take the time to be still, sit with my mind and align my chakras. It sets me off to have a better day and have a better focus on the day. I think generally it improves my sense of well-being. I don’t think it necessarily changes any of the external things around me but it makes me feel I can deal better with daily life and my perspective definitely changes for the healthier. It’s about having that calm center inside of me.
Have you ever been inspired to write a rhyme after you finish meditating?
Oh, definitely, I actually have a lot of songs while I’m meditating ’cause even though you’re trying to quiet your mind, you kinda go in and out of consciousness. I find that I have some of my greatest ideas while I’m meditating. I think it’s ’cause I’m not thinking about thinking, if that makes any sense, so a lot of things comes naturally to me when I’m meditating and just afterwards I’ll get up and write something. The mornings are usually the most creative time for me.
How would you convince a cynic that they should start meditating?
The first thing I’d tell them is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be religious — I’ve heard a lot of stigma about that, like meditating has to be aligned to a certain religion. For me, it’s about sitting quietly and being with your mind so you can take out all of the spiritual and mystical elements that some people put into it. You don’t have to be in a yoga pose and chant, it’s about tuning out all of the things that dominate our minds and sitting in pure silence and seeing what happens. I mean, it can be uncomfortable at first ’cause silence can seem not normal. For me, it was about realizing how comfortable I was with just sitting with myself without music, without a blunt in my hand, and without someone to talk to.
Do you know any other rappers who meditate?
I don’t really know specifically who meditates, but I do know that having spiritual knowledge is something that this generation of hip-hop is gravitating to. When you hear somebody like Ab-Soul or Joey Bada$$ talk about your third eye, it may not necessarily mean that they are buddhist rappers but it is a reference to a type of spirituality. I definitely pick up on certain lines or things in videos that allude to having some type of spiritual belief. I think Curren$y might be one of them. It’s a lot of the weed rappers, the rappers who like to get high, the ones that are hippied-out, I kinda assume that they might meditate.
You recently tweeted about a fan making a version of Nas’s Illmatic cover but with you on it.
Yeah, I started dying laughing when I first saw that just because my fans are so wild and creative and they take pictures of me and do wild things with them. I thought it was a really funny twist on a classic cover and it just really goes to show the pedestal that my own fans put me on. It’s like me being their Nas — it’s definitely heart-warming.
What do you remember about first hearing Illmatic?
I don’t remember the very first time I heard it but I do remember being young and trying to learn the lyrics to “The World Is Yours” and being confused just because of the way he put it together and how he’s talking about the world he’s referring to. I was studying lyrics at a young age and trying to master it.
What was it about that song that stood out for you on the album?
It was such an empowering record, you know, and Nas represents and comes from a place where people are voiceless and they’re not usually given that push that they need to truly believe that the world is yours and that you can contribute what they want and achieve what they want. It’s very inspirational and just uplifting to hear that message — the world belongs to us and we should make life whatever we want.
If you had to do a version of one of Nas’s songs, which one would you pick?
I think it’s called “I Gave You Power” and it’s the one where he’s talking about being a gun and personifying so that it’s all the things that are seen by the gun. I always thought that was just amazing — even beyond hip-hop it’s just great poetry. I would love to do my own version of that although I’m not sure I’d necessarily do a gun ’cause I don’t relate to guns and violence like that but the conceptual part of it was really amazing to me and I would love to emulate something like that.