Southside Chicago-bred, Las Vegas-based rapper 88N8 presents “Day One”, his new single produced by David Grants with guest vocals from Lonny B. “Everybody need somebody to hold them down, especially when times is rough,” Formerly known as That Nigga Nate (aka TNN), 88N8 (pronounced ‘Eighty-Eight Nate’) says about the new song. “Shout out to love – that day one love. Get you somebody you can build with.” Previous singles include “Plottin” (watch the music video on Youtube) and “I Admit” (Soundcloud).
How did you get your stage name?
Haha that’s crazy that you asked me that, I went through a hell of names before I arrived with this one. I went through that whole ‘Lil’ phase. I was Lil everything. Lil Nate, Lil Busta, Lil B Dot, Lil Jiggy, Lil Gangsta, Lil Benjamin. Then I went through that whole Young phase, I was Young Benjamin, Young Profit, Young Baller, thank God I never released any music under ANY of these aliases. I released most of my earlier music under the TNN, which stood for That Nigga Nate. A lot of people still call me TNN actually. After that, I was going by Nate Hardy for a while, which is basically my actual government name so it most definitely represented who I am but to me it had No Edge! I needed a stage name that would properly represent me but at the same time had some edge! That’s when we decided on 88N8. It was my idea to spell the Nate with the N and the number eight I thought that had edge. 88N8 represents the year I was born and also the street number in Chicago where I grew up and then Nate is obviously my name. Combine them both and You’ve got 88N8.
What made you decide to become a rapper?
I always liked words, I was a spelling bee finalist like 2 years in a row, never won it though, cause it was alwsys a dude nerdier than me, studying them big ass words that sound easy to spell but were really complicated as fuck. I’m also a bit of a recluse, kinda anti social sometimes, so music and lyrics was always the best way for me to express my self or get my message across. Like when I was younger when I liked a girl I couldn’t just tell her, I’d write her ass a poem straight up. It was my little attempt at getting her to fall in love with me, which is essentially what I’m doing now with my music, writing this dope ass poetic shit in hopes of trying to get the listener to fall in love with me.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
The first rap song I ever heard was Twista Death Before Dishonor. I remember the moment exactly. My cousin had just came from the record store meeting Twista, got his poster and everything. She came back playing the Adrenaline Rush CD and Death Before Dishonor came on and I was just like damn WTF is this, and she was just going “you too young to hear this go back in the room” but in my head I was like nah fuck that! I studied that damn song every time I could, Just trying to figure out wtf this nigga Twista was saying! Then I tried to mimic it and just ended up feeling, looking and sounding stupid, almost on some Daffy Duck Shit lol. This is how I knew I wasn’t never gonna be a fast rapper cause to this day I STILL sound like daffy when I’m tryna spit like that. Then like a year later I heard Big L 98 freestyle and I kid you not I stole that shit line for line!!! When I heard Big L say “Put your raggedy house up, or shut your mouth up, before I Buck lead, and make a lot of blood shed, turn your tux red, I’m far from broke got enough bread, and Mad hoes ask Beavis I get nothing but head.” When I heard that shit I flipped!! I stole the fuck outta that all the way to high school freshman year lol, and by that time I had already had my own written material it just wasn’t even close to fucking with that, so I was still rapping his shit lol. I don’t list Big L as an influence but honesly I think I have to credit him the most! Cause that’s when I knew I wanted to do this shit for real.
How did “Day One” come together?
Ok, without giving too much away I can tell you Day One is just a piece in a cohesive body of work that I worked on when I was 26 years old. Day One is like 2 years old, but whenever I decide to release this Album, the listener will be able to see exactly why Day One is needed. I don’t think, no scratch that I know for sure I could not have made this album without creating Day One. Without giving away too much, I can just tell you I went through a dark period in my life and the album is a reflection of that and Day One is simply a thank you to anybody who stuck with me during that period of my life. So essentially Day One is not meant to be a love song, it’s just more appealing to the average listener if I write it that way which is what I did. But really Day One is meant for anybody who has that somebody who’s been down from the jump! Never switched up, never left you, and has had your back during the most trying times.
What are your predictions for the rest of the year, personally and in terms of music?
Honestly I don’t really have any predictions or expectations. I hate dealing with expectations simply because 90 percent of the time, the outcome is never really what you expected in the first place. I always say whenever life hands me lemons I’ll just throw em back at life just for being such a bitch to me! That’s basically my way of saying I’m gonna remain humble through this whole journey whatever happens. I mean but I’m big on small wins, small accomplishments like this interview right here. I most definitely appreciate your publication for taking the time to interview me that’s 100! But I don’t really have any predictions for what’s going to happen in the future, obviously I can hope and pray for the best, I really want my shit to take off, because I truly feel like I can be a vessel in this hip hop game! I honestly feel my story and my message could really inspire people out here!