HipHopDX has learned that Portland, Oregon emcee and radio personality Cool Nutz is the latest Rap act to sign to Suburban Noize Records. The veteran, who has worked with E-40 and Bosko, will join label-mates Saigon, Slaine, Glasses Malone and others at the California-based independent label. He is presently recording an album planned for 2013. He also readying his next street album, called Portland, which features Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, The Grouch, Mistah F.A.B., Messy Marv and others.
Cool Nutz also gave DX the exclusive first listen on "Champagne Toast" from Portland.
Having released nearly a dozen pieces of retail music, Cool Nutz told DX about this benchmark in his career, and how he derives his diverse approach from a classic 1995 Death Row Records release.
HipHopDX: What does this mean to your career with so many dues paid?
Cool Nutz: I feel like every positive situation or opportunity is a blessing. I have seen the ups and downs of the music business, so being this deep in the game, it's a true blessing to have opportunities on the table like signing to Suburban Noize [Records]. This gives me the chance to work with one of the most successful labels that understands the music, the culture, touring, merchandising, and other aspects of the business. And with the game constantly changing it's important to have access to these types of resources, as well as a skilled team to support and back you. So this is a huge opportunity for me and my career. From running my own label, to having deals with Atlantic and Universal [Records], this is another chapter in the story of Cool Nutz. It's just a testament of all the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication, that if you continue to make quality music and stay relevant, great opportunities will present themselves. And with the caliber of music that I am making right now, this will give me the channels that I need to expose this dope music to the world.
DX: What do you think this means to Portland Hip Hop, who hasn't been on a national label/big stage since Lifesavas?
Cool Nutz: Props to the Lifesavas, as those are my brothers. But in regards to this situation, it's another opportunity for Portland to be heard on a bigger scale. I feel like right now we have a number of artists creating dope music, and I love being able to open people's eyes to Portland that might not be looking at us. I am very proud to be from Portland, and I know for a fact that we have artists that step up and rock with the best if they are given the chance to be heard and seen on a bigger stage. A number of us have carried the flag on a national and international level, and it's always a good look for the city. The city has always supported me, and I'm definitely looking to help bring more attention to the city so that that support is validated. Portland isn't looked at as a Hip Hop mecca, but I think with strong contributions from everyone, we can change that perception.
DX: Tell us a little bit about the album, and your range in Hip Hop (working with cats like Messy Marv as well as The Grouch)
Cool Nutz: First and foremost I'm making the best music of life right now, and you will hear that on the album. I enlisted some true heavy hitters on the tracks to create the audio landscape of the album. I was fortunate enough to work with Bosko, Trox, Stewart Villain, InfinitRakz, Lawz Spoken, JEB, and Krispy Hendrixx. This gave the album a true variety of dope songs. And it always helps having friends like Tech N9ne, Mistah F.A.B., Messy Marv, Krizz Kaliko, The Grouch, and more. All of them have always shown me plenty of love, so I was able to reach out to them and get them on songs. Not just dropping a verse, but getting on songs that worked for them and I. If you really take the time out and give the album a good listen, you will see the caliber of the music.
In regards to my range in Hip Hop. I make music from the perspective of Tha Dogg Pound's Dogg Food album. This was a classic album that not only showcased the West Coast, but also showcased lyricism, dope production, and overall incredible songs. I feel that this approach has afforded me luxury to work with the likes of E-40, The Grouch, Luni Coleone, Boom Bap Project, Messy Marv, B.G., and more, and have good chemistry with them. I have an appreciation for dope music, and for me it isn't based off of the genre alone. One of my favorite emcees is Aesop Rock, and he doesn't do the type of music I do, but I can appreciate his art and skill level of it. All of these influences and appreciation for the music has helped make me a well-rounded.