J. Guevara: We just saw each other a couple days ago at the last Cheats Movement Podcast for the year and you bodied a freestyle. How did you feel about the freestyle?
Nuera Ness: I didn’t think it was that good. The verse I had for the freestyle, I was rapping it over and over in my head. However, I totally forgot when the beat came on. For me as far as my personal critique, it was ight.
J: Where are you from?
Nuera: Fredericksburg VA.
J: How you been doing music?
Nuera: I been writing since I was 9. I started putting out music around 13-14, just mixtapes Uh, I made a lot of mixtapes around 14-15 projects and I tried to make sure that I had a lot of songs on the project. Most of the projects I made were around 20-22 songs. I would have to say Success Story is my shortest project to date at fifteen tracks.
J: I recall listening to a podcast you did and remembering that how you fell in love with hip hop was when you listened to Jay-Z’s Life & Times of Shawn Carter. Yet, your origins in hip hop came from battle rap.
Nuera: Yeah, at first I battled rapped because I didn’t know how to write songs. I was battle rapping with anyone. I would never battle rap again though.
J: How so?
Nuera: I just don’t like it when people get all up in my personal space. You was there during the Radio B & Twork battle at Legends Never Die 3. Do you remember how Twork was talking about pocket checking Radio then slapped his pockets to actually “pocket check him”? I get that it’s a part of the theatrics for the crowd but I can’t do that or let anyone do that to me. That’s crossing the line for me.
J: I definitely don’t see you battle rapping again because of how you carry yourself. Please talk to me about the Winners Circle Tour over the summer. Who were some of your favorite artists to see perform during the tour?
Nuera: Yeah uh, Supa Soop was the person who organized it. He bought Success Story, him and O.G. Illa when it first came out. He had just put out Zone and he was talking about pretty much respecting my grind and wanted me to be on tour with him. It was a crazy experience. It was a crazy experience because I only been to two three states my entire life, so going up and down the east coast in three months were crazy. I really enjoyed watching Supa soop, Reppa Ton, and O.G. Illa. I picked up so much from them especially on how to perform like showmanship and picking up the crowd. I was able to do that but to perform with others, it was a different experience. One of my favorite stops on the tour was when traveled to Atlanta and went to Magic City. I would also have to say Brooklyn New York. I was at times square, I went to Queens and it was really dope meeting fans that I never knew heard my music before.
J: I was actually listening to your Fan of Success project earlier today on Live Mixtapes. You released Fan of Success in 2015 and Success Story earlier in January w/ a third part of the trilogy Successful dropping in the spring. Why is he deciding to make a three part collection of albums?
Nuera: Basically the trilogy is just like speaking things into existence and putting it into the universe. Fan of Success is more of radio friendly songs. It’s what I thought success was from the outside of the industry so it’s a lot more like up-tempo songs and club hits. Success Story is more like the grind of success. Fan of Success is like let’s have fun and party. Success Story is the struggle. It’s the opposite of Fan of Success. It’s the backstabbing, the troubles, how shady the music industry is. Successful, the upcoming project that will drop either in the spring or the summer is the culmination of all of those things coming together. Everything I went through, everything I thought it would be.
J: What does Forever VA mean to you?
Nuera: It was the first time I ever heard of the term. Can you elaborate more about Forever VA for me?
[After I explained what Forever VA & VirginiaGotNow meant for me]
Nuera: When I hear of DMV, people don’t really talk about anything south of Alexandria. So, I think that the Forever VA term represents Virginia artists unifying. Everybody has their own niche, and VA should unify but artists support artists. It’s eight million people here in Virginia and it’s bigger than us. It represents unity. There should never be situations where you should never introduce yourself because you don’t know somebody. From what I see that VirginiaGotNow do, they really push for Virginia and everything that’s inside the culture. It seems like people push VA because it’s not being pushed by the DMV, but it’s a nice slogan that you guys have. I’ll say this however, artists should support other artists.
J: What are some of your plans in 2018 besides the release of Successful?
Nuera: More shows, another tour. In April, I’ll be in LA. Try to do more festivals, nothing individual but more shows and more networking.
Catch Nuera Ness at the inaugural RVA Lyricist Lounge event at Strange Matter in Richmond, VA January 12th for $10.