Quick question: If you live outside of the tri-state area, when was the last time you’ve seen Nature, previously of The Firm fame? Despite getting an early career co-sign from the likes of Nas and Noreaga, Nate has been on a self-imposed hiatus for the latter part of the aughts. And it took a kindred spirit to bring him out.

“When I decided I was gonna do this project, I wanted to do something classic as opposed to something that would just fade away,” explains New Jersey born, Pennsylvania bred emcee Dreadchild. “I had a connect who was sitting there with us named Spunk. He asked me who I would want to collaborate with, and I said, ‘Any legend that made me want to do this thing…from Redman to Nas and Nature.’ Once I mentioned Nature, he goes, ‘What you know bout Nate?’ I told him everything, because I think Nature’s dope. And he said he’d have Nate call me the next day. I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, right,’ but sure enough Nature called that next day.”

It didn’t hurt that Dreadchild had a mixtape cut of himself spitting over Nature’s 2000 single, “Ultimate High.” The byproduct of the pair’s collaboration, Dreadchild’s “I Don’t Make Believe” is about as far away from the big budget days of The Firm as you can get, and that’s not by accident.

“I wanted to bring it back to that classic style and a raw form so you have no choice but to focus on the music and the lyrics,” Dreadchild added. “Everybody’s plain as day in the video, so it focuses all of your attention on the lyrics and the music. That influenced original Hip Hop—that’s what it’s about. From friends in the park chillin’—maybe a little cipher scene.”

As he prepares the fall release of his solo debut, The Ladder, Dreadchild mixes his appreciation of old school simplicity with the current need to multitask and adapt.

“My creativity kind of shifts things in my favor,” Dreadchild explained. “From writing to making videos, everything that has to do with art, that’s me. If I could, I would put something out every week, but it would be quality. I also get to learn the ins and outs of the business so they can’t snake me on how much things cost, who we go through or promotions.”